Bees are beneficial insects that have no competition in the natural world since they are the only insects capable of collecting nectar and producing honey. Agriculture has benefited from beekeeping because bees help to pollinate and can thrive where crops have failed to yield. Bees can produce many viable products, like honey and beeswax, and also contribute to making secondary products such as beer, candles and wines.
USDA Agricultural Grants
The United States Department of Agriculture has offered grants in 25 states to support beekeeping, or apiculture as it is commonly called. In 2006, it awarded 27 grants alone to educate, train and promote sustainable agriculture-like beekeeping.
State Government Agricultural Grants
Several state departments of agriculture offer similar grants to aide in the effort of building sustainable agriculture. Illinois, Colorado, North and South Carolina, West Virginia, and Massachusetts are among the many state governments offering these types of grants that can aide in the purchase of start-up equipment and colonies.
State Education Programs and Assistance for Beginners
Other states, like New York, Pennsylvania and Nebraska, offer funds for equipment if certain education and training requirements have been met. State universities are pitching in, as well, to offer funding for start-up.
Grants for Inspection of Honey Bee Colonies
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture recently started offering grants to promote beekeeping and the inspection of bee colonies. Inspection is important to having a healthy and productive colony of bees. The colonies have to be inspected for stability and pests.
Beekeeping can be a profitable business due to all the uses for honey and other bee-related products. Organic beekeeping is another option that will open up many other grant opportunities. Organic and naturally grown and produced products have become quite popular with the public, so the government and other outlets are offering all types of grant opportunities to produce these products to keep up with the growing demand.
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