Bees are a crucial element of both our ecological and agricultural systems and serve as the main source of pollination for all flowering plans. Bees are the only creatures on earth with the ability to collect nectar and produce honey and beeswax. The importance of bees and the reduction in beekeeping has led to the government offering several different types of grants directed towards the research, preservation and expansion of beekeeping.
Honeybees serve as the most significant source of pollination for agriculture throughout the world. Without the presence of bees and their colonies, crops and our food supply are in grave danger. According to Eating Well, pollination from bees supplies the earth with cherries, avocados, grapefruit, broccoli, carrots, onions, apples and many other important sources of food. According to the Congressional Research Service, in recent years there has been a noticeable increase in honeybee colony losses, despite the fact that bees have no natural predators in nature. This decline in bee colonies is threatening the survival of many of our healthiest food choices.
As a direct result of the loss of bee populations throughout the United States and the world, many states have acted proactively to re-energise the beekeeping community. Grants are one significant way that the government is attempting to revitalise beekeeping. Receiving outside assistance allows many new beekeepers to start up, and it also provides money to existing operations.
Grants are available to both novice and seasoned beekeepers. According to Agricultural Grants for Beekeeping, many states, including Colorado, Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Massachusetts, offer grants that provide assistance with purchasing equipment to reduce the initial costs involved for new beekeepers. Several states, including Nebraska, New York and Pennsylvania, offer both funding for start-up equipment and educational programs. These grants are directed towards students who have completed specific training and educational requirements. Many state universities also participate and provide funding for basic supplies and study programs for beginning beekeepers.
Many grants are designed specifically to promote research on current problems relating to honey bees and colony development. According to the Eastern Apricultural Society, programs directed at honeybee research are typically funded through donations from beekeepers or others interested in the study of bees and beekeeping. These types of grants strive to provide research equipment and promote the study of bees and bee colonies.
Many grants serve specifically to assist in the training and education of beekeepers throughout the United States. As of 2010, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, 25 states offer funding directed towards the preservation and development of beekeeping. In an effort to ensure proper conditions, some state governments, such as Tennessee, offer grants to promote the inspection of honey bee colonies. Colonies are inspected for disease, pests and general environment.