Beehive Grant Fund and Beehive Grant Program; created. (SB354)

Introduced By

Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Beehive tax credit.  Creates a tax credit for new beehives of $200 per hive for registered beekeepers who have the hives inspected by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The bill limits the credit to $2,400 per taxpayer per calendar year. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/11/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12
01/11/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12100631D
01/11/2012Referred to Committee on Finance
02/02/2012Impact statement from TAX (SB354)
02/08/2012Reported from Finance with substitute (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2012Committee substitute printed 12105246D-S1
02/09/2012Constitutional reading dispensed (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/10/2012Read second time
02/10/2012Reading of substitute waived
02/10/2012Committee substitute agreed to 12105246D-S1
02/10/2012Engrossed by Senate - committee substitute SB354S1
02/13/2012Read third time and passed Senate (39-Y 1-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2012Placed on Calendar
02/15/2012Read first time
02/15/2012Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/17/2012Assigned App. sub: Economic Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources
02/23/2012Impact statement from TAX (SB354S1)
02/27/2012Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (8-Y 0-N)
02/27/2012Reported from Appropriations with substitute (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/27/2012Committee substitute printed 12105651D-H1
02/28/2012Read second time
02/29/2012Read third time
02/29/2012Committee substitute agreed to 12105651D-H1
02/29/2012Engrossed by House - committee substitute SB354H1
02/29/2012Passed House with substitute BLOCK VOTE (97-Y 0-N)
02/29/2012VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (97-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/29/2012House substitute rejected by Senate (3-Y 36-N) (see vote tally)
02/29/2012House insisted on substitute
02/29/2012House requested conference committee
02/29/2012Senate acceded to request (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/29/2012Conferees appointed by Senate
02/29/2012Senators: Hanger, Deeds, Newman
02/29/2012Conferees appointed by House
02/29/2012Delegates: Scott, E.T., Cline, Watts
03/05/2012Conference report agreed to by Senate (39-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
03/05/2012Conference substitute printed 12105870D-S2
03/05/2012Conference report agreed to by House (96-Y 0-N 1-A)
03/05/2012VOTE: ADOPTION (96-Y 0-N 1-A) (see vote tally)
03/08/2012Bill text as passed Senate and House (SB354ER)
03/08/2012Signed by Speaker
03/09/2012Signed by President
03/23/2012Impact statement from TAX (SB354ER)
03/30/2012G Approved by Governor-Chapter 473 (effective 7/1/12)
03/30/2012G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0473)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 3 clips in all, totaling 2 minutes.

Duplicate Bills

The following bills are identical to this one: HB300.


Amy writes:

A tax credit to support those who are working to support honeybees is a great idea. Without honeybees, Virginia's agricultural industries would be in big trouble! Currently, farmers pay beekeepers to place their hives near the fields, so they can pollinate the crops. Our native pollinator populations are threatened by pesticides, herbicides, and development that destroys wild plants necessary to their life cycles. Honeybees are also threatened by colony collapse disorder worldwide. More honeybees are an absolute necessity for agriculture -- and for everyone who likes to eat the produce that Virginia's farmers grow!

ron skinner writes:

bee good

Ann Snyder writes:

I'm a beekeeper and a passionate supporter of beekeeping. However, I think beekeeping is its own reward. Those who keep bees know of many ways to keep it economical, and don't need the government providing this sort of incentive with all its registration, inspection, and accountability requirements. I agree with Amy (above) that honeybees face all sorts of new threats and think that if our society can curb its dependence on the above mentioned herbicides, pesticides, and continuously expanding development, (as well as imports of all kinds) the bees' prospects would greatly improve.

Scott Bennett writes:

As part of the Sorensen Institute group, I will chime in on this bill. Myself and four others created this bill as part of a culminating experience through the Sorensen Institute. Please continue to discuss!

Ann, I am a beekeper as well, and I completely understand the reward one gets from maintaining their own hives! You mention your concern about the inspections and registration of the hives. Please understand that this incentive is an added option for beekeepers - if you do not want the inspections or added registrations, then you do not have to take the tax credit! However, because we all understand the importance of bees here in the Commonwealth, if one decides to take the credit they must uphold to a standard that will be monitored through the inspections and registrations. This is a win-win situation for everyone involved, and we hope that this will encourage more hives to be created in the Commonwealth, providing the delicious honey that we all enjoy as well as the economic benefits through their pollination of important cash crops.

Tom Blau writes:

A "win-win situation for everyone involved", except maybe non-beekeeping taxpayers who are paying for this, or beekeepers not big enough for the overhead to "uphold to a standard."

And why just beekeepers? How about knitters? Collectors of bobblehead dolls? Ornamental horticulturists?

By the way, why $200? Why not $2,000? $20,000?

And does the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services really have so little to do? So, if we DON'T do this, there's part of the Department that would have been involved that now we can close down? Hmmm.

Come on, y'all are kidding, right?

Mark Chorba writes:

This bill will help out the existing beekeeper and the new beekeeper to provide support to establish more bee hives in the Commonwealth. More hives means more bees and that is a benefit to everyone in the Commonwealth. Without honeybee pollination there is less fruit and vegetables which results in higher food prices. The non-beekeeper(s) like Tom will end up paying more for all the food he consumes as will all of us.

This grant has the potential to create small businesses. Local raw-honey production within Virginia is in high demand. There are more buyers for the products of the hive than there are hives that produce these products, Honey Wax, pollen, Propolis, and of course, Bees. Other business will profit as well, bakeries, restaurants, beekeeper suppliers, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and the list goes on.

Knitters and bobble head collectors don't offer a product that is wanted and needed by a huge population in Virginia and surrounding states, That is why no grants have been proposed for them.

The Department of Ag recognizes the huge potential for products of the hive and bee keeping. By establishing this grant it will create more jobs in the Commonwealth, expand pollination, and produce more products for people like Tom who dont keep bees.
Yes its a win win situation.

John Going writes:

What is the status of this bill? It looks like it has passed the house and senate, but is awaiting the Governor's signature??

John writes:

Does anyone else think this is nuts?

Our government buying beehives to set-up people in beekeeping business?

If someone wants to be a beekeeper, let them make or buy their own hives, buy their own equipment! What's next, giving out tractors to farmers? I mean, this has gone too far.

This is an anti-libertarian intrusion of government into the world of private enterprise.

It also shows how much socialism has invaded our government. Sad to see Uva students accepting it and promoting it.

Having government support research into bee diseases and disorders is a proper function of government; giving out free bee equipment is not.

This is just another disappointing spreading of a corporate welfare-style philosophy that has been heavily supported by both Virgina democrats and republicans. Free candy for everyone, now.

It is wealth-re-distribution according to what politicans think is best for us. If you plug into it, life is good. But if you do things the old-fashioned way, by the sweat of your brow, then you will carry others on your back.

What will bring beekeeping back is more restrictions on of imported honey, and solutions to the main diseases, parasites (mites), and disorders (colony collapse).

This bill is taxpayers' money sent in the wrong direction.

When will it ever end?

Janice McLaughlin writes:

As new beekeepers, (two plus years) we have spent a considerable amount of money in an effort to increase pollination to our and our neighbors crops. The honey collected which has been minimal for us, is a bonus. We joined the local beekeepers association, thus getting to know more of the farmers and fellow beekeepers and their challenges. This bill will in no way reimburse but a very small amount of the money spent in the last few years on training, specialized clothing, beehive equipment, bees and then more bees when they die or disappear, as well as the cost of medication to keep on hand that can save a life if someone allergic to bees gets stung. Our adult children and other family members have become involved with our two little hives of bees and we have all become keenly aware of how we all need to change and eliminate the constant and casual use of chemicals. It takes so many bees such a long time and incredible work to create even a spoonful of honey. We have harvested honey for the first time this summer and it's a lot of work. Gone are the days of rinsing honey off of a spoon. Now it's scraped back into the jar or eaten. So we find now that we need to increase our hives in order to provide better rotation, etc. A $200 credit would help but is far from the actual cost and effort involved.