European honey bee; designating as the official state pollinator. (HB1896)

Introduced By

Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Official emblems and designations; state pollinator; European honey bee. Designates the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) as the official state pollinator. Amends § 1-510, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »


01/04/2019: Awaiting a Vote in the General Laws Committee


01/04/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19103627D
01/04/2019Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/14/2019Impact statement from DPB (HB1896)


Sue M writes:

Thank you for bringing attention to pollinators, Del. Hope. The introduced European honeybee, however, is the wrong choice, given that we have 400 or so native bees and other pollinators and all the other living Virginia emblems (bat, bird, fishes, salamander, shell, snake, flower, and tree) are native species. Instead, let's name the blue mason orchard bee (Osmia lignaria) as state pollinator. Reasons:

1) It's a more efficient pollinator than any honeybee.
2) It benefits commercial orchards, home gardens, and wild places.
3) It is being challenged by introduced competitors, a disturbing development that is the subject of an ongoing citizen science research project.
4) Virginians can support it by adding simple bee houses to their yards, without the specialized equipment and skills needed to handle European honeybees.

Ann P. writes:

Delegate Hope,

Thank you for bringing attention to pollinators. I concur with comments posted by Sue M. recommending that a Virginia native bee be named the Virginia pollinator instead of a non-native bee such as the European honeybee. There are many native bees from which to choose so it makes sense to select a native such as the blue mason orchard bee. I strongly encourage you to support this Virginia native as the Virginia pollinator.

Ann P.

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