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Governor designates September as Honey Month

RICHMOND—As fresh fruit and vegetable production winds down, Virginia’s honey harvest ramps up in September, making it a good time to find local honey at farmers’ markets, festivals and other celebrations.

To acknowledge the work of those harvesting honey and the value of honey to the commonwealth, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proclaimed September to be Honey Month. Information on more than 100 Virginia honey sources can be found on the Virginia Grown website: http://bit.ly/2cq3bBw.

Pollination provided by honeybees is an integral part of the agriculture industry, and honey production is a byproduct of pollination. Honeybee pollination contributes more than $16 billion to the value of U.S. crop production each year.

Virginia crops such as apples, pumpkins, cucumbers, squash and blueberries are dependent on pollinators like honeybees to fully develop their fruits. Other crops like soybeans, sunflowers and peanuts benefit from pollination by insect pollinators.

The National Honey Board website is abuzz with recipes that include honey at honey.com/recipes. Keith Tignor, state apiarist at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, also recommended the following ways to observe Honey Month:

  • Plant a pollinator garden with a diversity of nectar and pollen sources, or build a nesting site for native bees, using U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service resources at fws.gov/pollinators/pollinatorpages/yourhelp.html#garden.

  • Become a beekeeper. Beginner classes are sponsored by local beekeeper groups around the state, and the Virginia State Beekeepers Association lists groups on its website at virginiabeekeepers.org.

    Media: Contact Dawn Eischen, VDACS, at 804-786-1904. 

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