VanderWall announces new grant opportunity for local beekeepers

first_img07May VanderWall announces new grant opportunity for local beekeepers Categories: VanderWall News State Rep. Curt VanderWall today said a new grant is available to help local beekeepers prevent bears from raiding their apiaries.VanderWall, of Ludington, helped secure the grant funding during the state budget process last year after hearing from local beekeepers who were having problems with bears.“Black bears are known to wipe out apiaries. They eat all of the honey and brood, kill the colony and damage equipment in the process,” said VanderWall, of Ludington. “These grants are a great resource for beekeepers in areas where bears are known to be a problem.”Many food crops depend on bees for pollination, but Michigan honey bees have been dying off at alarming rates since 2006.“Commercial and hobbyist beekeepers are incredibly important to the success of Michigan’s agriculture industry, especially our fruit farms,” VanderWall said. “Between honey production and the role they play in crop production, pollinators contribute an estimated $1 billion in value to Michigan’s agricultural economy each year.”VanderWall said beekeepers planning to install electronic bear fences could be eligible for matching funds of up to $250 per location from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.Information about electronic bear fence options is available at michiganbees.org/bears. Download a grant application by vising RepVanderWall.com and clicking on “apiary grant form” at the top of the page.###last_img

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