VIRGINIA STATE BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION
February 14, 2022
The Virginia General Assembly 2022 Session is approaching its halfway mark.
Crossover will occur on February 15th. This is when the Senate finishes working on its bills and the House finishes working on its bills. The bills then move to the other side for consideration (the crossover). After that the bills then go through a reconciliation process.
The one exception is the budget. The Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee and the House Appropriations Committee will report their respective versions of the budget on Sunday, February 20th. The full Senate and House will then vote on the proposals on February 24th. Negotiations to reconcile the two versions of the budget will then take place. Our hope is that the suggested funding for the Hive Distribution Program that was proposed by Governor Northam will stay in the budget. This is the link to his budget line: In Governor Northam’s budget the word is ‘Grant’.
The link to the budget is at: https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/item/2022/1/SB30/Introduced/1/100/.
On the status of commemorating the 400th anniversary of honey bees in Virginia you may go to the link at: https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?221+sum+SJ18 for the full text (see 01/17/22 (SJ18ER) pdf and open that file). In the original proposal it included the following wording:
RESOLVED FURTHER, that the General Assembly designate the third Saturday in August 2022 and in each succeeding year as Honey Bee Day in the Commonwealth; and be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, that the General Assembly designate the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, as the state pollinator
This wording was removed by the legislature because it moved it to a bill rather than just recognizing the 400th year anniversary. Making it an annual recognition of Honey Bee Day will have to be handled separately. By the time this decision was made and I learned about it, there wasn’t time to find a sponsor who could introduce another bill in this session.
The 60-day 2022 legislative session begins at noon on January 12, 2022, and Governor Glen Youngkin will be sworn in on the 15th. I already have legislative items in the works for this session.
Senator Deeds will introduce a proclamation from the Legislature or the Governor to recognize the 400th year celebration of the honey bee coming to Jamestown. I have seen the draft and I’m waiting on a revised copy with a couple of changes that needed to be done. When I have the revised copy I will have it sent out to all members. One item in the proclamation if passed will designate the third Saturday in August in 2022 and in each succeeding year as Honey Bee Day in Virginia.
I had asked Senator Deeds if he would be willing to introduce legislation for $125,000 to fund the Hive Distribution Program and he had agreed to do so. When Governor Northam’s new proposed budget was released it showed that he had added $200,000 per year for the next two years which is fantastic. You may see the Governor’s proposed budget related to the Hive Distribution Program at:
On December 5, 1621, a letter from the Virginia Company in London to the Governor of Virginia listed beehives as part of the cargo on the ships Hopewell (or Bona Nova) and Discovery for the Jamestown settlement. I’m in the process of filing paperwork to get approval for an historical road sign hopefully to be located at Jamestown. There is a lot of paperwork to get this done. There is also a cost involved if approved but the President is aware of this and has informed the VSBA Board.
I had also asked Delegate Ron Campbell if he would be willing to introduce legislation making the honey bee the Virginia Commonwealth’s pollinator. I reached out to Delegate Campbell on four different occasions in several ways and never heard back from him or anyone on his staff. So, this was in vain because by then it was too late to find another sponsor. We will have to get this done in the 2023 session.
Please get in touch with your local legislator and ask that he/she support these items when they come up for vote. This is very important.
To get in touch with your local delegate or senator you will find that information at https://virginiageneralassembly.gov. You will see a link ‘Virginia Legislature’. Tap that link and the next page that appears will allow you to link to your senator or delegate’s contact information. If you are not sure who your representatives are, you may contact your local voter registration office to get that information.
VSBA Legislative Liaison