As beekeepers gain experience and expand their apiaries, they may not be aware that they are eligible for federal support in multiple ways. This is especially true if they are generating income from honey sales or other apiary products. Luckily, the USDA now has a handy infographic of federal programs and resources that support beekeepers including insurance programs, disaster assistance, loans, grants, and disease testing.
When drought, severe weather, disease outbreaks, or other events occur, it can be overwhelming. The key to successfully utilizing federal insurance or other protection programs is by becoming familiar with them, and documenting the inventory and productivity of your apiary well!
Beekeepers with plans to expand their operation, or who have innovative ideas, can apply for federal grants or loans, the later of which have low-interest rates. Connecting with other beekeepers who have been through these processes before is a great way to get started. Check with your local association or state apiarist who might be able to connect you. The above infographic, and more information and resources, can be found on the USDA Pollinator website.
By: Grace Kunkel, Communications Manager, Project Apis m.