In June of 2014, federal departments and agencies were tasked with taking new steps to reverse pollinator losses and help restore pollinator populations. To accomplish this effort, the Pollinator Health Task Force was created. Co-chaired by the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the task force included representatives from a wide variety of departments and agencies.
As part of this effort, the EPA engaged the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) in the development of a Virginia pollinator protection plan as a means of mitigating the risk of pesticides to honey bees and other managed pollinators.
Click here to read the DRAFT Plan to Mitigate Pesticide Risk to Managed Pollinators (Plan), one component of the Virginia Pollinator Protection Strategy (Strategy). The Strategy, which was enacted by the 2016 General Assembly, directs VDACS to develop and maintain a pollinator protection strategy to promote the health of and mitigate the risks to pollinator species and ensure a robust apiary industry. The Strategy shall include a protection plan for managed pollinators that provides voluntary best management practices and supports efforts to reduce risks from pesticides, increase habitat, and take other steps to protect pollinators.
Beekeepers Limited Liability: Best Management Practices
Code of Virginia
§ 3.2-4411.1. Apiaries; limitation on liability.
A. Any person owning or operating an apiary that is not located on his own property shall post the name and address of the owner or operator in a conspicuous place in the apiary.
B. A person who operates an apiary in a reasonable manner, in compliance with local zoning restrictions, and in conformance with the written best management practices as provided by regulation of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall not be liable for any personal injury or property damage that occurs in connection with his keeping and maintaining of bees, bee equipment, queen breeding equipment, apiaries, or appliances. The limitation of liability established by this section does not apply to intentional tortious conduct or acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or negligence.
C. The limitation of liability in this section shall not take effect until regulations are adopted by the Board. The Board may adopt initial regulations under this section to implement the provisions of this section to be effective no later than November 1, 2016. Such initial regulations shall be exempt from the requirements of Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act; however, the Board shall publish proposed regulations in the Virginia Register of Regulations and allow at least 30 days for public comment, to include an online public comment forum on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall, after publication. Any amendments to such initial regulations or any subsequent regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall comply with the requirements of Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act. Any regulations adopted shall include best management practices for the operation of apiaries.
2016, c. 564.
(See Best Management Practices below)
Last Updated (Wednesday, 31 August 2016 18:28)
Chesapeake Mosquito Spraying
UPDATE from Ms. Symonds: As you know, we have had bad luck with weather and planning the aerial larvicide mission referenced below. We will try again next Monday, March 28, 2016 but the forecast is not very promising – the wind forecast on Tuesday is borderline, but Wednesday looks promising. Since forecasts change, we request that you and your members call the hotline at 382-3456 – I will update the hotline every afternoon so that you are aware of our plans. Thank you for your patience.
From Dreda A. Symonds, Chesapeake Mosquito Control Commission Director
I want to inform you that our spring aerial larvicide operation is planned to begin next Tues., March 22 and should conclude by the end of the week. As always, the larvicides we use will not harm bees or other beneficial insects, and targets immature mosquitoes that have not yet emerged from their standing water habitats. We will be using both liquid and granule formulations and the map of the treatment zones is attached. I have asked the district supervisors to personally contact all known beekeepers in their districts to inform them also, but would appreciate it if you would forward this message.
NOTE: Active ingredients in the products used are the Insect Growth Regulator (IGR) Altosid® and the biological control Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies israelensis (Bti). IGRs interfere with insect development typically resulting in larval or pupal mortality. Methoprene in Altosid® is specific to immature insect larvae, especially dipterans, which include mosquitoes. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) is a bacterial larvicide (acting as stomach poison) that is quite specific to mosquito larvae and a few other aquatic dipterans.
The schedule is weather dependent - rain and wind impact possible application dates.
Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 January 2017 12:32)
VDACS Solicits Comments on State Pollinator Protection Plan
Interested parties may attend one of seven meetings around the state or submit comments in writing
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has announced the meeting schedule for the Agency’s State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan. VDACS will hold seven meetings around the Commonwealth to give stakeholders an opportunity to provide input on the development of the plan.
VDACS’ development of a pollinator protection plan is part of a national effort by state and federal departments and agencies to reverse pollinator losses and help restore pollinator populations. Virginia’s Pollinator Protection Plan is a voluntary, proactive approach which focuses on enhanced communication and coordination among agricultural producers, landowners, pesticide applicators and beekeepers as a means to further protect pollinators. The Virginia plan will be intended to reduce the potential for pesticide exposure to managed bees that are adjacent to, or near a pesticide treatment site. The Virginia State Managed Pollinator Protection Plan will not be intended to prohibit, eliminate, or further restrict the legal application of pesticides. The final plan will be developed based upon the input received from stakeholders and taking into consideration the feasibility and cost effectiveness of each component of the plan.
Last Updated (Friday, 26 August 2016 16:47)
VSBA 2015 Fall Conference
Virginia State Beekeepers Association
Register online HERE
When: November 7, 2015
Where: Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, VA
Hosted by: Shenandoah Valley Beekeepers Association
Dr. Ernesto Guzman, Professor and Director of the Honey Bee Research Centre in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, and Dr. David Tarpy, with the Department of Entomology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C., will be our speakers for the day.
Agenda (As of Sept. 13, 2015, subject to change)
8:00 – 9:00 Registration
Check the Virginia State Beekeepers Association website for the latest updates.
Last Updated (Friday, 26 August 2016 16:49)
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