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September is Virginia Honey Month: How you can help honey bees

RICHMOND, Va. — September is National Honey Month and Virginia is encouraging honey lovers to take advantage of the harvest.

To acknowledge the hard work of those who harvest honey and the value of honey to Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proclaimed September to also be Virginia Honey Month, WTKR reported.

Virginia honey bee colonies have increased by 23 percent since last year, according to a recent survey by the Virginia Field Office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

In 2016, Virginia’s honey production was valued at $1.1 million!

“Honey bee pollination is an important part of Virginia’s agricultural industry,” said VDACS Commissioner Sandy Adams. “An increase in honey bee colonies often means there are more bees to pollinate crops and the result of that pollination means more honey for the consumer.”

Virginia crops like apples, pumpkins, cucumbers, squash, and blueberries are dependent on pollinators like honeybees to fully develop their fruits. Pollination by honey bees contributes more than $15 billion to the value of U.S. crop production each year.

You can buy local honey at farmer’s markets, festivals and shops.

“Honey Month is a time to celebrate the products of the hive such as honey, beeswax and the bees,” said Keith Tignor, State Apiarist at VDACS. “Every Virginian can help honey bee populations by providing flowering plants around their homes and supporting local beekeepers.”