Beekeeping is becoming a very important industry. With the Colony Collapse Disorder killing billions of bees a year, there is a desperate need to provide apiaries with the money they need to practice beekeeping. In order to start an apiary, money is needed and the government has several grants in place to help make sure that you can have the means to start the business.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has invested a great deal of money into research for rebuilding the bee population in the United States. Bee farms, or apiaries, are now considered specialty crops and are encouraged in rural areas.
Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant program, funds are provided to rural projects that help small and emerging businesses. Grants can range from anywhere between $10,000 and $500,000 and grantees must be public entities, non-profit corporations, private corporations or Indian tribes. The grantees can then use the money they receive to support their business if there is less than 50 people and a gross revenue of less than $1 million. Grant money can be used to buy and develop land, buy equipment, buy buildings and start an apiary.
There are several states that offer grants, and many offer the Conservation Innovation Grant. This grant is aimed at small businesses that adopt innovation approaches for the environment. One example of this is in Kansas, which funds through that program a variety of businesses including apiaries, with grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000.
The Farmers Market Promotion Program provides agricultural co-operatives, group-owned producer networks and more with between $5,000 and $100,000. Apiary is included in this.
Another program is the Beginning Farmer Loan Program, which allows state government to help first-time farmers by creating a bond that enables lenders to offer low-interest types of loans.
If you are thinking of starting an organic apiary, several states provide grants for that. Tennessee offers grants that promote beekeeping, but also the inspection of the colonies. This helps to create a healthy hive and an increasingly productive hive.
In Nebraska, New York and Pennsylvania, as well as several other states, there are grants available for helping beginnings start up their apiaries. These provide training and education, along with funds needed for starting.
Companies that rely on honey and beekeeping also provide grants to individuals and businesses. Haagen-Dazs and Burts Bees are two companies that provide hundreds of thousands of dollars to research into beekeeping, and apiaries. Haagen-Dazs actually provided nearly $1 million since 2006 to several universities for beekeeping research. As for Burts Bees, they provide a grant called the Honeybee Health Improvement Project, which is devoted to the health of North American pollinators.
Every state is going to have its own programs devoted to beekeeping. States that rely more on beekeeping than others will have more grants. Southern states especially, like California, will have several beekeeping grants available. Pursue grants from corporations that rely on honey and beekeeping, and pursue grants through the USDA and you should have enough money to keep your apiary running strong.