North Carolina Beehive Grant Fund

In 2004, our North Carolina State Cooperative Extension Apiculturist, Dr. David Tarpy secured a grant from the Golden Leaf Foundation for the purpose of promoting beekeeping in North Carolina. Soon the word was out that 100 recipients would receive two bee hives each and the resulting rush of interest led approximately 2,900 people to apply for the 100 spots. As a result of the Golden Leaf Grant, public interest in beekeeping increased dramatically and the membership of the NCSBA increased threefold. A recent action of our State’s legislature has resulted in a new initiative to promote beekeeping in NC; the Beehive Grant Fund.

The Beehive Grant Fund was made possible by Representative Charles Graham, 47th District, of the North Carolina General Assembly, House of Representatives. The North Carolina State Beekeepers Association, Inc. appreciates and applauds the effort and initiative of Representative Graham in filing House Bill 756 on April 11, 2017, AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE BEEHIVE GRANT FUND which became part of the final budget (Senate Bill 257) and is pleased to announce our partnership with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF) in order to make this grant program successful and effective in encouraging the establishment of new beehives in the state.

To inform the members of the NCSBA of the Beehive Grant Fund and answer as many questions as possible beforehand, the information concerning the legislation and implementation of the Beehive Grant Fund is presented in the following pages in its entirety. The leadership of the NCSBA has no authority to make or otherwise change any of the guidelines.

The Agricultural Development and Farm Land Preservation Trust Fund will administer the Beehive Grant Fund and has submitted the following information to the NCSBA.

The Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF) Advisory Committee plan for administering the fund.

  1. Guidance for the beehive grants will follow the procedures as outlined in the legislative language without need of rulemaking.
  2. Certified Beekeepers can apply during the Request for Proposal (RFP) application cycle set for October 16 – December 15, 2017.
  3. Application will be in electronic format.  Link to the application will be posted on the ADFPTF website during the RFP dates.  The website is ncadfp.org.
  4. Only completed applications will be considered and will be received on a first come basis.  Evaluation and ranking priority order will be based upon a completed application with no issues and a clearly defined proposed use of the grant funds.
  5. Application eligibility to include the following.
    1. Grant funding to be used only for new bee hives or the purchase of materials or supplies to be used for the construction new bee hives.
    2. The beekeeper must provide the following to be eligible.
      1. A resident of North Carolina
      2. Must be at least 18 years of age
      3. A certified beekeeper as determined by the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association at time of RFP application.
    3. An applicant must provide documentation of proof from the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association in the RFP application.
    4. An RFP application without the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association document will not be accepted or considered eligible for evaluation and ranking.
  6. Selected RFP applicants will be required to complete and sign a NCDA&CS ADFPTF grant contract which will be valid for 1 year.
  7. NCDA&CS ADFPTF beehive grantees will be reimbursed for proven expenditures as agreed upon in the NCDA&CS ADFPTF grant contract.  Grantees may receive up to the following.
    1. $200 per new hive
    2. $2,400 per maximum per grant contract
    3. $2,400 is the maximum allowed annually for any beehive grantee.

In order to successfully file a grant application, an applicant must provide documentation to the ADFPTF that he/she is a certified beekeeper as determined by the NCSBA at the time of filing. A journeyman or master beekeeper is also a certified beekeeper. The role of the NCSBA will be to enable applicants to establish that they are certified beekeepers. An applicant will need his or her certified, journeyman or master beekeeper certificate in order to file. If you plan to file an application, please locate your certificate in advance. If you need a replacement certificate, the NCSBA will print and mail another for a cost of ten dollars. Please do not wait until the last minute to order one. An applicant to the Beehive Grant Fund is not required to be an active member of the NCSBA but replacement certificates will not be issued to inactive members.

A person will need their membership number and bank card information to place an order and pay online. An inactive member will be required to renew his/her membership. Please allow at least ten (10) business days to receive a replacement certificate in the mail.

Important note: The NCSBA must have a record of your MBP status in order to issue a replacement certificate. Unfortunately, the Master Beekeeper Program (MBP) records are incomplete for the period between July 2011 and October 2014. The North Carolina State Cooperative Extension Service administered the MBP from its inception until July 2011 and accurate records were kept of all participants. The MBP was discontinued by the NC State Cooperative Extension in July of 2011 and the NCSBA began administering the program but records for the period between July 2011 and November 2014 were either not generated or were misplaced. Record keeping for the MBP was resumed in November of 2014.

The current MBP committee posted information in the Autumn 2015 Bee Buzz and the 2015 Yellow Book asking members who received a certificate prior to November 2014 to contact Laurie Shaw and verify their information. If you received a certificate between July 2011 and November 2014 and did not respond to the requests posted in the Bee Buzz and Yellow Book, there may be not official record of your MBP status. If you received a certificate before July 2011 or since November 2014, there is a record on file of your MBP status.

The guidelines for the administration of the Beehive Grant Fund have been set forth by the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund Committee and are based on G.S. 106-651. Please read the statute as it appears in the records of the State of North Carolina.

BEEHIVE GRANT FUND

Section 12.6. Chapter 106 of the General Statues is amended by adding a new Article to read:

“Article 55A.
“Beehive Grants

Ҥ 106-650. Beehive Grant Fund

  1. Establishment. – The North Carolina Beehive Grant Fund is established as a special fund in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The Department is responsible for administering the Fund using personnel and other administrative resources of the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund program. The Fund may receive funds appropriated by the General Assembly and any gifts, grants or donations from any public or private sources.
  2. Purposes. – Funds in the North Carolina Beehive Grant Fund shall be used, as available, to encourage the establishment of new beehives in the State. Grants from the Fund shall be made upon application to the Beehive Grant Program as set forth in G.S. 106-651.

§ 106-651 Beehive Grant Program

  1. Definitions.- The definitions in G.S. 105-164.3 and the following definitions apply in this Article.
    1. Eligible activity.-Any of the following
      1. The purchase of a new hive for bees.
      2. The purchase of materials or supplies to be used for the construction of a new hive for bees.
    2. Eligible beekeeper. – A resident of the State who meets the following requirements.
      1. The person is at least 18 years of age.
      2.  The person is a Certified Beekeeper as determined by the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association at the time of filing of the grant application.
    3. Fund. – The Beehive Grant Fund established by G.S. 106-650.
  2. Grants. – Any eligible beekeeper may apply for a grant from the Fund for an eligible activity. The Department shall specify the form and contents of the application, including the procedures for the submission of applications electronically. The Board may establish a fee for grant applicants to recover the reasonable costs of reviewing and processing applications. Grants shall be limited to two hundred dollars ($200.00) per new hive, up to a maximum up to a maximum grant of two thousand four hundred dollars ($2,400) per grant recipient in any year, and shall be issued in the order that each completed eligible application is received. In the event that the amount of eligible grants requested in a fiscal year exceeds the funds available in the Fund, the grants shall be paid in the next fiscal year in which the funds are available.
  3. Rulemaking. – The Board may issue rules to implement the requirements of this Article”

If you plan to apply, please make yourself aware of the rules and locate your certificate in advance. Please remember the following points

  • The grant funds are not for the purchase of honey bees
  • Applications should include a clearly defined use of the proposed funds.
  • You must have your certificate in order to file a complete application.
  • The Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund is the agency that administers the Beehive Grant Fund and not the NCSBA.
  • The NCSBA’s role is to verify that a person is a certified beekeeper.
  • The NCSBA has no authority to change or request changes to the administration of the Fund.

In the overall scheme of things, the Beehive Grant Fund and the addition of 125 beehives to our honey bee population might be considered to have a limited direct impact. That was true of the 200 hives of the Golden Leaf Grant of 2004 but the impact of the program was tremendous. The perception and reception of honey bees and beekeeping in NC in the years since has become main stream; in part due to the widespread interest generated by the Golden Leaf Foundation Grant. The Beehive Grant Fund can be considered a sign that our State leadership realizes the economic importance of bees in regards to agriculture and our leaders are ready to move forward to lend legislative support for apiculture. This is a step in the right direction for the future of the honey bee.

The beekeepers of the NCSBA extend their thanks to Representative Charles Graham and the men and women of our General Assembly who supported the important legislation that made the Beehive Grant Fund possible.

 

 

You must be an active member to receive a replacement certificate. Please allow ten (10) business days to receive your certificate in the mail.