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Aspiring beekeepers can get free supplies through Virginia program

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Posted at 7:24 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 12:52:18-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Life is buzzing these days for Chris and Lawrence Wynn.

As empty nesters, the Chesapeake couple decided to start beekeeping in 2017 to help with dwindling bee populations. "I just felt compelled to help the bees," said Wynn, "we enjoy it."

They now have four hives set up behind their Grassfield home where they have 15 acres of land and received supplies for one of the hives through a statewide distribution program last year.

Applications for this year's program are being accepted through August 4. The beehive supplies sent by the state can run $100 - $200.

That does not include bees or equipment needed to manage the hives.

Wynn says for her and her husband, the initial start-up cost was about $1,000, but there is a way to find supplies for less.

Sometimes military members with hives will sell them when they get orders to move. "Because the bees are local they don't take them, so there are people that [sell them] for a fraction of the cost," said Wynn.

They're often listed on local Facebook groups for beekeepers.

Wynn says those groups and local clubs are also a great resource for people looking to get started.

"There are a lot of books out there to help people get started, but to put it into perspective, those are national books," said Wynn, "our climate is not the same as someone in Maine, which is not the same as someone in California, not the same as someone in Arkansas, so for me, knowing local people that can help - it's a game changer."

You can learn more about Virginia's beehive distribution program and apply by clicking here.

After the August 4 deadline, applicants will be selected at random to receive the supplies.