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Bee in the Know – Assistance for Honey Producers

Small beehiveAugust 21 is World Honeybee Day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its various agencies, has programs to help honey producers every step of the way – from plants to the final product.

Managed honeybees are important to American agriculture because they pollinate a wide variety of crops, contributing to food diversity, security and profitability. Honeybees pollinate $15 billion worth of crops each year, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables.  

The Natural Resources Conservation Service has several ways to support honeybee producers who interested in establishing and managing pollinator habitat. We provide technical and financial assistance to help producers provide safe and diverse food sources for honeybees.  

For example, NRCS helps producers implement voluntary conservation practices such as planting cover crops, planting wildflowers and native grasses in buffers and areas not in production and improving management of grazing lands.  

In total, more than three dozen NRCS conservation practices provide benefits to pollinators like honeybees. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) provide financial assistance to help implement these practices.

In addition, the Farm Service Agency’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover.

These highlighted NRCS and FSA voluntary conservation programs help producers to plant appropriate grasses, wildflowers, trees and shrubs to establish wildlife habitat, diverse pasture and rangelands, filter strips or riparian buffers.

Contact your local USDA Service Center to learn more. Farmers.gov/service-locator

You can also click here for a printable brochure or here see a video.