Governor Youngkin Signs Legislation Inspired by the Sweet Virginia Foundation Designating the European Honey Bee as Virginia’s State State Pollinator

Richmond, VA, March 12, – The Sweet Virginia Foundation, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to honey bee education and conservation, celebrates a significant milestone in environmental advocacy and education with the signing of Virginia House Bill 517. This legislation officially designates the European Honey bee as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s official state pollinator. The bill, championed by Delegate Patrick Hope of Arlington County’s First District, received bipartisan support and was signed into law by the Virginia Governor.

The Sweet Virginia Foundation, a 501(c)(3) education and conservation organization, has been at the forefront of promoting the importance of honeybees. The Foundation’s commitment to creating and distributing educational tools at no cost to educators worldwide has paved the way for a deeper understanding and appreciation of honeybees among children and adults alike.

“Today marks a sweet victory not just for the honeybee, but for all Virginians. As we embrace the Honey Bee as our state pollinator, we are reminded of the interconnected order of the natural world and the vital role honey bees play in it. ” said Dan Price, Executive Director of the Sweet Virginia Foundation.

“The designation of the European Honey bee as the state pollinator is a testament to the crucial role these insects play in our ecosystem,” added Price. “It’s a milestone that underscores the importance of pollinators in supporting biodiversity, agriculture, and the environment. We are proud to have been part of this advocacy effort and are grateful for the leadership of Delegate Patrick Hope and the bipartisan support from Virginia’s legislators.”

Delegate Patrick Hope remarked, “Virginia was the first place in North America honey bees arrived. Given that history and the vital role they play in Virginia agriculture, it is fitting for honey bees to have this official designation. I appreciate the Sweet Virginia Foundation for serving as the spark for this legislation and for their persistence in seeing it through.”
First Introduced in 2019 by Delegate Hope, the Bill aims to elevate the status of the European Honey bee in Virginia, recognizing its indispensable role in pollinating a significant portion of the state’s crops and supporting the agricultural economy. The bill’s passage marks a pivotal moment in Virginia’s environmental legislation, spotlighting the need for continued efforts to protect and support pollinator populations.

About the Sweet Virginia Foundation

The Sweet Virginia Foundation is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the education and conservation of honeybees. With a focus on providing free educational tools to educators around the world, the Foundation seeks to enlighten future generations about the importance of honeybees and encourage conservation efforts to protect these vital pollinators.

Get Involved