State Insect Petition

If you’re interested in supporting the honey bee as the state insect, here is a canned letter addressed to all the delegates doing just that. You’re welcome to do the same thing with it, with just a little cutting, copying and pasting.

Here is a list of the delegates and their emails, cut & paste

Barry Knight <DelBKnight@house.virginia.gov>,
Betsy Carr <DelBCarr@house.virginia.gov>,
Buddy Fowler <DelBFowler@house.virginia.gov>,
"C. Todd Gilbert" <DelTGilbert@house.virginia.gov>,
Christopher Peace <DelCPeace@house.virginia.gov>,
David Bulova <DelDBulova@house.virginia.gov>,
Delores McQuinn <DelDMcQuinn@house.virginia.gov>,
Glenn Davis <DelGDavis@house.virginia.gov>,
Gordon Helsel <DelGHelsel@house.virginia.gov>,
James Morefield <DelJMorefield@house.virginia.gov>,
Jason Miyares <DelJMiyares@house.virginia.gov>,
Jay Jones <DelJJones@house.virginia.gov>,
Jay Leftwich <DelJLeftwich@house.virginia.gov>,
Jeion Ward <DelJWard@house.virginia.gov>,
Kathleen Murphy <delkmurphy@house.virginia.gov>,
Lashrecse Aird <DelLAird@house.virginia.gov>,
Luke Torian <DelLTorian@house.virginia.gov>,
"M. Keith Hodges" <DelKHodges@house.virginia.gov>,
Marcia Price <DelMPrice@house.virginia.gov>,
Patrick Hope <DelPHope@house.virginia.gov>,
Richard Bell <DelDBell@house.virginia.gov>,

Dear Delegates,
I am writing to ask that you support the addition of pollinator — European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) to the HB 1896 Official emblems and designation. The honey bee is the most important asset to the pollination of agricultural crops. According to VDACS, agriculture is the largest private industry in Virginia, thus the link to the importance the honey bee plays in the vital role in the economy of Virginia should be clear. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 80 percent of insect crop pollination is accomplished by honey bees. In the U.S, honey bees pollinate more than $20 billion worth of crops annually. VDACS states that honey bees are essential pollinators for about one-third of the state’s fruit and vegetable crops. Without adequate pollination services, Virginia could experience a significant reduction in its harvest of apples, alfalfa, berries, cucumbers, melons, peaches, squash, tomatoes and pumpkins.

Yes I have heard a very few voice concerns that the honey bee is not native to Virginia, and all I can say to that is most of us are not native to Virginia or the Americas either. The honey bee came along around the same time most of us Virginians did- along with some of the earliest American settlers who entered at Jamestown, Virginia in the early 1600’s. Native pollinators while critical to our ecosystem, are not efficient or effective pollinators for managed crops and are not used in the pollination of agricultural crops in any meaningful way. Honey bees are the most important pollinators in agriculture because they are manageable, moveable, adaptable and will not harm the plants in the pollination process.

Designating the honey bee Virginia’s “Official State Pollinator” will encourage a greater public awareness and education about the importance of pollination and the honey bee and the role in agriculture in our great State. There is a very significant presence of agriculture in the State and bee farmers in nearly every county. I hope that I can count on you to support HB 1896 the addition of pollinator — European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) to the HB 1896 Official emblems and designation.