FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
Last week, Dan Price, the founder of the Sweet Virginia Foundation as well as the director of BrightStar Care of Leesburg, watched from the gallery of the Richmond Capitol building as Virginia Delegate Patrick Hope talked about recognizing the honey bee as Virginia’s “official state pollinator.” The idea behind House Bill 1896 was a joint initiative by Price and Hope. Price -- as the founder of the Sweet Virginia Foundation, a small environmental education nonprofit that teaches kids about honey bees -- wanted to see the bee recognized for its contributions to the Commonwealth. Hope gladly agreed to sponsor it.
Agriculture is the largest private industry in Virginia and nearly a third of crops are critically dependent on honey bees, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. These include cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelons, peaches, apples, and a wide variety of other fruits, vegetables, and berries.
"Honey bees are wondrous creatures,” Price says. "They have fascinated cultures around the world since the beginning of recorded history. I think one of the most important things each generation can do for the next is to point out examples of interconnected order and beauty in the natural world. Honey bees are perfect for that."
Naming the honey bee as state pollinator would make it more likely to be integrated with state curriculums that teach kids about Virginia’s official emblems. “[Passing the bill] will really increase the chance that every child in Virginia will have his or her eyes opened to the wonder of honey bees,” Price adds.
House Bill 1896 is currently in Committee and will be voted on soon.
Sweet Virginia has organized a write in campaign and petition which can be found at http://honeybee.sweetvirginia.org. A simple pre-written letter is available for a quick send to delegates. For more information about the foundation, visit Sweet Virginia’s website at http://sweetvirginia.org.