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Federal programs can help beekeepers build habitats, create products

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By Finance New Mexico

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has lots of resources for New Mexicans who keep bees for profit, as well as those who have lost hives to colony collapse.
The federal programs aren’t designed for hobbyists who want to help a critical species, but even small-scale beekeeping operations can qualify for assistance building and protecting their businesses. Terry Brunner, state director of USDA Rural Development, urged beekeepers to research the following programs:
Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP): Because bees play an essential role in crop production, the Natural Resources Conservation Service is helping large- and small-scale farmers restore and maintain croplands to support native bee populations. Landowners who plant crops that provide diverse food sources for native pollinators might be eligible for financial and technical assistance through EQIP, including site visits by NRCS technicians to ensure a proper mix of plants for optimal bee forage and habitat.


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