Beekeeping in Vermont

Beekeeping in Vermont


Policy and Position Statement Manual

Vermont Beekeepers Association

Policy Manual and Position Statements


The purpose of this manual is to document, in one place, the operating policies established by the Vermont Beekeepers Association (VBA) to provide direction beyond that provided in the VBA Bylaws and Constitution.

It also includes official VBA position statements that address current beekeeping issues.



  • Policy on accepting donations
  • VBA Policy and Procedures for Financial Grants
  • VBA Logo & Guidelines for Use
  • Proposed Policy regarding products available for sale or distribution in Vermont Beekeepers Association-sponsored meetings or spaces at events
  • Attendance at VBA Meetings by non-members
  • Vermont Beekeepers Association Recognition Program Policy

Position Statements

  • None established yet




Policy on accepting donations

Adopted 10/02/2019 Amended 10/04/2019

The VBA will not accept donations of any kind when the donor is not known. Donors will be allowed to designate financial donations into the following general VBA categories:

  • General education
  • Meeting speakers
  • General VBA operations
  • Research (including Vermont Bee Lab)
  • Grants

These categories will be subject to periodic change by the Board of Directors.

Amendment December 4, 2019


VBA will inform VBA members of donations made and the categories to which the donation was made.



VBA Policy and Procedures for Financial Grants

Adopted August 5, 2020

Updated May 5, 2021

Updated July 07, 2021

I.           Preface

The reasons for this policy update are fivefold:

a.     Require people requesting funding from VBA to thoroughly think through what results they expect to achieve and how they plan to do so.

b.     Ensure that proposals are in sync with VBA long-range priorities.

c.      Evaluate proposals once per year so we are able to compare them to ensure for members that we're getting the best value we can with VBA funds, and;

d.     Allow us to sync these proposals with our budget cycle.

e.     Allow some flexibility for bona fide applicants who are laying a funding foundation for proposals requiring significant funding by submitting Concept Proposals.

Side benefits are that this will clarify the purposes of our grants. Also, dues-paying members will view this as another way that the BOD is ensuring that we are spending dues money wisely since grants are bigger ticket budget items.

II.           Purpose

It will be the policy of the Vermont Beekeepers Association (VBA) to offer grants to:

a.     Support training and education to develop sound beekeeping knowledge and skills for existing VBA beekeepers.

b.     Provide technical orientation for prospective beekeepers.

c.      Support research focused on honeybee health and productivity.

d.     Support marketing efforts to ensure quality.

e.     Promote Vermont honey to consumers.

f.       Provide scholarships to individuals and potential VBA trainers or mentors as described in more detail below.

g.     Support initiatives in Vermont.

This policy will be implemented to the extent that the budget for such is approved by the Board of Directors or VBA membership and subsequently allocated by the Board of Directors each year using the priorities and procedures outlined below.

Proposals are expected by April 1 date with May approval to:

·       Allow the VBA to choose the highest priority proposals each year through a comparative evaluation of proposals.

·       Allow the VBA to sync approvals with the VBA budget cycle thereby facilitating setting dues or seeking approval by members at the Summer meeting if needed.

III.           Eligibility

Who is eligible or encouraged to apply:

  • VBA members - The VBA is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the group. Applicants are encouraged to include in their cover letter information about how they will further this goal.
  • Individuals wishing to become mentors or trainers for the VBA.
  • Vermont beekeeping clubs
  • Educators in Vermont educational institutions
  • Institutions such as universities, agricultural extension, bona-fide researchers, etc. in Vermont.

Who is not eligible:

  • For-profit companies or organizations unless the end-product of the grant will be made widely available at no cost to Vermont beekeepers.
  • Individuals who or entities that charge a fee to participants or require or suggest a “donation” for them to participate.

  IV.           Approvals

a. Priorities for approving grant proposals:

  • Projects in which cash costs are shared, or;
  • Provide in-kind contributions.
  • Educational efforts in formal educational settings, i.e., workshops or classes to help existing potential mentors or trainers acquire technical beekeeping knowledge and skills.
    • Where there is a prepared curriculum teaching technically sound best management practices
    • In which the participants will be focused on and/or held accountable for gaining new knowledge and skills.
    • Where participants must complete a competency exam.
  • Institutional research by bona-fide researchers to support honeybee health and productivity.
  • Efforts to market the Vermont honey name to consumers.
  • Efforts to quantitatively evaluate or ensure the quality of honey being sold in Vermont.
  • Projects supported by interdisciplinary collaborations.
  • Scholarships to potential VBA Trainers or Mentors who are high school age or older for things like bee schools, initial hives/nucs with final reports and/or presentations required. Such a scholarship would help to develop their abilities to provide technical beekeeping assistance and educational content delivery abilities when working with mentees or conducting VBA training sessions and workshops

b. Maximum amount of financial grants

Grants will not be approved for “consumable” such as pamphlets, leaflets, catalogs, web pages, supplies, equipment, etc.

Grants will not support overhead or indirect costs.

Scholarships can help to cover mileage, travel, and class or training fees. The effective period of scholarships will vary and may be negotiated with the VBA Board of Directors.

Scholarships can also be used to overcome barriers that might prevent an individual from acquiring training and education as described above. The Board of

Directors may approve requests of single grants up to $1,500 per year. The Board of Directors may also approve a project spanning multiple years if the amount in each year does not exceed $1,500. The Board of Directors may approve up to an aggregate total of $5,000 for multiple requests within a calendar year. Grant requests in excess of these amounts must be included in an annual budget and approved by a majority of the members attending a VBA Summer meeting or other meeting of the general membership called by the VBA Board of Directors.

V.           How to apply and evaluation of proposals

Normally, written applications for financial grants should be submitted to the President of the VBA Board of Directors by April 1. Include the project contact email address. The Board of Directors will evaluate all proposals for financial grants received by April 1 in time to weigh their relative merits and decide which should be approved and/or included in the proposed budget to be considered at the VBA Summer meeting.

The Board of Directors retains the option to approve urgent, time-sensitive, and priority applications outside of this date within the funding limits established in Section III.b.

VI.           Proposals

Proposals must be in writing and include:

  • Project leader(s) and support staff and their qualifications
  • For research proposals:
    • Proposals Body (three pages or fewer)
    • Background
    • Objectives
    • Methods
    • Timeline
  • For education proposals:
    • Proposed curriculum
    • Supplies or equipment
    • How the proposed work fulfills VBA’s long term priorities
    • Intended outcomes
    • How these outcomes will be measured
    • Budget and budget justification. Overhead, and indirect costs are not eligible for funding from VBA.
    • Expected start and end dates

Please keep your proposal brief and to the point. You mae apply here.

VII.           Accountability

Expectations upon project completion

Recipient will provide a Final Summary Report on results, outcomes, and suggestions for improvement or additional work.

Reports and project summary information must be written in layman’s terms not to exceed three pages (could be a brief paragraph for uncomplicated requests.)

VIII.           Concept Proposals

If you are not ready to prepare a formal proposal yet or you do not need the funding

immediately and want an indication of the likelihood of approval, prepare a Concept

Proposal describing your proposed education effort or study along with tentative intended


The Concept Proposal should be brief and include background for the study, identification of the principal investigators, qualifications to conduct the proposed study, intended outcomes of the study

clearly stating how your project fulfills our mission and an approximate budget.

  IX.           Evaluating and Approving Proposals

The VBA Board of Directors will review proposals received and will make the final decision on grant approvals.

    X.           Evaluation criteria

Evaluation criteria will include such things as:

  • Adherence to priorities listed above
  • Expected impact
  • Applicant qualifications
  • Level of cost-sharing
  • Likelihood of achieving intended results.
  • Alignment with VBA mission or Long-Range Plan

  XI.           Disbursing funds for approved projects

VBA will disburse funds when the applicant is ready to start the project.




VBA Logo & Guidelines for Use

Adopted 04/22/2020


The logo(s) of the Vermont Beekeepers Association (VBA) are owned by the VBA and may only be used by those who have received prior permission from VBA for a specific use except as noted here:

Logo Use Rules

  • Use only logo files you download from the VBA web site or receive directly from VBA. Do not recreate the logo.
  • The logo may not be altered, modified, or obscured in any way. It must be used without disturbing or distorting its proportions or otherwise altering the impression it creates.
  • Background colors or patterns should never show through the logo.
  • The logo cannot be physically incorporated into or graphically connected to any other graphic element—it must stand on its own.
  • Start with the logo version created especially for the designated application/medium. Choose the most appropriate size logo for your project (see the second bullet under “VBA Logo Versions” for more information). You may resize the logo only in its entirety so that it is always legible, clear, and without distortion; the logo should only be decreased in size, never increased.
  • The logo must have at least 1/4" of space around it on all sides.
  • When used online, the logo must include a hyperlink without a border to
  • Use of the logo may not imply endorsement of any product, service, publication, or website. If in question, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for clarification.
  • Members of the VBA may use the logo in their printed materials and online services as long as their membership is current.
  • Any reference to the Vermont Beekeepers Association (VBA) should include the complete organization name when first referenced. Subsequent references may us “VBA” in place of the full name. Any other diminutive or abbreviation of the VBA name is not allowed. For example:

Incorrect: VT Beekeepers Association, Vermont Beekeepers Assoc., etc.
Correct: Vermont Beekeepers Association, VBA

Logo Versions

  • The logo is available for print pieces or online use;
  • The logo is offered in EPS, TIFF, and JPG formats. Please use the EPS and TIF files with printed pieces, and the JPG files for online use. The EPS and TIFF files are offered in CMYK and black; the EPS files also are available in white for printing on dark backgrounds as well as in spot color.

By downloading the logos, you agree that you will adhere to the VBA logo use rules and guidelines above. These guidelines, and the logo, are available online at and may be updated at any time. The most recent versions of any VBA artwork will be available at this location.


EPS files, spot, color, black, white

TIF files, color, black

JPG files, color, black


Policy regarding products available for sale or distribution in Vermont Beekeepers Association-sponsored meetings or spaces at events

Adopted January 8, 2020

The Vermont Beekeepers Association (VBA) often staffs or hosts space at various events such as fairs, craft and trade shows, meetings, etc. From time to time, beekeepers and others may be allowed to display, sell, or distribute their products in these VBA spaces. VBA spaces are defined as any place at which a VBA banner or other form of identification is visible or staff by one or more individuals identified as VBA representatives. It also included official meetings and workshops hosted by the VBA or VBA representatives.

  1. It will be the policy of the VBA to, upon request to and approval by the VBA Board of Directors, allow for sale or distribution at VBA sponsored spaces or events:
  1. Hive-based products with ingredients that are commonly considered to be food items. These could include:
    1. Liquid or crystallized honey as it comes from the hive
    2. Honey based food products to which food ingredients, flavorings, or colorings approved or certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been added. These additions include:
      1. Products that are GRAS – Generally Recognized As Safe – by the FDA:, and;
      2. Products with the following regulatory status(es): GRAS, FS, REG:
        1. General Recognized As Safe
        2. FS - substances permitted as optional ingredient in a standardized food
        3. REG - Food additives for which a petition has been filed and a regulation issued.)

  1. Hive products such as propolis, beeswax, and pollen so long as they contain no ingredients described in section III.
  1. Non-food items related to beekeeping or honeybees including but not limited to equipment, clothing, or artwork may be displayed, upon approval by the Board of Directors, if:
    1. At educational or informational booths if the items enhance the educational emphasis of the VBA educational booths and as long as the items are not being offered for sale.
    2. At VBA Summer and Winter meetings, vendors may display and sell their products if space is available for such. Such items must be displayed and sold outside any meeting spaces.
  1. The responsibility for proving compliance with this policy shall rest with the individual or entity requesting approval to sell or distribute.


Attendance at VBA Meetings by non-members

Adopted 04-01-2020

Individuals who are not VBA members will be charged $15 to attend VBA Summer and Winter meetings. They will not be required to become a VBA member unless they wish to do so.


Complimentary annual VBA membership for the State Pollinator Health Specialist/Apiculturist position

Adopted 08-04-2021

The VBA will provide a complimentary annual VBA membership to the State Pollinator Health Specialist/Apiculturist position.


Vermont Beekeepers Association Recognition Program Policy

Policy adopted on: April 6, 2022

Purpose of the Program:

  • To recognize the efforts of volunteers and others who contribute to the furtherance of the VBA mission and to beekeeping in general.
  • To encourage and retain membership in the VBA or other supporting entities.

The Program:

  1. The VBA Recognition Committee (hereafter referred to as the Committee) will implement a Recognition Program for individuals and entities who provide significant support to honeybees, Vermont beekeepers, and the VBA Mission.

  1. The majority of the Committee will be comprised of interested non-Board VBA members. The committee could include one or more Board members who are interested as well.

  1. The Committee will operate as a collaborative unit without designating a chair. Collaboration will involve seeking consent without a majority rule.

  1. With the Committee leading the recognition efforts, all VBA members (including Board members), as well as non-VBA members or entities are eligible to be nominated for established recognition categories. If a Committee member is nominated, that person shall recuse themselves from all discussion on that category.

  1. The Committee will recommend categories of recognition for review and approval by the Board of Directors.

  1. The Board will be responsible for establishing a budget for recognition items to be approved by VBA members as part of the whole VBA budget.

  1. The Committee is hereby delegated the authority to expend the approved funds on recognition items within the approved Recognition budget.

  1. The Committee will develop general criteria for each recognition category and will also accept nominations and select recipients in each category.

  1. Each recognition category will be recognized once per year if there are eligible nominees and recipients. There could be more than one recipient for a category.

  1. We will not accept anonymous nominations.

  1. Deadlines for nominations will be established by the Committee.

  1. Presenting to recipients:
    1. Present roughly half of the categories at each general membership meeting so recognition becomes a scheduled part of the Winter and Summer meetings.
    2. The Committee will make the presentations.
    3. Presentations will be made as close to the start of the Summer or Winter meetings so recipients can bask in the recognition from their peers for the whole day.
    4. The Committee understands that some people deal with anxiety in public settings. The Committee will assess if a person or entity is comfortable with public acknowledgment and, if not, determine a different forum or method for presenting the recognition and acknowledging a recipient’s contributions.

  1. The following categories of recognition are established:
    1. Beekeeper of the Year – Presented at the Summer meeting (once per year)

Eligibility and criteria

  • Must be a VBA member
  • May only receive this recognition one time.
  • Effect of effort broad in geographic scope
  • Outstanding efforts or contributions over a career or long period of time
  • Involved in a wide range of activities – demonstrating, showing, doing, teaching, promoting.

  1. Outstanding efforts by a Mentor and Mentee – Presented at either the Summer or the Winter meeting

Eligibility and criteria

  • Any VBA Mentor/Mentee pair
  • How were they successful?
  • How did they make it work?

  1. Friend of the Bees – Presented at either the Summer or the Winter meeting

Eligibility and criteria

  • Anyone: business, individual, agency, institution, researchers, municipalities, etc.
  • Not limited to VBA members.
  • Outstanding efforts in support of Vermont bees or beekeepers.

  1. Outstanding efforts on honeybee education – Presented at either the Summer or the Winter meeting

Eligibility and criteria

  • For beekeepers and non-beekeepers
  • Not limited to VBA members.
  • Frequently conducts or assists on classes, workshops, public events (fairs, festivals, etc.)

  1. Mission superhero – Presented at either the Summer or the Winter meeting

Eligibility and criteria

  • Any VBA member
  • Outstanding initiative or leadership on a specific project or set of projects that contribute(s) to the VBA mission.


Position Statements

No current statements.