Virginians have always loved and appreciated honeybees. But now that affection is, well, officially official.
The General Assembly has unanimously passed a joint resolution noting the upcoming 400th anniversary of the introduction of the European honeybee to North America.
It proved “a momentous event that has had far-reaching effects on agriculture and daily life in the commonwealth and the U.S.,” noted the resolution, patroned by two Charlottesville area state senators – Creigh Deeds (a Democrat) and Emmett Hanger (a Republican).
March will mark the 400th anniversary of the bees’ arrival in Jamestown, sent by the Virginia Company in London. Bees became an essential part of farm communities, with hives found outside the homes of many colonists.
The bees also spread to nearby woods and began to thrive, and ultimately expanded across North America.
Colonists used beeswax for candles, as a sealant and for cosmetics, while honey was used as a sweetener and flavor-enhancer for food.
The resolution serves as an expression of thanks not only to the honeybees themselves, but also to those who are part of the Virginia State Beekeepers Association, which works to preserve and enhance bee habitat throughout the commonwealth.