Education

Scottsville Becomes Virginia’s First Bee City

The small town of Scottsville, Virginia, is known as the former seat of Albemarle County, but now has a new title: Virginia’s First Bee City.

On June 24, 2017, the town of Scottsville held its 1st Annual Pollinator Festival.  The day was a celebration of Scottsville having attained Bee City status with the non-profit organization Bee City USA.  In order to attain this designation, the town of Scottsville has made several changes over the past year to become “pollinator-friendly”.

Heather Stertzer first came up with the idea of Scottsville becoming a Bee City and approached the town government with the concept.  Stertzer recently opened the Scottsville Supply Company, a beekeeping-supply store located in the heart of Scottsville.  An Army veteran, Stertzer finds the company of the bees to be both soothing and focusing.

“It’s actually really calming,” Stertzer said.  “When I’m out with tens of thousands of bees flying around me, doing an inspection is a focused task, looking for multiple items on my checklist.  It really engages me.”

Scottsville residents have also engaged with beekeeping, Stertzer states that many local citizens have started their own hives in their backyards.

Backyard beekeeping was a facet of daily life in rural Virginia over 50 years ago, but fell out of popularity during the Baby Boom.  Within the past decade there has been a resurgence in home beekeepers.  According to Stertzer, 95% of the nation’s beekeepers are considered backyard hobbyists.

There are many reasons to start a hive, with having a fresh supply of local honey being of foremost importance.  Stertzer also notes that individuals get started in beekeeping to help with the honeybee population or to connect with a family heritage of beekeeping.

For more information on how to start your own hive, or to answer any questions you may have on beekeeping, contact Heather Stertzer at the Scottsville Supply Company

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