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USDA Announces Updates for Honeybee Producers
09/21/2020
 

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced updates to the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) specific to honeybee producers. For honeybees, ELAP covers colony losses, honeybee hive losses (the physical structure) and honeybee feed losses in instances where the colony, hive or feed has been destroyed by a natural disaster or, in the case of colony losses, because of Colony Collapse Disorder. Colony losses must be in excess of normal mortality.

Updates include:

  • Starting in 2020, you will have 15 days from when the loss is first apparent, instead of 30 days, to file a honeybee notice of loss, which provides consistency between ELAP and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which also has a 15-day notice of loss period for honey.
  • ELAP will now run according to the calendar year. Since you are still required to apply for payment within 30 calendar days of the end of the program year, the new signup deadline for calendar year 2020 losses is January 30, 2021.
     
  • If you were paid for the loss of a honeybee colony or hive in either or both of the previous two years, you will be required to provide additional documentation to substantiate how your current year inventory was acquired.
     
  • If the honeybee colony loss was caused by Colony Collapse Disorder, you must provide a producer certification that the loss was a direct result of at least three of the five symptoms of Colony Collapse Disorder, which include:
    • the loss of live queen and/or drone bee populations inside the hives;
    • rapid decline of adult worker bee population outside the hives, leaving brood poorly or completely unattended;
    • absence of dead adult bees inside the hive and outside the entrance of the hive;
    • absence of robbing collapsed colonies; and
    • at the time of collapse, varroa mite and Nosema populations are not at levels known to cause economic injury or population decline.

For more information contact the local USDA Service Center or visit farmers.gov/recover.

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