Support for “Bee Bills” Grows
By Caroline Michailoff
Recently, I spoke with NY State Senator Alessandra Biaggi to discuss two bills that were presented to the NY State Assembly and to the NY State Senate. The bills are known as A8704 and S6763A, referred to as the Bee Bills. They require any person including certified and licensed responsible pesticide applicators and commercial pesticide applicators and operators operating in the state to contact the Division of Plant Industry of the Department of Agriculture and Markets by phone at least twenty-four hours in advance of extermination of honey bees to obtain assistance in trying to relocate nuisance honey bee colonies or hanging swarms of honey bees, in lieu of destroying such bees.
Why are these bills important you ask?
Honey bees are critical for farming and farming is an important business, employer, tax source and a source of pride in New York state. New York is a leading agricultural state, worth $5.75 billion in revenue in 2017. Farming is important in many parts of the country. This simple law can have a big impact on the honey bee population.
Honey bees contribute to about 3/4 of the food we eat. The world's most important pollinator lives in a way that finds itself at odds with man. With thousands of honey bees living together, people who live near farms do not want honey bees to colonize where people live.
Informational links regarding A8704 and S6763 are listed below. I know my representatives, State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin support the bills. Anyone who would like to show support for the bills can contact their representative, including kids. The more our leaders hear from us, they will know that we want to move the bills out of committee and on to the Governor's desk.