Senate Passes Bill to Ease Regulations on Beekeeping Industry

Darrel J. Aubertine

March 3, 2010

ALBANY (March 3, 2010)—The New York State Senate passed legislation (S.6268) today to ease regulations on beekeepers and save the state more than $10,000 annually.

 “As a specialty agriculture industry, New York State’s apiaries play a vital role in agriculture not only for the honey produced but for pollinating our crops,” said Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “This legislation saves money for the state and clears up onerous regulations on our beekeepers, enabling the bee yard owners to protect their colonies, save time and money as they look to grow their businesses.”

The bill repeals a provision that required beekeepers to register with the Department of Agriculture and Markets. The provision intended to provide data to assess the size and condition of the state’s honeybee population, but has not been fully utilized. In addition, the National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts an annual census that collects the same data, which is available to the state.

“Agriculture plays a critical role in our economy, and this legislation is another step toward easing unnecessary regulation on agribusiness in New York State,” Sen. David J. Valesky, who introduced the bill, said. “We need to continue to find ways to create a more friendly business climate and to eliminate duplicative efforts that cost taxpayers money.”

The apiary industry in New York State boasts approximately 50,000 hives and produces four million pounds of honey annually with a total value of more than $5 million.

“This bill will let us keep our bee yards proprietary and protect our ability to keep our bees with our colonies,” said Ted Elk, owner and operator of Many Flowers Honey Co. in Hammond. “It’s going to eliminate a lot of unnecessary and redundant paperwork for us and save us a great deal of work. I want to thank Senators Valesky and Aubertine for their leadership in addressing the needs of beekeepers and our industry.”