BRONX, NY – State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, member of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, has introduced a bill (S6763) to preserve and protect honey bee swarms and colonies from human threats, and support crop pollination across New York state.
The bill requires any person – including certified and licensed responsible pesticide applicators, and commercial pesticide applicators and operators, operating in the state of New York – 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 them.
Honey bees are pollinators that serve a vital role in preserving New York’s ecosystem through their care of crop yields and vegetation. New York has seen more than a 40% decrease in honey bee colonies, increasing the need for the importation of out of state bees in an effort to maintain our food supply and protect our agricultural economy.
State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester) issued the following statement:
“As pollinators, honey bees serve a critical role in the maintenance of our ecosystem and agricultural growth. The effects of climate change and the use of pesticides have cut New York’s honey bee population nearly in half, forcing us to spend money shipping bees from out of state to care for our food supply and maintain our agricultural economy. It is important that the state create alternative avenues to safely relocate nuisance honey bee swarms to promote the preservation of the colonies we still have, and avoid further extermination. As one of the country’s leading producers of fresh fruits and vegetables, we cannot take our natural pollinators for granted – our food and farms depend on it.”
“I am proud to co-prime Senator Biaggi’s Honey Bee Bill. I strongly believe honey bees are an important part of the environment and the economy due in part to their significant role in the pollination of other crops; therefore, have a vital impact on the New York State economy,” said Senator Monica R. Martinez. "Honey bees, as insect pollinators, are responsible for pollinating $300 million worth of crops annually. Pollination plays a key role in the production of countless fruits and vegetables grown and harvested throughout New York State. It is time for us to recognize the impact the Honey Bees have on our environment and economy, and take concrete legislative actions that will help to protect their continuously declining population in New York State.”