Legislation sponsored by Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-Mercer, Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex) to protect the state’s apiaries from pesticides by establishing beehive registries and a notification protocol was advanced by the Senate Environment Committee.
A bill sponsored by Sen. Kip Bateman to limit impact of pesticides on the bee population was advanced by the Senate Environment Committee. (Flickr)
“The state’s apiarists provide a vital service by supplementing our natural bee population with beehives raised on private properties,” Senator Bateman said. “We can’t risk losing these important pollinators to pesticides. The work they do for New Jersey’s farmers is too important.”
The legislation, S-2076, establishes a process by which beekeepers can register their honey or native beehives or beeyards with the DEP. It also requires pesticide applicators to notify any registered beekeeper before they spray a pesticide within three miles of a registered hive. The registrations will allow the DEP to create a list of beehives that can be used as a guideline for the notification process.
Insect pollination services and pollination by bees in particular are extremely important to New Jersey’s agricultural industry. Pollination by animals is required in the production of many crop varieties, and pollination by bees can actually lead to the improved quality of a crop. The pollinating bee population has been declining over the last few years, and according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the use of certain pesticides might be responsible.
Earlier this year, another bill sponsored by Senator Bateman , S-2078, to require pesticide applicators to get training how to reduce or eliminate the impact of pesticides have on the state’s pollinating bee population was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
“Pesticides play an important role in our mosquito control operations, but we can’t risk losing pollinating bees in the process,” Senator Bateman said. “Both of these measures will help ensure the Garden State has a healthy population of bees for years to come.”
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