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State to assist honeybee health
ALBANY — State officials have announced new actions to better protect pollinators and support the health of honeybees statewide. The modernization of the Agriculture and Markets Law better reflects modern bee husbandry practices and creates a Cooperative Honeybee Health Improvement Program to better monitor honeybee health in apiaries in New York, state officials said in a news release.
The new measures include:
■ Providing for an Apiary Industry Advisory Committee and designating the state Commissioner of Agriculture as its chairperson.
■ Establishing a cooperative honeybee health improvement program, which includes the registration of apiaries, noting number of colonies, the county where located, and contact information for person responsible.
■ Providing for an annual inspection of apiaries selling nucleus colonies.
■ Requiring the Commissioner of Agriculture to provide beekeepers with advance notice of apiary inspections;.
■ Amending Real Property Tax Law to clarify the farm buildings property tax exemption for the bee industry.
There is no fee or registration cost for enrollment in the Cooperative Honeybee Health Improvement Program, allowing for broad participation, state officials said.
“Protection of our pollinators has been a primary focus for the agricultural community in New York, as the bee populations face many challenges including threats from mites, disease, and loss of habitat,” said New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher. “New York Farm Bureau commends the Governor for signing this legislation that uses a science-based approach to improve the health of bees and their hives.