LETTER – resolution emphasizes regulations strengthening NJ beekeepers

Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s unflinching support of beekeepers continues with introduction of his bill bolstering beekeeping in the Garden State. The resolution (ACR101) concludes the Department of Agriculture’s proposed beekeeping rules are inconsistent with the intent of the Legislature and calls for the department to amend or withdraw the recommended regulations.

“The Legislature has been clear in its protection of bees and support of the apiary industries that are essential to fruit and vegetable production,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “In the past four years, seven new pro-bee laws passed the Assembly and Senate and were enacted by the governor.

“As the sponsor of multiple bills protecting bees, I am disappointed the regulations proposed by the agriculture department were not consistent with legislative intent,” continued Dancer. “There should have been more consultation with the New Jersey Beekeepers Association before proposing any regulations.”

The resolution’s provisions reinforce the Legislature’s intent for consultation with the beekeepers association, the New Jersey League of Municipalities and the Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium. It calls for new standards based on sound science and knowledge of honey bee biology and behavior.

“The importance of pollinators to our food supply warrants a second look at the new regulations,” said Dancer. “Disease and environmental factors have been killing off honey bees at an alarming rate for almost a decade. The department should follow the Legislature’s lead and establish guidelines to promote growth and encourage new beekeepers and healthy bee colonies.”