- Governor Andrew Cuomo, Elected Representatives, NYS Commissioner of Agriculture
- United States of America
New bills have been introduced to the NYS Legislature, again, in 2019.
The main goal is to have the Bills tabled until 2021, if not later, so beekeepers can examine the Bill, and a consensus /improvement can be done. It should not be rushed through like it is now.
The Bill should remove any mandatory registration, as it is an absolute hot button (nuclear strength) in NY that will only cause unnecessary anger and tension. Peter Borst in the June 2019 American Beekeeping Journal (ABJ) writes about apiary programs in the USA; some states have good programs with voluntary registration; having mandatory registration in other states does not prevent high winter loss and AFB incidence. Forcing it on beekeepers isn't worth the battle and is non-productive.
Beekeepers should look at the Bill (senate & assembly versions are similar but different) and coordinate their comments with the numbered line(s) in the Bill, and discuss with their respective groups.
Links at FreeNYBees.com:
NOFA-NY (Northeast Organic Farming Association)Resolution
Senate Bill Assembly Bill
Petition Comments from the Petition
Sample letter for Senator Metzger (Ag Com. Chair)
Sample letter to Assemblywoman Lupardo (Ag Com. Chair)
Beekeepers throughout the state are opposed to any mandatory registration to require traceability of hives and their beekeepers, citing: lack of transparency by Albany, lack of services, misuse of information, creating onerous and politically motivated regulations, and adding fees to an already costly profession.
In 2007 there was a similar scenario, where legislation was quietly slipped into the legislature at the end of the NYS legislative session without the knowledge of most beekeepers. The Bill was enacted as law, but a major effort by NYS beekeepers was undertaken to successfully repeal the law in 2010.
Since 2010 there has been a registration form on the NYS Agriculture & Market website, and over the years many beekeepers have voluntarily registered their apiaries, but:
The current registration form states that by registering, you will be notified of bee health developments---that is not true, as communication has been lacking. Albany needs to provide notification and communication now for the beekeepers already registered for: county spraying for mosquitoes, use of bee toxic substances for tick abatement, outbreaks of honey bee disease such as American Foulbrood, before making promises of future notification and requiring mandatory registration, otherwise they are just collecting names.
To many, mandatory registration may seem innocuous and helpful (it’s about bees!), but better outreach and communication instead of a heavy handed regulation would be more helpful to beekeepers.
We, the undersigned, call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to stop the effort to require all beekeepers in New York State to register. The law for mandatory registration was repealed in 2010 by the great efforts of the beekeepers of New York and should not be reinstated.
This 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 No Mandatory Registration for Beekeepers in New York petition to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Elected Representatives, NYS Commissioner of Agriculture was written by Pat Bono and is in the category Law Reform at GoPetition.