Biaggi bill aims to preserve NY's honeybee colonies

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State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi introduced a bill this week that seeks to preserve honeybee colonies in New York state.

According to a national management survey, the state has seen a 40 percent reduction in honeybee colonies.

The bill would protect swarms and colonies from human threats, while supporting the pollination of crops in the state.

Bees contribute to more than two-thirds of of food source, and as major pollinators they support the growth of flowers, trees, plants an the environment.

In a press release, Sen. Biaggi said, "The effects of climate change and the use of pesticides have cut New York's honeybee 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."

The bill would require anyone to call the Division of Plant Industry within the Department of Agriculture at least 24 hours ahead to try and relocate colonies or swarms, in lieu of destroying them. It would apply to certified, licensed and commercial pesticide applicators and operators in the state.

Local beekeepers are heralding the effort.

"It kind of blew my mind that she picked up this bill. It shows you that she's so on track with so many things that so many people make so insignificant," says City Island beekeeper Dr. Patrick Gannon.

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