TRENTON, NJ  - 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 has been approved by the Senate Environment Committee.

“The state’s apiarists provide a vital service by supplementing our natural bee population with beehives raised on private properties,” 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 Department of Environmental Protection. 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.

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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 Bateman that requires pesticide applicators to receive training on methods that reduce or eliminate the impact of pesticides on the state’s pollinating bee population was passed by the state Senate.

“Pesticides play an important role in our mosquito control operations, but we can’t risk losing pollinating bees in the process,” Bateman said. “Both of these measures will help ensure the Garden State has a healthy population of bees for years to come.”