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Beekeeping Industry News You Can Use

ABF Submits Comments to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Hours of Service for Drivers

Excerpt from ABF’s letter to Elaine Chao, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, and Raymond Martinez, Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

The American Beekeeping Federation welcomes the opportunity to submit these comments in response to the notice of application for exemption submitted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Livestock Marketing Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Beekeeping Federation, American Honey Producers Association and the National Aquaculture Association for an exemption from specific conditions in the current “hours of service” rules.

The American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) has been the largest national beekeeping organization since 1943. The ABF represents all aspects of the beekeeping industry. Our membership includes migratory beekeepers that transport bees throughout the country to pollinate one-third of our nation’s food.

We are in favor of the request for approval to, after 10 consecutive hours off duty: drive through the 16th consecutive hour after coming on duty; and drive a total of 15 hours during that 16-hour period, on behalf of drivers transporting livestock, insects and aquatic animals.

Click here to read complete comments.

Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Efforts & Insecticide Use

The Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation is working to notify beekeepers about future use of insecticides in their eradication efforts. The foundation aims to notify beekeepers prior to the treatments with the goal of protecting bees in the specified areas. Below is a list of the counties that receive frequent boll weevil treatments. If you are a beekeeper in one of these counties and would like to receive these notifications, please contact Larry Smith, Program Director, Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, at 325-672-2800.

Texas Counties:

  • Zapata
  • Starr
  • Jim Hogg
  • Hidalgo
  • Brooks
  • Cameron
  • Willacy
  • Kenedy

Congressmen Lead Letter in Support of Regulatory Flexibility for Livestock Haulers

Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN), Ted Yoho (R-FL), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) submitted a bipartisan letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in support of a petition to waive livestock haulers from certain provisions of Hours of Service (HOS) rules. The petition, which was submitted by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Livestock Marketing Association (LMA), American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), American Beekeeping Federation (ABF), American Honey Producers Association (AHPA), and National Aquaculture Association (NAA), requests increased driving hours for livestock haulers in exchange for additional training designed by FMCSA.

The letter was signed by 59 members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.

"As beekeepers, we are well aware of the importance of managed honey bees to our food source," said Tim May, President of the American Beekeeping Federation. "Nearly one-third of the food we eat is pollinated by honey bees. Due to the increased demand for honey bee pollination, livestock haulers are transporting bees all across the country. Extending the HOS for livestock haulers gives bee haulers the added time needed to coordinate with the required daylight driving schedule. We at ABF understand that safety is always the number one priority and we commend the new safety requirements suggested for livestock haulers."

Click here to read the entire news release and letter to FMCSA.

New California Law Aims to Protect Pollinators

California agricultural commissioners now have the regulatory "teeth" they sought to enforce bee registration each year – something they long complained was needed to protect the pollinators.

Pest control advisors at the recent annual meeting of the California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA) were the first to publicly hear about the 18-month effort to force compliance of a law long-ignored, according to Ruthann Anderson, CAPCA chief executive officer.

Dubbed "Bee Where," the new program gives agricultural commissioners the authority to seek civil penalties of not more than $500 per day a beekeeper is in violation of the law. While previous law required beekeepers to register their bees with county agricultural departments, it was effectively unenforceable, said Riverside County Agricultural Commissioner Ruben Arroyo. The new law that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019 makes it unlawful to maintain an unregistered apiary.

Read complete article on Western Farm Press.


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