N.Y. Agriculture and Markets Law 173-C – Cooperative Honey Bee Health Improvement Program
1. In support of the duties outlined in this article, as well as the goals and objectives for pollinator protection; the commissioner shall create a cooperative honey bee health improvement program which will require that:
Terms Used In N.Y. Agriculture and Markets Law 173-C
- Beekeeper: shall mean any individual or entity that maintains managed honey bees for profit, research, recreational, or educational purposes. See N.Y. Agriculture and Markets Law 173-A
- Colony: shall mean any production unit of bees. See N.Y. Agriculture and Markets Law 173-A
- Queen: shall mean the single reproductive female in a colony of honey bees. See N.Y. Agriculture and Markets Law 173-A
(a) All beekeepers shall provide to the commissioner the number of managed colonies; the county in which each of these colonies is located; and current contact information of the individual or individuals responsible for the care of these bees. All beekeepers shall also indicate whether they intend to sell nucleus colonies. This information shall be updated and provided to the commissioner on an annual basis.
(b) The department shall use this information to communicate the incidence of infectious diseases and parasites at the county level to beekeepers and bee clubs and to notify beekeepers of the potential need for the department to prohibit the movement or selling of diseased or infested bees or require the destruction of such bees. The department shall also use this information to establish the boundaries of disease and parasite infestations in the area surrounding a confirmed disease or parasite infestation.
(c) Any individual or business that intends to sell nucs or queens produced within and offered for sale to other persons in New York must first have an inspection of its apiaries, as authorized by section one hundred seventy-three-b of this article, by the department which inspections shall continue on an annual basis, so long as nucs or queens are offered for sale. These inspections shall ascertain whether such beekeeper‘s apiaries are free from American Foulbrood and whether levels of other infectious diseases and parasites in the operation render the nucs or queens unfit for sale. Any individual or business whose nucs or queen rearing colonies are found to be infested with American Foulbrood, after laboratory confirmation, shall be prohibited from selling nucs and queens until the affected apiaries are reinspected and found to be free from American Foulbrood. If upon re-inspection, symptoms of American Foulbrood are found to persist, the prohibition from selling nucs and queens shall continue, and the department shall take samples for laboratory testing for the continued presence of American Foulbrood. Should the laboratory test results show the samples free from American Foulbrood, the department shall promptly notify the individual or business of the test results and the termination of the prohibition of the sale of nucs and queens.
(d) No person shall knowingly transport, move, buy, sell, possess, barter, offer for sale or barter, deliver, or offer for transportation any species or subspecies of bees which have been determined by the commissioner to cause injury, directly or indirectly, to the public health or welfare or to this state’s managed bee population, crops, or other plants; provided, however, that the commissioner may, at his or her discretion, exempt the transportation, sale, possession, movement, or delivery of such bees used for scientific or educational purposes under such safeguards as deemed necessary by the commissioner.
(e) Every shipment of live bees in cages or packages without comb into this state from another state or foreign country, shall be accompanied by a permit issued by the commissioner, or by a certificate of freedom from disease executed by an official of such state or foreign country recognized by the commissioner.
(f) Every shipment of a colony of bees, used brood comb, used beekeeping equipment, or live bees on comb into this state from another state or foreign country, shall be accompanied by a permit issued by the commissioner or by a certificate of freedom from diseases and parasitic organisms adversely affecting bees and from species or subspecies of
bees which have been determined by the commissioner to cause injury directly or indirectly, to the public safety or to the state’s managed bee population, crops, or other plants; and certifying that a proper inspection was made not earlier than sixty days preceding the date of shipment. Such certificate shall be executed by the certifying official of such state or foreign country. A duplicate of such certificate must be received by the department before any such shipment enters the state. Every transportation company that knowingly receives such shipment shall immediately notify the commissioner thereof, giving the name and address of the consignor or consignee.
2. The goals of the cooperative honey bee health improvement program shall be to:
(a) document the health of the state’s managed pollinator population, including the presence of parasites, diseases, and environmental threats to the state’s population of managed pollinators;
(b) provide information on honey bee health to beekeepers, stakeholders and academia to inform research and best management practices related to pollinator health;
(c) document the annual population of managed pollinators in each county within New York state; and
(d) collect contact information for each beekeeper to allow for better communication among the department and beekeepers relating to the incidence of parasites, disease and other health threats that could be transmitted within the flight range of managed pollinators.
3. There shall be no fee or other registration cost for participation in the cooperative honey bee health improvement program.
4. A beekeeper required to submit information to the commissioner pursuant to this section may request that such information be exempted from disclosure pursuant to subdivision five of section eighty-nine of the public officers law.