Helping Washington State Bees and Beekeepers – Thursday, March 5

To help raise awareness of the issues facing bees and beekeepers in Washington State, WSBA is organizing a Legislative Honeybee Awareness Day, Thursday, March 5 on the North steps outside the Capitol legislative building, starting at 9:00 AM.  

The work of the legislatively-mandated statewide Honey Bee Work Group is now complete.  The group met for more than a year, gathering data and presenting a comprehensive report on issues facing bees and beekeepers in Washington State.  The full report with recommendations can be found at:

Recommendations center around several themes that include —

  • Increasing bee forage across the state.
  • Incorporating honeybee and pollinator concerns into the noxious weed board listing and control efforts.
  • Increasing research into Varroa mite control, honeybee genetics and issues of increased forage.
  • Designating beekeepers as farmers for tax purposes.
  • Funding a more comprehensive bee lab at WSU, and hiring two full-time positions there.

Already, there are two bills in the 2015 legislature:

  • SB 5017 – Recognition of Beekeepers as Farmers intending to permanently include eligible apiarists within the definition of farmer and define honey bee products as agricultural products to receive the same tax relief as that provided to other sectors of agriculture.
  • HB 1654 – Controlling noxious weeds while still supporting pollen-rich forage plant communities for honey bees

The legislative awareness day is being facilitated by the following people and local organizations.  

Contact any of these people to get involved on March 5 or to get more information:  

  • Krista Conner  206.938.5158 (past President, Puget Sound Beekeepers, Honey Bee Work Group)
  • Franclyn Heinecke  253.531.0933 (President, Pierce County Beekeepers, Honey Bee Work Group)
  • Laurie Pyne   630.577.7825  (President, Olympia Beekeepers).

Beekeepers who are involved in organizing overall WSBA legislative efforts are:

  • Mark Emrich (Olympia), WSBA President
  • Tim Hiatt, Hiatt Honey (Ephrata), Chair of the WSBA Legislative Committee, Honey Bee Work Group
  • Paul Hosticka, Octopus Garden Honey (Dayton), member – WSBA and Honey Bee Work Group

Here is a 2015 WSBA Flyer that reviews the issues and where WSBA is asking for legislative support.


  1. Nils Aucante says:

    Hi Washington Beekeepers!

    My name is Nils Aucante, I’m a video-journalist and documentary filmmaker based in New York City. I’m currently working on a documentary project about beekeeping and climate change and more specifically about how bee populations can be impacted by climate change related events. I have came across the WASBA online and I see that you are really active in many fronts around beekeeping. I’m willing to chat with some of you if possible because I’d love to come to WA to film some sequences of beekeeping there and potentially cover some of your events. I’d also love to interview some about maybe the changes you have seen in the past years/decades regarding bee populations, beekeeping in general, rougher winters, more difficult for beekeeping etc… I also saw that you have a march planned on March 5th and I’d be really interested in covering that if that’s possible. Please feel free to give me a call of email me anytime. Thank you so much. Best. Nils Aucante

    Nils Aucante
    Video Journalist – New York City
    201 741 9501

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