Legislative Action

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Washington State Beekeepers Association

Keeping the Bee in Business

Legislative Action

We can make Washington a better place for bees by improving how the state treats bees and beekeepers...

WASBA has had success in changing laws to be more favorable for bees and beekeepers. We have passed laws to encourage improved forage, to reduce taxation, and for a full-time bee researcher at WSU. In 2019, we passed a law to grant liability protection to beekeepers.

WASBA-HB-1133-Signing-Ceremony

Honey bees have been in the news a lot lately, and the legislature hears the concerns of their constituents. We have always had a positive reception in Olympia when we bring issues concerning honey bees to their attention.

When we participate in the legislative process, we inform our representatives of the importance of beekeeping and they will support measures to help us and our bees. They know of the public’s desire for healthy honey bees, and they know of agriculture’s dependence on pollination. As the leading apple production state, our annual apple crop is worth more than $2 billion annually, and is wholly dependent on honey bees for pollination.

 

Please contact me if you have interest in becoming more involved in the legislative process, or if you have ideas for legislation. I have enjoyed being reminded of high school civics class and seeing the system work in our favor. You too can be involved, for the betterment of bees and beekeeping in Washington state.

Tim Hiatt,
WASBA Legislative Chair
legislativechair@wasba.org 

In 2014, WASBA met with other industry stakeholders to outline plans to improve honey bee and pollinator health in Washington state. The Report called for changes in policy and practice, some of which have been addressed.

The remaining areas of concern are:

Forage

Bee health is dependent on good nutrition, which requires plentiful and diverse bounty of plants for foraging. Scientists widely agree that four main issues affect honey bee health.

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Research

WASBA is seeking support for legislation which will increase and support research into Varroa mite control, honeybee genetic diversity, and honeybee forage across the state.

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In 2019, WASBA had input on a honey bee and Pollinator Protection Bill. The task force created by this new law has not yet met; when it does, more recommendations to help honey bees and pollinators will be forwarded to the legislature for approval.