Exterminators in Suffolk County will be prevented from killing honey bees without first calling a beekeeper to safely remove them.
That’s thanks to a bill passed this week by the Suffolk Legislature, which was supported by the Citizens Campaign for the Environment.
Global populations of honey bees, which play an integral role in the world’s food supply, have been declining since 2005, and massive bee die-off events pose a serious threat to the species.
The new county measure requires homeowners, pesticide applicators and exterminators addressing unwanted honey bee infestations to first call a beekeeper to safely relocate the hive.
“Healthy honey bee populations make for a healthy planet,” Adrienne Esposito, executive director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said in a written statement. “In Suffolk County, our agriculture industry and ecosystem rely on healthy honey bee populations. This bill protects and preserves our honey bees and prevents the unnecessary extermination of pollinators.”