Honeybees are an important resource to Michigan agriculture, both for the honey they produce and the pollination of crops. Some pesticides used on crops can harm honeybees and may even destroy whole colonies. We urge beekeepers, farmers and commercial pesticide applicators to cooperate to reduce the loss of honeybees in Michigan from pesticides, by encouraging the utilization of communication tools, such as DriftWatch, to help protect the bee industry.
We support research efforts to find practical, effective methods to control or reduce the infection of varroa mites, tracheal mites, small hive beetles in honeybees and colony collapse disorder.
Bee keepers would like to be able to obtain a nuisance tag for bears from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with proof of damage. In a short period of time these animals can destroy hives and devastate a honey crop. We support the inclusion of beekeeper apiaries under paragraph 9.4 of the Wildlife Conservation Order in Emergency clause. We further encourage DNR to be proactive in the protection of Michigan's pollinators.
We urge Michigan Farm Bureau to work with state and federal agencies to resolve issues regarding plant species in Michigan and their importance to the Michigan bee industry, such as changes to USDA conservation land programs that allow for the planting of flowering cover crops. We urge MFB and MDARD to involve the Michigan Commercial Beekeeper's Association in the Managed Pollinator Protection Program policy development process.
Beekeeping (apiary) is a specialized form of agriculture and should be recognized as such by local, state and national regulatory bodies.