From Eric Mussens UC Davis May/June newsletter:
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Apiary Assessments Again?
With encouragement from the California Department of Food and Agricul-ture, the California State Beekeepers’ Association’s (CSBA) Executive Board requested that the California Apiary Board be brought out of moth balls and back into action.
The regulations in the California Agriculture Code that formalize the Apiary Board are still on the books. But, when the beekeepers decided to discontinue paying assessments, the Board became inactive.
Probably the major reason for re-activating the board is to take financial pressure off the CSBA. For many years CSBA has been conducting the business of the association and funding annual research projects on honey bees from its general funds. Much of that revenue is generated from membership dues and the annual convention auction, as well as profits from the Research Luncheon and individual contributions to the Research Fund.
Pressures on the budget, especially with the need to hire professional assistance 2
to deal with the seedless citrus problem, have reduced the amount left for funding research to inadequate levels.
Implementing a colony assessment on ALL colonies that are resident in the state, or are brought into the state for pollination or honey production reasons, could generate a substantial sum of money for research while leaving funds in the CSBA budget to do other essential things.
The “re-invigoration” is in the “formative” stages. Adjustments would have to be made to at least the sections of regula-tions dealing with the size of assessment fees and the distribution of those fees among the state and county offices, as well as research funding.
At the time that the assessments ended, beekeepers were being assessed $0.33 per colony. Since that time, all costs have increased, and so has pollination income. It is likely that the new assessment will be considerably higher than when it ended.
If you have strong feelings about this topic, or if you have ideas for modifying the text of the regulations (which are going to be changed), then contact CSBA President Jackie Park-Burris and share your ideas. Jackie is available at: jackielynn44@aol.com. The text of the applicable regulations can be found in Sections 29020-29028 and 29030.5-29032 of the California Food and Agriculture Code.
In my e-mail, today (June 9, 2009), I received the official call for candidates to the Board. If you wish to nominate yourself, or someone else to a Board position, or simply desire further information on the Apiary Program and committee vacancies please contact: Gerald Miller at (916) 651-9449.
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Any comments or further information on this?