The Colorado State Beekeepers Association is concerned about the many challenges facing bees and beekeeping in today’s environment. There are lots of opportunities for you as a beekeeper or you as a member of the general public to provide input to various causes. Here are some opportunities for involvement:
This year’s legislative activity is focused on the Sunset Review of the Colorado Pesticide Applicators Act (PAA). There are several State statutes that “sunset” unless they are reviewed and re-enacted by the legislature. This year, the PAA is up for review. The CSBA, along with a variety of other constituents and stakeholders, submitted recommendations to the Department of Regulatory Authority (DORA) for inclusion in the DORA report to the legislature. The CSBA submitted the following recommendations:
1. Modification of the composition of the Pesticide Advisory Committee specified within the statute. Currently, the committee is comprised of 7 formulators or applicators, 2 members of the public, 1 from CSU specializing in pesticide safety and 1 from CDPHE. We recommended the committee be expanded to include a beekeeper, a specialist in children’s health and a member of the non-farming public.
2. Modification of the sunset review period from 10 to 5 years.
3. A transparent database and map function.
4. Integrated Pest Management mandate for state property, including schools.
5. Modification to the incident reporting process
6. Local control
For a full copy of the CSBA letter, click here.
DORA released their report in October of 2014 and did not recommend any of CSBA’s suggestions to the legislature. For a copy of the DORA report, click here. (Be sure to check out pages 27 and 28.) We believe that the PAA is unsatisfactory as it currently reads as well as with the proposed modifications from DORA. Our only recourse, thus, is the legislature.
If you think that 10 more years is too long for the PAA to not even mention the word pollinators, we need your help!
If you think that having the PAC composed mainly of applicators and formulators “regulating the regulated”, we need your help!
If you think it is OK for untrained applicators to apply chemicals to your child’s (or grandchild’s) school playground or building at any time they want, with whatever product they want, we need your help!
If you think that waiting days for the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) to show up to test your hives for chemical residue and then wait another 6 months to a year for a report to be generated, we need your help!
How can you help?
1. Read the documents provided so you know about the bill.
2. Talk to your legislators, Senators and Representatives, about your issues with the PAA. Ask them to support the changes that you agree with. Send a hand-written letter if you would prefer to write (or are good at it!).
3. Talk to your family, friends and neighbors and encourage them to do the same. Don’t dally.
4. Follow the bill in the legislature and testify at the public hearings.
CSBA is working with some of these other constituent groups, particularly People and Pollinators Action Network (PPAN), a 501c3 organization. Feel free to like PPAN on Facebook, too! A copy of PPAN’s suggestions may be found here.
Currently, Westminster, Broomfield, Lafayette and Brighton are working on lifting bee bans and imposing restrictions. We can always use citizen involvement. Please contact your local council representative and express your support for sensible beekeeping regulation. Thank you.
The CSBA has formed several committees to work on various statewide issues of importance. They are: Agritourism, Best Practices, Data Collection, Forage, and Master Beekeeper. Although there is no longer a pesticide committee, plenty is still being done on pesticides. If you are interested in serving on any of the committees, please contact the committee chairs. Service is not limited to CSBA members.