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Governor signs bill aimed at protecting honey bees

Randol White

Governor Brown signed a bill today by local assemblymember Das Williams aimed at controlling a class of pesticides that many believe is responsible for honey bee colony collapse. 

The State of California has already evaluated the pesticide class known as neonicotonoids, or neonics, and a reevaluation is underway. Under this new law, the Department of Pesticide Regulations sets a timeline for studies to be completed and reviewed. 

While it's likely that a variety of factors have caused colony losses over the years, neonics are the most widely used class of insecticides and may play a huge part in the decline of honey bees.

Assemblymember Williams says the deadline is necessary to protect honey bee health throughout California and this evaluation will ensure swift and appropriate action.

California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary, Karen Ross, was on the Central Coast Friday. While her department does not have statutory authority for pesticides, it does play a consultative role on related economic issues.

"The use of this particular category, well of any pesticide, is balanced constantly looking at risk assessment, protecting the public health, protecting the farm workers, protecting the environment, and still allowing for the productivity that lets us to have this bountiful choice that we have," Ross said.

Honey bees are the most economically valuable pollinator in the world and California Agriculture depends greatly on the health of pollinators.