Beekeeper to challenge proposed mandarin buffer zone

A hearing is scheduled for April 25 before the California Assembly agriculture committee on a bill introduced by California Citrus Mutual giving the California Secretary of Agriculture the authority to enact regulations which could keep bee hives away from Clementine and Murcott mandarin plantings in Kern, Tulare, Fresno, and Madera counties.

Over the past two years there has been a running battle between beekeepers and mandarin growers who say honeybees cause seeded citrus to develop seeds.

Two-mile "no bee hive" zones could become a reality if this legislation is passed by the legislature, according to Gene Brandi of Los Banos, Calif. legislative chairman of the California State Beekeepers Association.

Beekeepers are opposed to this proposed no bee regulation.

“Beekeepers, as well as growers who upon whose land the bee hives are located are now protected by right to farm laws, which would be in jeopardy if the state agricultural code were amended as proposed in AB 771,” said Brandi.

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