The beekeeping community was celebrating victory when a set of laws protecting beekeeping were signed in June 2015. Little did we know that the regulations implementing these laws will effectively outlaw back yard beekeeping in New Jersey.
If you enjoy local honey, if you notice more flowers, more berries, and more birds in your back yard, if you never had a problem with honeybees despite the fact that there are many beekeepers in our area, and if you agree that our food production depends on a statewide healthy population of honeybees, please take a few minutes to write to the NJDA and voice your support for the beekeeping community.
Comments from the public are due on January 19, 2018, either via email at proposedrulesPlantIndustry@ag.state.nj.us or postal mail to: Joseph Zoltowski, Director, Division of Plant Industry, NJ Department of Agriculture, PO Box 330, Trenton, NJ 08625-0330.
The proposed regulations are based on anecdotal information, ignore scientific data and facts, were not written in consultation with the beekeeping community; they do not make sense from the perspective of beekeeping common practices and bee biology, are more restrictive than regulations in other more densely populated states, require fences and constant education not required for other livestock such as chickens or goats. Furthermore, these regulations will expose the State's honeybee stock to uncontrolled disease propagation by preventing beekeepers from collecting swarms.
Where does this all come from? There was one "nuisance beekeeper" in one house in Peapack-Gladstone, and because of that one person, they want to outlaw hobbyist beekeeping in New Jersey.
Here are some relevant links. I hope you will support us in resisting these unrealistic restrictions.
The official document: These are the extreme regulations that will either eliminate or severely restrict backyard beekeeping in New Jersey.
Excellent survey from NWBA.
Master beekeeper Landi Simone explains the risks to the health of the honeybee population posed by the proposed regulations.
NJTV News: Local beekeepers push back against proposed regulations.
Here you can see an interview by NJ.com of NJDA president, Janet Katz.
TapInto: Residents express concerns over potential State beekeeping regulations regarding property size and more.
Beekeeper Joe Lelinho explains the consequences of the proposed regulations: