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Agriculture Industry

AB 771, c. 324

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AB 771, c. 324: Agricultural industry.

Requires the Secretary of the Depart. of Food and Agriculture to establish a Seedless Mandarin and Honeybee Coexistence Working Group, and requires the DFA to adopt regulations by June 1, 2008, if the working group fails to reach consensus or best management practices and establish fees to address coexistence issues related to seedless mandarins and honeybees.

This bill was supported by the Californai Citrus Mutual, Carman Family Farms, Griffith Farms, Nisei Farmers League, Paramount Citrus, and California Grocers Association. Opposition came from the California Minnesota Honey Farms, Fresno County Farm Bureau, Strachan Apiaries, Inc., Sue Bee, Terra Bella Honey Co., Tulare County Farm Bureau, and Miller Honey Farms.

Supporters of this bill state that this bill will enable the growing seedless mandarin industry to protect their industry from the quality damage caused due to bee cross pollination. Further, most bees found in the California citrus belt are stored there to feed off the citrus bloom between pollinating services around the nation. While the bee industry utilizes citrus bloom, the citrus industry ends up with undesirable seeds in their fruit. The establishment of a coexistence working group will enable stakeholders to work on finding a mutually beneficial solution to the seedless mandarin and bee dispute. The February 15, 2008, requirement for DFA emergency regulations will provide the needed hammer to focus the working group to establish best management practices in a timely manner.

If you would like to order the legislative history of this bill [click here] .