Knowing where the bees are has long been an item of concern for our industry and during this past legislative session, two stakeholders initiated legislation to strengthen the registration procedures for bee owners entering the state of California. CAPCA and the Ag Commissioners have also been frustrated with the lack of cooperation from out of state beekeepers in complying with registration, movement, and location notification requirements. They sponsored legislation to place “teeth” into existing law which CCM and others supported. The duo elicited significant financial support from the state Beekeeper Association and the Almond Board to establish a website and portal for registration. Failure to register within the framework of “Fieldwatch” will result in civil penalties that Ag Commissioners can impose. The legislation also reduced the timeframe for registering hive locations. It is built on a GIS mapping program and will be noticed via several means of communications.
In 2019, failure to adhere to the new law will result in a warning inasmuch out of state beekeepers may have difficulty receiving notices. The State Beekeepers’ Association has pledged full support for this endeavor. The launch for the new system is targeted for January 2019. More information will follow as to how citrus producers can access the information once the system is up and running. Citrus Mutual will be a sponsor of the website.