April 13, 2018 – -Gov. Brown’s January Proposed Budget included $1.8 million in General Fund for key Bee Health budget items. However, over the past few years, the Almond Alliance, working with the California State Bee Keepers Association, UC, Almond Board of California researchers and CDFA, have been identifying an assortment of action items essential for bee health, increase availability of bees for almond and related industries, and to address other issues such as theft. The Almond Alliance went through the reports and actions items and pulled together a proposal to augment the Governors BCP. The items include:
* Rural Crime Task Force Grants $100,000
o Support grants to rural sheriffs to address bee hive theft
* Forage Habitat on State and Federal Lands $126,000
o Support Staff Scientist to identify appropriate lands for bee foraging, develop database of lands, coordinate with state and federal agencies for bee placement
* Border Stations Staff and Procedural Review $110,000
o Provide staff and systems to assist in moving bees from out of state through border stations efficiently without spreading invasive insects and diseases.
* Pre-certification of Bee Hives Arriving from out of state $250,000
o Work with other states to implement pre shipping protocols that will give pre-certified shipments priority at border.
* County Ag Commissioners Inspections $500,000
o Provide funding for local shipments of bees to travel through the state and funding to manage infested hives.
* Feasibility Study for Border Stations Inspections $50,000
o Provide one time funding to evaluate moving inspection sites from border stations to allow for reconditioning and inspection of out of state bee shipments.
* Africanized Honey Bee Survey $195,000
o Support staffing (taxonomist) and resources for an annual
o survey for AHB across state and impact on genetics.
The proposals will be heard in Assembly and Senate Budget Committees on April 18-19