An Act To Compensate Beekeepers for Hive Losses
Sec. 1. 7 MRSA Pt. 6-A, c. 519 is enacted to read:
§ 2691. Definitions
As used in this Part, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
Sec. 2. 7 MRSA §2871, as enacted by PL 1985, c. 572, is amended to read:
§ 2871. Rules
The commissioner shall adopt rules to implement and enforce this Part in accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act , Title 5, chapter 375. Rules adopted under this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
Sec. 3. 7 MRSA c. 533 is enacted to read:
COMPENSATION FOR HONEYBEES KILLED BY PESTICIDES
§ 2891. Compensation for honeybees killed by pesticides
A person may be compensated for an acute pesticide poisoning resulting in the death of honeybees or loss of honeybee colonies owned by the person in accordance with this section.
The fair market value under this subsection is determined by the department upon recommendation by academic experts and honeybee owners. In any fiscal year, the department may not compensate a honeybee owner for a claim that is less than $100 or for total claims in excess of $20,000.
Sec. 4. Rulemaking. By December 15, 2015, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry shall adopt rules necessary for the implementation of the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 7, chapter 533.
This bill provides for compensation to honeybee owners for honeybee death from the application of pesticides. Under the bill, if honeybee death or loss of a honeybee colony was caused by an acute pesticide poisoning and the pesticide applicator cannot be identified or the pesticide applicator applied the pesticide product in a manner consistent with the pesticide product's label, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry may compensate the honeybee owner for the fair market value of the honeybees or honeybee colony. If the pesticide applicator can be identified and the applicator applied the pesticide product in a manner inconsistent with the product's label, the department may collect a penalty from the pesticide applicator sufficient to compensate the honeybee owner for the fair market value of the honeybees or honeybee colony and shall award the money to the honeybee owner. The bill provides that fair market value is determined by the department upon recommendation by academic experts and honeybee owners.