GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA

SESSION 2015

S D

SENATE DRS45092-TQ-4 (03/02)

 

 

 

Short Title: The Birds and the Bees Act.

(Public)

Sponsors:

Senators Meredith, B. Jackson, and Barringer (Primary Sponsors).

Referred to:

 

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

AN ACT TO CLARIFY THE AUTHORITY OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO ADOPT ORDINANCES RELATED TO BEE HIVES AND TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES TO STUDY STRATEGIES FOR PROTECTING AND SUPPORTING POLLINATORS.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. Article 55 of Chapter 106 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

" 106‑645. Limitations on local government regulation of bee hives.

No county, city, or other political subdivision of the State shall adopt or continue in effect any ordinance or resolution that prohibits any person or entity from owning or possessing five or fewer bee hives."

SECTION 2. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall study all of the following issues:

(1) How the State can increase habitat for pollinators, including birds and insects, on farmland across the State. In studying this issue, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall address the following:

a. The willingness of farms to plant pollinator‑friendly vegetation in rural areas.

b. The ability of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to provide support for a farm planting program from existing funds.

c. The ability of research stations or other Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services properties to plant pollinator‑friendly vegetation.

(2) How the State can increase habitat for pollinators, including birds and insects, on Department of Transportation rights‑of‑way and on other State properties across the State. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall solicit input from the Department of Transportation in studying this issue.

(3) How the State can increase habitat for pollinators, including birds and insects, on aboveground public utility easements or aboveground infrastructure pathways across the State. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall solicit input from the public utilities, electric membership corporations, and municipalities that operate aboveground utilities in studying this issue.

(4) Whether it would be appropriate to require planting of pollinator‑friendly vegetation on easements on State‑owned lands as a condition of granting the easement. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall solicit input from the Department of Administration in studying this issue.

(5) Other strategies for increasing protection of and supporting existing populations of pollinators within the State.

SECTION 3. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall submit the results of the study to the Environmental Review Commission by March 1, 2016. The study report shall contain the information required in this section and any findings, legislative proposals, cost/benefit analyses, or additional recommendations for legislative action to proactively address pollinator‑related issues that may threaten the economy, ecology, and agricultural heritage of the State.

SECTION 4. This act is effective when it becomes law.