By Cleve Bryan
CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) – Hundreds of thousands of bees behind Seth Belson’s Cherry Hill home provide quite a buzz and plenty of nature’s candy.
“This is fresh honey that the bees just made today you can see dripping,” Belson said Wednesday as he showed Eyewitness News the racks inside one of his many hives.
Belson is the past president of the New Jersey Beekeepers Association, whose membership he says has increased from 400 to 3,500 members in the last few years, predominantly in the suburbs.
“There’s the greatest interest ever perhaps in the history of beekeeping, but it’s still fragile,” says Belson.
Honeybee populations are in danger throughout North America due to the phenomenon of colony collapse as well at the spread of a bee-killing parasite the Varroa mite.
Threats to bee populations are a direct threat to our food chain and agricultural economy.
“Bees are like nature’s fertilizer, they make everything more productive,” says Belson.
Recognizing the importance of protecting and promoting beekeeping, the New Jersey General Assembly passed a package of bee bills that now needs state Senate approval.
Those measures include fines for destroying man-made bee hives and protection for beekeepers against nuisance lawsuits.
“Bees are beset by problems and the bills today hopefully help stabilize beekeeping in New Jersey it is our state insect, it’d be nice to protect it,” says Belson.
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