By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A city councilman this past week was stung by the Nutter Administration’s resistance to regulating honey bee extermination services.
Fourth District Councilman Curtis Jones is concerned that residents all too often call in exterminators when they find a bee hive on their property and the exterminators aren’t trained to remove the hive without killing the bees.
At a hearing this past week, Jones cited the President’s recently announced strategy to save honey bees:
“I’m a poor boy from West Philly.” said Jones. “And really this is not my wheelhouse of information, but when the President of the United States takes the time to say that there’s a problem, I think the city of Philadelphia should listen.”
Jones wants the city to mandate two hours of training for exterminators on the non-lethal removal of honey bees.
The city’s Animal Care and Control Team would administer the training.
But Manny Citron of the Managing Director’s Office told the council committee that the Administration opposes the idea, because it goes beyond ACCT’s purview, and because a state agency already certifies exterminators.
This opposition prompted Jones to grill Citron on the issue:
Jones: Did you read President Obama’s national strategy on honey bees and pollenization?
Citron: No sir, I did not.
Jones: You did not. Do you realize that there is a national emergency about the non-lethal removal of honey bees?
Citron: Uh, I…. I…. I take your word for it, sir. I was not aware that there was.
Jones: How many bee hives have been removed by exterminators in the city of Philadelphia last year?
Citron: I do not have that information. That is not something we track currently.
The councilman agreed to table his proposal for now, but vowed to revisit it in the fall and urged Citron in the meantime to read up on the President’s honey bee-saving strategy.