SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary the commissioner of the department of agricultural resources shall establish an advisory committee charged with evaluating honeybee protection efforts established under MGL Chapter 128 Sections 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 36a and 36B. The committee shall evaluate the effectiveness of said law and subsequent regulations and policies in protecting the health of honeybee populations in the Commonwealth and shall recommendations for change to the legislature and the department.
The committee shall be comprised of representatives of 2 county beekeeper associations, a cranberry grower, an apple grower and a vegetable grower to be appointed by the commissioner, as well as a representative of the MA Farm Bureau Federation, the MA Beekeepers Association as appointed by the board of directors of those organizations, and a representative of the UMASS Extension. The chair shall be elected by the members of the committee. No member of the committee shall be, or have been, employed by the department of agricultural resources.
Within 18 months of passage of this bill, the committee shall present a report on its findings and recommendations. It shall meet at least 4 times during that period at geographically separate locations throughout the commonwealth. All meetings shall be open to the public and subject to appropriate open meeting requirements.
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