New Tax Incentives For Beekeepers is Good for Orchards - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

New Tax Incentives For Beekeepers is Good for Orchards

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- The senate almost unanimously passed a bill making it cheaper for honey beekeepers to operate. This is good news for local orchards.

In recent years honey beekeepers have dealt with various diseases and host of mites and insects affecting their bees. Costs to remedy these problems have forced many beekeepers to go out of business.

They even have a name for it their calling it colony collapse.

This bill will help eliminate some costs for beekeepers. They'll be exempt from business and occupation taxes. The bill would also eliminate the sales tax on the sale of honey.

Cogdon Orchards says this is good for them, because they couldn't operate without the bees.

Randy Newman is a general manager of the Cogdon Orchards in Yakima. He says, "When we plant an orchard we've got multiple varieties out here and the bees actually carry the pollen from one variety to another to create that pollination, which the creates fruit without that pollination you don't get fruit."

Newman also says there are a few types of bees that'll cross-pollinate on their own but nowhere near the amount that beekeepers provide.

There are amendments to the bill the house wants the original diesel tax exemption removed and a 2013 expiration clause added. Regardless if the house approves these amendments the bill will move onto the governor.