Legislature passes bill to appropriate funds to UH for bee hive research

LIHU‘E — The state Legislature on Monday approved a bill that appropriates funding for the University of Hawai‘i system to conduct bee hive research in all four counties.

House Bill 2100 appropriates $5,000 for each county in Hawai‘i, including Kaua‘i County, and an additional $10,000 for UH Hilo, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management.

The bill reflects an effort to fight small bee hive beetles, which have been detected on Big Island, Maui, Molokai and O‘ahu, and the varroa mites, which have been detected on Big Island and O‘ahu. Kaua‘i is considered free of both pests.

The Conference Committee was the last hurdle the bill had to clear before being sent to a final floor vote. Thursday is the final day for votes to be taken on bills up for final reading. It’s also the last day of this year’s legislative session.

If the Legislature passes the bill, it will be sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who can veto or approve it.

The bill was first introduced Jan. 19, and went through several changes throughout its progression at this year’s Legislature.

At one point it was amended to appropriate $10,000 for each county, plus $10,000 to UH Hilo. But the House Finance Committee amended the bill by changing the appropriation figures to unspecified amounts before sending it to the Senate for further work.

After the Senate made some housekeeping amendments, the Conference Committee, which includes members of both legislative bodies, amended the bill again to include the current figures.

Visit www.capitol.hawaii.gov for more information.

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