From the S.F. Chronicle:
A California proposal to tax beekeepers to pay for research on bees' health has stirred up a swarm, even though all agree more study is needed amid a widespread die-off.
The proposal to set up a California Apiary Research Commission with the power to tax comes as bees nationwide are perishing in great numbers from colony collapse disorder and other health problems. California is the nation's main producer of fruits and vegetables, and bees are essential pollinators of about a third of the United States' food supply.
But many beekeepers say they will vote against forming the commission in a summer referendum because they don't want to be forced to pay fees when their industry continues to suffer big losses. The proposal would allow the commission to tax beekeepers doing business in California with more than 50 colonies at a rate of up to $1 per hive.
For more, see: Proposal to tax Calif. beekeepers stirs up swarm