Matzie introduces legislation to strengthen Pennsylvania honey industry

HARRISBURG, June 15 – State Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, announced today he is sponsoring two pieces of legislation intended to strengthen and create awareness of the Pennsylvania honey industry.

Today, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously adopted Matzie's H.R. 364, which designates the week of June 15 to June 21 as “Pollinator Week” in Pennsylvania. 

"The bee population has been declining rapidly, which is alarming because these pollinators serve an indispensable role in the world of agriculture," Matzie said. "Without bees and professional beekeepers, we would only be able to produce a fraction of the food we do now, so it is my hope that this resolution draws attention to this issue."

Matzie has also introduced H.B. 1266, which would establish regulations and a standard of identity for honey in the state. Currently, Matzie explained, official U.S. grades are displayed on honey products to designate the quality of the product, but the system is strictly voluntary. This results in many products on the market labeled as "pure honey" while in reality they are adulterated with sweeteners or antibiotics.

"Consumers have a right to know what they are buying," Matzie said. "But this legislation is also important for the industry. Honey producers that take the time and effort to produce pure honey should have the right to market their product as such, and this bill will ensure that right is protected."