This story first appeared in New York magazine.
New York’s animal protection movement is making a big splash.
But what are the rules?
Animal rights activists in New Jersey are hoping that the latest version of a bee tracking technology will help protect wildlife and the environment.
A new bee tracking system called BeeTrack uses drones to record every bee buzzing around a beekeeper’s property.
They can then send the information to the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit conservation organization that fights for bee protection.
The bee-tracking company says it’s the first in the country.
BeeTrack is a big deal for the animal rights movement.
The technology allows a bee to be tracked as it passes over a bee field and also can be used to identify a bee in a swarm, the beekeeper says.
“There’s a lot of fear in the public right now about bee-watching,” says Rachel Purdy, the executive director of the Center For Biological Diversity.
“There’s this fear that you can’t be vigilant and that you’re not going to be able to protect bees.”
In New York, where the state’s bee-hunting ban is set to expire in February, BeeTrack was launched as part of a pilot program.
Purdy says the first two weeks of BeeTrack’s operation will give her and other animal rights activists a chance to learn the technology.
BeeTrack was developed by an outside company that specializes in bee tracking.
It has to meet strict criteria to operate in New Yorkers.
They must have a license to operate and the bees must be monitored for no more than three hours a day.
The company, Honeywell, says the software will help prevent collisions between bee colonies and other beekeepers.
There’s also a $5,000 reward available for anyone who helps get the bee-control program up and running.
The new technology is meant to be a last resort, said Tom Niederle, who heads Honeywell’s bee control program.
If BeeTrack isn’t used, Purdy believes that bee-watchers who have been tracking bees on the ground will use their cameras to take pictures of the bee in the wild and share them with the Center.
Purdy says she is working with the New York City Department of Environmental Conservation to make sure that the company can provide safe bee-management services.
Honeywell is also working with state agencies to develop a new bee-keeping law that will allow beekeepers to sell bees that have been tracked.
The law would create a tax credit to help farmers and businesses make ends meet.