Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Science/Environment

February 18, 2010

Bees impacted by mountaintop removal coal mining

FRANKFORT — Mountaintop removal coal mining is destroying the flowering trees and plants that honey bees depend on for food in the central Appalachians.

So Kentucky lawmakers are considering legislation that would encourage coal companies to replant bee-friendly vegetation on mountains after they finish mining.

The House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment unanimously approved a measure on Thursday that one expert said could help stabilize decreasing bee populations by replanting the nectar- and pollen-producing trees and plants that were on the mountains before they were unearthed in the search for coal.

Democratic state Rep. Fitz Steele of Hazard, a pro-coal lawmaker, is sponsoring the legislation.

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The legislation is House Bill 175.

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