A dozen beekeepers in southern New England are suing Hudson Bay Company, a privately held company that sells honeycomb products.
The companies products include honeycomb bags and baskets, and they’re used in beekeeping operations in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, the plaintiffs say Hudson Bay products violate state and federal laws.
The lawsuit claims Hudson Bay’s products contain the pesticides, fungicides and herbicides that are used in the U.S. to control the spread of the Varroa mites.
The lawsuit says Hudson Bay cannot be trusted to safely sell its products.
Hudson Bay was founded in 1976 by a pair of Massachusetts natives, Robert and Donna Fung, and later merged with an Alaska firm, Wild Alaskan.
In 2012, Wild Alaska merged with Hudson Bay.
In October 2017, Wild Anchorage announced it would stop selling honeycomb in Maine and Massachusetts, citing concerns about the health risks.
Honeycomb is made of a mixture of bee wax, a mixture containing several different species of bees and pollen, and a special ingredient called a “honeycomb bag.”
Hudson Bay says the honeycomb is not meant to be a honeycomb.
Huddy Bay said in a statement that it is committed to safe and ethical business practices and has cooperated fully with state and local regulators.
It said the lawsuit is without merit.
The Associated Press