Annapolis, MD – The House of Delegates passed legislation Saturday intended to protect the state’s honeybees from a class of pesticides that has been linked to a dramatic decline in their numbers.

The House measure would restrict the sale and use of a type of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. It allows exceptions for individuals certified to apply the pesticides and for farmers. Delegates voted 96-39 to approve the bill, which has been sought by Maryland beekeepers.

A version of the bill has passed the Senate, but the two measures would have to be reconciled before they could become law.