(a) Upon a finding by a two-thirds vote of the commission that the operation of this chapter has not tended to effectuate its declared purposes, the commission may recommend to the secretary that the commission be suspended. Any suspension shall not become effective until the expiration of the current marketing season.
(b) The secretary shall, upon receipt of a recommendation, or may, after a public hearing to review a petition filed with him or her requesting such suspension, signed by 15 percent of the producers by number who owned and operated not less than 15 percent of the total quantity of colonies maintained in the immediately preceding marketing season, cause a referendum to be conducted
among the listed producers to determine if the operations of the commission shall be suspended. However, the secretary shall not hold a referendum as a result of the petition unless the petitioner shows by the weight of evidence that this chapter has not effectuated its declared purposes.
(c) The secretary shall establish a referendum period, which shall not be less than 10 or more than 60 days in duration. The secretary may prescribe additional procedures necessary to conduct the referendum. At the close of the established referendum period, the secretary shall tabulate the ballots filed during the period. The secretary shall suspend the operation of this chapter, if the secretary finds that at least 30 percent of the total number of producers from the list established by the secretary participate, and that either of the following occurs:
(1) Sixty-five percent of the producers
who voted in the referendum voted in favor of suspension, and the producers so voting operated a majority of the total quantity of honeybee colonies owned or operated by those producers voting in the referendum.
(2) A majority of the producers who voted in the referendum voted in favor of suspension, and the producers so voting operated 65 percent or more of the total quantity of honeybee colonies owned or operated by those producers voting in the referendum.