AN ANALYSIS OF IMPACT OF HOUSE BILL 1293 ON SMALL SCALE BEEKEEPERS

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

 

§  The destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees can be ordered at the discretion of the Chief Apiary Inspector.

 

§  Insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor and small hive beetles can be forced at the discretion of the Chief Apiary Inspector.

PROS

 

§  A beekeeper that has less than 25 colonies and sells less than 25 colonies per year in any form is exempt from 98% of House Bill 1293 proposals

§  A beekeeper that has less than 25 colonies at the beekeepers residence (if allowed by municipality) and sells less than 25 colonies per year in any form is exempt from 99.9% of House Bill 1293 proposals

§  H.B. 1293 proposes transporting bees across county lines no longer requires a permit.

CONS

 

§  Chief Apiary Inspector can enforce selection of “deleterious pests” on an individual basis.

 

 

 

§  New fee created for beekeeper registration.

 

 

DETAILS BELOW

 

 

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT

relating to bees, the chief apiary inspector, and the regulation of beekeepers; authorizing fees; requiring an occupational registration; providing a criminal penalty.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1.  Section 131.001, Agriculture Code, is amended by amending Subdivisions (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), and (8), and adding Subdivisions (8-a), (12-a), (12-b), (16), and (17) to read as follows:

HB 1293 Impact

On

Small Scale  Beekeeper

Current Chapter 131

If HB 1293 adopted

 

POSITIVE

+

NEUTRAL

=

NEGATIVE

–

 

(2)  "Apiary" means a place where [six or more] colonies of bees or nuclei of bees are kept.

(3)  "Beekeeper" means a person who owns, leases, possesses, controls, or manages one or more colonies of bees for any [pollination or the production of honey, beeswax, or other by-products, either for] personal or commercial purpose [use].

(4)  "Bee" means any stage of a member of the genus [the common honeybee,] Apis [mellifera species].

(5)  "Colony" means all of the bees living together as one social unit and may include the hive and its [equipment and] appurtenances including bees, brood, comb, honey, and pollen[, and brood].

(6)  "Director" means the director of [the] Texas A&M AgriLife Research [Agricultural Experiment Station].

(7)  "Disease" means American foulbrood, [European foulbrood,] any other [contagious or infectious] disease of honey bees [honeybees], or parasites [or pests] that affect bees or brood and that are considered deleterious by the chief apiary inspector.

(8)  "Equipment" means hives, supers, frames, veils, gloves, tools, machines, vacuums, or other devices for the handling and manipulation of bees, honey, pollen, wax, or hives, including[,] storage or transporting containers for pollen, honey, or wax[,] or other apiary supplies used in the operation of an apiary or honey house.

 

 

 

(8-a)  "Hive" means a container or structure used by a beekeeper to provide a cavity in which a colony of bees is expected to establish a permanent nest. 

+

Definition of Hive applies to naturally occurring feral hives.

Hive is now defined as only structures used by beekeepers

 

(12-a)  "Package" means live bees in cages without combs or honey used in forming a new colony .

(12-b)  "Pest" means an insect, mite, or organism that causes damage or abnormality to bees and that is considered deleterious by the chief apiary inspector.

(16)  "Reportable disease" and "reportable pest" mean a disease or pest that presents a significant threat to the population of honey bees and that has been designated by the chief apiary inspector as a disease or pest that must be reported under Section 131.025.

–

Chief Apiary inspector can unequally  apply what is considered deleterious on an individual hive or supplier basis. 

 

In other words he can decide small hive beetles are deleterious for one supplier and not for another.

Chief Apiary inspector can unequally apply what is considered deleterious on an individual hive or supplier basis. 

 

In other words he can decide small hive beetles are deleterious for one supplier and not for another.

 

(17)  "Unwanted species of bees" means a species of bees, including a non-Apis species of bees, that is considered deleterious by the chief apiary inspector and that must be reported under Section 131.025.

–

Only APIS species came under jurisdiction Chief Apiary Inspector.

Chief Apiary Inspector can order the destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees. 

 

Chief Apiary Inspector can force insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor.

 

 

 

SECTION 2.  Section 131.004(a), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows: 

 

(a)  The chief apiary inspector may employ assistants and inspectors as necessary, subject to the approval of the director [and governing board of the experiment station].

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 3.  Section 131.005(a), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows: 

 

(a)  The chief apiary inspector shall make an annual report to the director giving a detailed account of all [inspection] activities, receipt and use of funds, and compliance actions brought under this chapter.

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 4.  The heading to Section 131.007, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.007.  PUBLIC [PUBLISHING] INFORMATION.

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 5.  Section 131.007(a), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

(a)  The chief apiary inspector shall publish information and present educational programs on methods and directions for treating, eradicating, or suppressing [infectious] diseases and pests of honey bees and unwanted species of bees [honeybees], the rules adopted for those purposes, and other information that the inspector considers of value or necessity to the beekeeping interests of this state.

 

–

Only APIS species came under jurisdiction Chief Apiary Inspector.

Chief Apiary Inspector can order the destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees. 

 

Chief Apiary Inspector can force insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor.

 

 

 

SECTION 6.  Section 131.010, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.010.  FEES.  The chief apiary inspector shall make a reasonable effort to set the fees charged under this chapter at amounts that are reasonable in relation to the costs of administering this chapter.  In setting fees, [amounts that will produce enough revenue to approximate 50 percent of the inspector's total budget.  In achieving this goal,] the inspector shall balance the revenue needs against the effect of the fees on the industry.

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 7.  The heading to Subchapter B, Chapter 131, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

 

 

SUBCHAPTER B.  DISEASE AND PEST CONTROL

 –

 

 

 

 

SECTION 8.  Section 131.021, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.021.  POWERS AND DUTIES OF CHIEF APIARY INSPECTOR.  (a)  For the purpose of enforcing this chapter, the chief apiary inspector may:

 

 

 

(1)  adopt rules and act as necessary to control, eradicate, or prevent the introduction, spread, or dissemination of [contagious or infectious] diseases, pests, or unwanted species of bees;

 

–

Only APIS species came under jurisdiction Chief Apiary Inspector.

Chief Apiary Inspector can order the destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees. 

 

Chief Apiary Inspector can force insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor.

 

(2)  prohibit the shipment or entry into this state of bees, honey, combs, pollen, or other items capable of transmitting diseases, pests, and unwanted species of bees from another state, territory, or foreign country except in accordance with rules adopted by the inspector; [and]

(3)  seize and order the destruction or[,] treatment[, or sale] of a colony of bees, equipment, pollen, or honey that:

(A)  is determined to be diseased or[,] infectious;

(B)  contains unwanted species of bees or pests;[, abandoned,] or

(C)  is in violation of this chapter or a rule or quarantine adopted under this chapter; and

(4)  seize and order the destruction, treatment, or sale of a colony of bees, equipment, pollen, or honey that is determined by the inspector to be abandoned.

(b)  For purposes of this section, apiaries, equipment, or bees are considered infectious if:

(1)  the bees are not hived with movable frames or not stored so as to prevent the possible spread of disease or pests; or

(2)  the bees, equipment, or apiary generally comprise a hazard or threat to disease control in the beekeeping industry.

=

 

 

 

 

SECTION 9.  Section 131.022, Agriculture Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (c) and (d) to read as follows:

 

(a)  If the chief apiary inspector determines that [the] public welfare or protection of the beekeeping industry requires the establishment of a quarantine, the inspector may:

 

=

 

 

 

(1)  declare a protective quarantine of a district, county, precinct, or other defined area in which a disease of bees, a pest of bees, or an unwanted [a deleterious exotic] species of bees is not known to exist or in which the disease, pest, or unwanted [exotic] species of bees is being eradicated in accordance with this subchapter; or

 

 

–

Only APIS species came under jurisdiction Chief Apiary Inspector.

Chief Apiary Inspector can order the destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees. 

 

Chief Apiary Inspector can force insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor.

 

(2)  declare a restrictive quarantine of a district, county, precinct, or other defined area in which a disease of bees, a pest of bees, or an unwanted [a deleterious exotic] species of bees is located.

 

 

–

Only APIS species came under jurisdiction Chief Apiary Inspector.

Chief Apiary Inspector can order the destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees. 

 

Chief Apiary Inspector can force insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor.

 

(c)  On request from a beekeeper, the inspector may grant an exemption to a quarantine imposed under this section.  The inspector may adopt rules for submitting requests and granting exemptions under this subsection.

 

=

 

 

 

(d)  A beekeeper directly affected by a quarantine imposed under this section may petition the director for a review of the inspector's quarantine order or the inspector's denial of the beekeeper's request for exemption under Subsection (c).  The request must be in writing and filed with the director not later than the 30th day after the date the quarantine is initiated or the beekeeper receives notice that the exemption request is denied, as applicable.

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 10.  Section 131.023, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.023.  SALE OF QUEEN BEE AND ATTENDANTS, PACKAGE BEES, COLONIES, AND NUCLEI.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), a [A] person may not sell or offer for sale a queen bee and attendant bees, package bees, colonies, nuclei, or queen cells in this state unless the bees are accompanied by a certificate of inspection that certifies that the bees are apparently free from disease and pests based on an actual inspection conducted not more than 12 months before the date of the sale.

(b)  This section does not apply to a person who annually sells less than:

(1)  a total of 25 queen bees, packages of bees, colonies, and nuclei; and

(2)  100 queen cells [copy of a certificate from the chief apiary inspector certifying that the apiary from which the queen bee was shipped has been inspected not more than 12 months before the date of shipment and found apparently free from disease; or

[(2)  a copy of an affidavit made by the beekeeper stating that:

[(A)  to his knowledge, the bees are not diseased; and

[(B)  the honey used in making the candy contained in the queen cage has been diluted and boiled for at least 30 minutes in a closed vessel].

 

 

–

Chief Apiary inspector can unequally apply what is considered deleterious on an individual hive or supplier basis.

 

In other words he can decide small hive beetles are deleterious for one supplier and not for another.

Chief Apiary inspector can unequally apply what is considered deleterious on an individual hive or supplier basis. 

 

In other words he can decide small hive beetles are deleterious for one supplier and not for another.

 

 

 

–

Seller can provide an affidavit stating to his knowledge bees are disease free to sell any amount of bees or queens

Certificate of Inspection declaring bees are free from disease and pests is required to sell more than a combined total of 25 queens, packages of  a combination of by the Chief Apiary Inspector is required

 

 

No Inspection by Chief Apiary required.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

 

Regressive Tax favoring and giving large scale beekeepers competitive advantage. 

Current practice by TAIS is a maximum of 5 apiaries inspected per beekeeper independent of the number of apiaries that beekeeper has at a maximum cost of $375.

 

 

 

SECTION 11.  Section 131.024, Agriculture Code, is amended by amending Subsections (b) and (c) and adding Subsections (b-1) and (b-2) to read as follows: (b)  Before [At least five days before] an item seized under Section 131.021 [of this code] may be treated, destroyed, or sold, the inspector shall provide [send by certified mail, return receipt requested,] written notice of the proposed disposition of the item to the [last known address of the] beekeeper or the owner of the item in the manner provided by Subsection (b-1) or (b-2).  The notice must describe the item, the proposed disposition of the item, and the reason for the disposition.

(b-1)  The inspector shall, not later than the fifth day before the proposed disposition date:

(1)  send written notice to the beekeeper's or owner's last known address by first class mail and by certified mail, return receipt requested; and

(2)  provide written notice to the beekeeper or owner by:

(A)  hand delivery;

(B)  process server delivery; or

(C)  next-day delivery through the United States Postal Service or a similar service.

(b-2)  If the name or address of the beekeeper or owner of the item is unknown, the inspector shall, not later than the fifth day before the proposed disposition date:

(1)  publish notice of the proposed disposition [for at least five consecutive days] in at least one issue of a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the property was seized; or

(2)  post notice of the proposed disposition on [for at least five consecutive days in three public places, including] the door of the county courthouse or at another location designated for public notices [,] in the county where the property was seized.

(c)  If the inspector sells bees, equipment, pollen, or honey at a public auction under this section, the inspector shall return the proceeds of the sale to the former owner, if known, after deducting the costs of the sale.

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 12.  Section 131.025, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.025.  REPORTABLE DISEASES AND PESTS; UNWANTED SPECIES OF BEES [DUTY TO REPORT DISEASED BEES].  (a)  The chief apiary inspector shall maintain and publish:

(1)  a list of reportable diseases and reportable pests; and

(2)  a list of unwanted species of bees.

–

Only APIS species came under jurisdiction Chief Apiary Inspector.

Chief Apiary Inspector can order the destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees. 

 

Chief Apiary Inspector can force insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor.

 

(b)  If a beekeeper knows that a colony of bees has a reportable disease or contains a reportable pest or an unwanted species of bee [is diseased], the beekeeper shall immediately report to the chief apiary inspector all facts known about the situation [diseased bees].

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 13.  Section 131.041, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.041.  PERMIT FOR INTERSTATE MOVEMENT [IMPORTATION].  (a)  A person may not ship or cause to be shipped bees or equipment into or out of this state unless the person has a permit issued by the chief apiary inspector authorizing the shipment.

–

Export Permit requested at discretion of exporter depending on requirements of the states the shipment will move through.

Export Permit mandatory for all but package bees in all cases.

 

(b)  A person may apply for a permit under this section by filing an application with the inspector.  A person may apply for a permit at any time, but a person must apply for a permit before the 10th day preceding the date of the shipment if the person does not hold a permit on that date.  An application for a permit must include all information required by the chief apiary inspector.

 

 

–

 

Vague & Unclear:

Does this mean that it’s OK to import/export without permit as long as permit application was submitted at least 10 days prior to ship date?

 

Clearer Wording IS:

A person must apply for a permit at any time at least 10 days preceding the date of the shipment.

 

 (b-1)  A permit issued under this section applies to all shipments made by the beekeeper and expires on August 31 following the date the permit is issued.

(b-2)  For a shipment originating outside this state:

(1)  [a complete description of the shipment;

[(2)  the destination of the shipment;

[(3)  the approximate date of the shipment;

[(4)  the names and addresses of the consignor and consignee; and

[(5)]  a certificate of inspection signed by the official apiary inspector or entomologist of the state, territory, or country from which the bees are to be shipped is required before the shipment may enter the state; or

(2)  the chief apiary inspector of Texas must have inspected the shipment not more than 12 months before the date of the shipment.

(c)  A certificate of inspection for a permit required by Subsection (b-2) [(b)(5) of this section] must certify that the bees or equipment are apparently free from disease and pests based on an actual inspection conducted not more than 12 months before the date of the shipment.  If the bees or equipment are to be shipped into this state from a state, territory, or country that does not have an official apiary inspector or entomologist:

(1)  [,] the person shipping the bees or equipment may provide other suitable evidence that the bees and equipment are free from disease and pests; or

(2)  the bees may be shipped into this state under quarantine and the person receiving the shipment shall have the bees inspected not later than the 30th day after the date the bees enter this state.

(d)  If a person files an application in accordance with Subsection (b) [of this section] and the inspector is satisfied that the shipment does not pose a threat to disease or pest control in the beekeeping industry, the inspector shall issue a permit authorizing the shipment.

(e)  This section does not apply to a shipment of package [live] bees [in wire cages without combs or honey].

 

 

–

 

In state bee suppliers shipping to Texas are disadvantaged relative to out of state bee suppliers shipping to Texas.

 

An in state supplier must have permit and certificate of inspection to ship package bees to a Texas destination, while an out of state supplier is not required to have permit nor certificate of inspection to ship package bees.

 

(f)  The inspector shall charge a fee for each permit issued under this section.  The inspector shall set the fee at an amount that is reasonable in relation to the costs of administering this section.

–

 

 

(g)  An individual who is exempt from registration under Section 131.045 is exempt from the permit fee charged under Subsection (f).

+

 

 

 

 

SECTION 14.  Section 131.044, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.044.  CERTIFICATE OF INSPECTION.  (a)  A person who wants a certificate of inspection for bees, equipment, pollen, or honey must [file a written] request [for] the inspection from [with] the chief apiary inspector.

 

=

 

 

 

(b)  On receipt of a request, the inspector shall authorize the inspection of the bees, equipment, pollen, or honey for the presence of disease, pests, and unwanted species of bees.

 

 

–

Only APIS species came under jurisdiction Chief Apiary Inspector.

Chief Apiary Inspector can order the destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees. 

 

Chief Apiary Inspector can force insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor.

 

(c)  If no [a] disease, pest, or unwanted species of bee is [not] found in the bees, equipment, pollen, or honey, the inspector shall certify in writing that the bees, equipment, pollen, or honey is apparently free from disease, pests, and unwanted species of bees.

–

Only APIS species came under jurisdiction Chief Apiary Inspector.

Chief Apiary Inspector can order the destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees. 

 

Chief Apiary Inspector can force insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor.

 

(d)  The inspector shall charge fees for inspections requested under this section.  The inspector shall set the fees in amounts that are reasonable in relation to the costs of administering this section [, but at not less than the following amounts:

=

 

 

[(1)  for each inspection of an apiary or group of apiaries, except a queen apiary, located within an area of 100 square miles$ 50

 

=

 

 

 

[(2)  for an inspection of a queen apiary or group of queen apiaries located within an area of 100 square miles$200

 

=

 

 

 

[(3)  for each additional inspection of a queen apiary or group of queen apiaries located within an area of 100 square miles$ 50].

 

=

 

 

 

(e)  The beekeeper of diseased bees or of equipment that contains a pest or an unwanted species of bee shall pay an additional fee, in a reasonable amount set by the inspector [at not less that  $25], for each subsequent inspection that the inspector determines is necessary to contain, treat, or eradicate the disease, pest, or unwanted species of bee.

 

 

–

 

 

 

 

SECTION 15.  Section 131.045, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.045.  BEEKEEPER [APIARY] REGISTRATION. 

(a)  Except as provided by Subsection (d), each beekeeper in this state shall annually register with the [The] chief apiary inspector [may provide for the periodic registration of all apiaries in this state].  A registration under this section expires August 31.

 

(b)  A registration must include:

(1) information required by the chief apiary inspector [the beekeeper's name, address, and telephone number]; and

(2) the county or counties in which the beekeeper operates [apiary will be located; and

[(3) the approximate dates that the apiary will be located in each county].

(c) The inspector may require a beekeeper to submit with the registration information a map showing the exact location of each of the beekeeper's apiaries.  A map submitted under this section is a trade secret under Chapter 552, Government Code, and may not be disclosed.

(d) A beekeeper with an annual average of fewer than 25 colonies or nuclei is exempt from mandatory registration under this section but may voluntarily register.

(e) The chief apiary inspector shall charge a fee for each registration issued under this section.  The inspector shall set the fee at an amount that is reasonable in relation to the costs of administering this section.

 

 

 

–

Beekeeper Registration not required.

Apiary Registration is optional and is without charge.

Mandatory Beekeeper Registration if beekeeper has more than 25 hives on average.

 

 

 

 

–

No Beekeeper Registration fee

New Registration Fee Charge created for beekeepers with more than 25 hives on average.

 

 

 

–

 

VAGUE

Provisions for an exemption are unclear & confusing.  The phrase “an annual average of fewer than 25 ….” Is unclear if it means either:

Annual average colonies owned?  Or

Annual average colonies maintained?  Or

Annual average sales?

 

Assuming it means average possession or ownership of 25 hives, 25 is a low number for small scale.  25 hives is out of line with the Cottage Industry Exemption guidelines of honey sales.

 

 

 

SECTION 16.  Section 131.046(a), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

 (a)  Fees collected under this subchapter shall be deposited in the State Treasury [to the credit of a special fund to be known as the bee disease control fund to be used only to defray the costs of administering and enforcing this chapter].

=

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 17.  The heading to Subchapter D, Chapter 131, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

SUBCHAPTER D.  BRANDING AND IDENTIFICATION OF HIVES [APIARY EQUIPMENT]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 18.  Section 131.061, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.061.  IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED.  (a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), a [A] person may not operate an apiary in this state unless the hives are [apiary equipment is]:

(1)  clearly and permanently [indelibly] marked with the name [and address] of the person as provided by Section 131.064; [or]

(2)  branded in accordance with Section 131.064 [of this code] with a brand registered to the person by the chief apiary inspector; or

(3)  identified by a weatherproof sign posted within the apiary containing the name and contact information or the brand number of the person managing the apiary, printed in lettering at least one inch high.

(b)  An apiary at the principal residence of a beekeeper is exempt from the requirements of Subsection (a).

 

 

–

Name and Address Marking required or alternatively a brand that can be tied to a Name & address to enable owner of hives to be located

A loop hole is created whereby the owner can hide ownership of hives in an apiary because only marking a name is required.

 

 

 

–

No marking required at any location that has fewer than 6 hives.

Marking or sign required for any hive not at principal residence of beekeeper.

 

+

 

Marking required at any location that has more than 5 hives.

No marking required for an unlimited number of hives located at beekeepers principal residence.

 

 

 

SECTION 19.  Section 131.062(a), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

(a)  The chief apiary inspector shall maintain a system of registration of beekeeper [apiary equipment] brands to identify equipment used by the [a] beekeeper [in an apiary].  The inspector shall assign a brand number to each beekeeper when the beekeeper registers under Section 131.045.

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 20.  Section 131.064, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.064.  MANNER OF AFFIXING NAME OR BRAND TO HIVES [EQUIPMENT].  A name or brand must be affixed to a hive [registrant shall affix the registered brand to his or her apiary equipment] by burning, [or] pressing, painting, or otherwise permanently marking the name or brand, in figures at least one-half [three-quarters] of an inch high, into the wood or other material in a manner that shows the identification of the hive [equipment].  The [registrant shall affix the] name or brand must be affixed on one or both ends of the hive.  [On other equipment, including a frame, inter-cover, top, bottom, or plank, the registrant may affix the brand in any place.]

 

–

Name and Address Marking required or alternatively a brand that can be tied to a Name & address to enable owner of hives to be located

A loop hole is created whereby the owner can hide ownership of hives in an apiary because only marking a name is required.

 

 

 

SECTION 21.  Section 131.065(c), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

(c)  A person may sell an individual piece of branded equipment, but the brand is not transferred to the buyer.  If the buyer of the equipment has a brand, the buyer shall affix the buyer's brand above or below the brand of the prior owner.

 

=

 

 

 

 

SECTION 22.  Section 131.101, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.101.  ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY.  The chief apiary inspector is the official responsible for enforcing Subchapters B, C, and D [of this chapter].  The [Texas] Department of State Health Services is the agency responsible for enforcing Subchapter E [of this chapter].

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 23.  Section 131.102(b), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

(b)  The [Texas] Department of State Health Services may enter at a reasonable hour any public or private premises, including a building, depot, express office, storeroom, vehicle, or warehouse, in which bees, equipment, pollen, or honey may be located to determine whether a violation of Subchapter E [of this chapter] has occurred or is occurring.

 

=

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 24.  The heading to Section 131.121, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.121.  DISEASE AND PEST CONTROL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECTION 25.  Section 131.121(a), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

(a)  A person commits an offense if the person:

(1)  violates a provision of Section 131.022 or 131.023 [of this code];

(2)  fails to report reportable diseases, reportable pests, or unwanted species of [diseased] bees in accordance with Section 131.025 [of this code];

(3)  ships or causes bees or equipment to be shipped into this state [or between counties in this state] without the permit required by Section 131.041 [or 131.043 of this chapter];

(4)  violates a rule, order, or quarantine of the chief apiary inspector adopted under this chapter;

(5)  prevents or attempts to prevent an inspection of bees, equipment, pollen, or honey under the direction of the inspector under this chapter;

(6)  prevents or attempts to prevent the discovery or treatment of reportable diseases, reportable pests, or unwanted species of [diseased] bees;

(7)  interferes with or attempts to interfere with the inspector in the discharge of the duties under this chapter;

(8)  as the owner or keeper of a [diseased] colony of bees that has a reportable disease, a reportable pest, or an unwanted species of bee, barters, gives away, sells, ships, or moves the [diseased] bees, equipment, pollen, or honey or exposes other bees to the reportable disease, reportable pest, or unwanted species of bee;

(9)  exposes honey, pollen, hives, frames, combs, bees, or appliances from a colony of bees known to have a reportable disease, a reportable pest, or an unwanted species of bee [be diseased] in a manner that provides access to other bees; [or]

(10)  sells, offers for sale, barters, gives away, ships, or distributes honey or pollen taken from a colony of [diseased] bees that has a reportable disease or a colony of bees that contains a reportable pest; or

(11)  fails to register with the chief apiary inspector as required by Section 131.045.

–

Only APIS species came under jurisdiction Chief Apiary Inspector.

Chief Apiary Inspector can order the destruction of bumble bees and other Texas Native bees. 

 

Chief Apiary Inspector can force insecticidal treatment for Varroa Destructor.

 

 

 

SECTION 26.  The heading to Section 131.122, Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

Sec. 131.122.  IDENTIFICATION [APIARY EQUIPMENT BRANDS].

 

 

 

 

SECTION 27.  Section 131.122(a), Agriculture Code, is amended to read as follows:

 

(a)  A person commits an offense if the person:

(1)  violates Section 131.061 [of this code]; or

(2)  alters or attempts to alter a registered [apiary equipment] brand without authorization from the chief apiary inspector.

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Forces buyer of a colony to replace the hive box for colonies purchased from another beekeeper if box previously marked.

 

 

 

SECTION 28.  The following provisions of the Agriculture Code are repealed:

 

(1)  Section 131.002(c);

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Removes over site of the TAIS by the state entomologist

 

(2)  Section 131.003(b);

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Allows for conflict of interests previously prohibited

 

(3)  Section 131.007(c);

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Chief Apiary Inspector is required to establish methods for consumer protection notifications.

Consumer protection notification structure required by Chief Apiary Inspector is eliminated

 

(4)  Section 131.042;

 

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Export Permit requested at discretion of exporter depending on requirements of the states the shipment will move through.

Export Permit mandatory for all but package bees in all cases.

 

(5)  Section 131.043

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Permit required to transport bees across county lines

Permit not required to transport bees across county lines

 

(6)  Section 131.063.

 

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A loop hole is created whereby the owner can hide ownership of hives in an apiary.