(November 16, 2005)
THE BEE LAW
The following is an unofficial copy of the Bee Law (Act
of December 12, 1994, P.L. 903, No. 131)(3 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 2101 – 2117).
The document reflects the current version of this
statute. It is "unofficial" because it has been retyped. Any
discrepancies between this document and the official statute shall be
resolved in favor of the official statute. This document has been
prepared by thePennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Plant
Section numbers refer to
the corresponding section in Title 3 of the Pennsylvania consolidated
Annotated (3 Pa.C.S.A.)
§ 2101. Short title of chapter
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Bee
§ 2102. Definitions
The following words and phrases when used in this
chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Apiary." Any place where one or more colonies
or nuclei of bees are kept.
"Apiary yard." A fixed location or locations in
this Commonwealth where an apiary is maintained on a continuing basis
from which hives may be moved to temporary locations for crop
pollination and returned.
"Appliance." Any apparatus, tool, machine or
other device used in the handling and manipulating of bees, honey, wax
and hives and any container of honey and wax which may be used in any
apiary or in transporting bees and their products and apiary supplies.
"Bee." Any stage of
the common hive or honeybee (Apis mellifera) or other species of the
"Bee disease." Any
American or European foul brood, sac brood, bee paralysis or other
disease or abnormal condition of eggs, larval, pupal or adult stages of
Bureau of Plant Industry of the Department of Agriculture.
"Hive." Any frame
hive, box hive, box, barrel, log, gum, skep or other receptacle or
container, natural or artificial, or any part thereof, which may be used
or employed as a domicile for bees.
"Owner of an apiary."
Includes all colonies owned by an individual and located in any
permanent location or locations within this Commonwealth.
"Queen apiary." Any
apiary or premises in which queen bees are reared or kept for sale or
violation of this chapter or any order or regulation promulgated under
§ 2103. Chief apiary inspector
The secretary shall
appoint a chief apiary inspector to be in charge of all apiary
inspections and shall appoint such additional apiary inspectors as may
be necessary. The inspectors shall be attached to the bureau and shall
be furnished with official badges or other insignia of authority. The
secretary and the bureau are charged with the enforcement of the
provisions of this chapter.
§ 2104. Quarantines
The department may establish, modify and maintain such
quarantines as may be necessary to control the shipment into or within
this Commonwealth of any bees, queen bees, hives or appliances capable
of transmitting any bee disease for such periods and under such
conditions as may be necessary in order to control and eradicate any bee
disease or to prevent its introduction, spread or dissemination in this
Commonwealth and for such purposes may make and promulgate such rules,
regulations and orders relating thereto and to the general enforcement
of the provisions of this chapter as may be necessary.
§ 2105. Registration of apiaries
(a) General rule.-- The owner of an apiary
located in this Commonwealth shall register the apiary with the
(b) Application.-- The application for
registration of an apiary shall be made on a form provided by the
department and shall include all of the following:
(1) The name and complete mailing address of
the owner of the apiary and the name and complete mailing
address of the person primarily responsible for maintaining and
caring for the apiary if different from the owner.
(2) The exact location or locations of each apiary.
(3) The number of colonies contained in the apiary.
(4) Such other information as the department may require.
(c) Fee.-- The
apiary registration fee shall be $ 10 for each applicant. No fee shall
be charged for temporary relocation of a hive or hives for crop
pollination from an apiary yard properly registered as an apiary under
(d) Registration term.--
A registration under this section shall be valid for a period of not
more than two calendar years and shall expire on December 31 of the year
following the initial year of registration.
The department may by regulation require apiary owners to report the
relocation of an apiary from its original location as reported at the
time of registration to another location in this Commonwealth. The owner
of an apiary yard which is properly registered as an apiary under this
chapter shall not be required to report the temporary
relocation of a hive or hives for crop pollination as long as proper
records of hive locations are maintained by the owner at a location
available to the department for inspection
§ 2106. Inspection
The department through the inspectors shall at least
twice during each summer season, inspect all queen apiaries. If from the
inspection it appears that any bee disease exists in the queen apiary,
the apiary inspector making the inspection shall immediately notify in
writing the owner or person in charge thereof, and thereafter it shall
be unlawful for that
person to ship, sell or give away any queen bees from the apiary until
the disease has been destroyed and a certificate of that fact has been
obtained from the chief inspector. If upon inspection it is found that
no bee disease exists in the queen apiary, the chief inspector shall
issue a certificate of that fact and a copy of the certificate shall be
to each package or shipment of queen bees transported from the apiary.
The certificate shall be valid for one year from the date of its issue
unless revoked for cause.
§ 2107. Diseases
(a) General rule.-- The department through the
inspectors shall, as far as practicable, inspect all apiaries in this
Commonwealth. If upon inspection it is found that any bee disease exists
in the apiary, the inspector making the inspection shall immediately
notify in writing the owner or person in charge of the apiary, stating
the nature of the disease
and whether the disease may or may not be successfully treated. If the
disease may be successfully treated, the inspector shall specify and
direct the necessary treatment, which shall be administered by the owner
or person in charge within 14 days.
(b) Service of notices.-- The written notice
required by section 2106 (relating to inspection) and this section may
be served by handing a copy thereof to the owner or person in charge of
the apiary or by leaving a copy thereof with an adult person residing
upon the premises or by registered mail addressed to the owner or person
in charge of the apiary at his last known or reputed address.
§ 2108. Infected shipments
Infected shipments, apiaries where the existing disease
cannot be successfully treated and apiaries which are affected by
disease amenable to treatment but which have not been treated within a
period of 14 days after the owner thereof has received notice of the
necessary treatment are hereby declared to be a public nuisance and a
menace to the
community, and the director of the bureau or his authorized agent may
destroy by burning or otherwise, without any remuneration to the owner,
any infected bees, hives, honey or appliances found therein.
§ 2109. Prohibitions
(a) Infected colonies, hives or appliances.-- No
person shall knowingly keep in his possession without proper treatment
any colony of bees affected with any bee disease or expose any diseased
colony or infected hive or appliance so that flying bees may have access
(b) Infected bees.-- No person shall sell,
barter or give away, accept, receive or transport any bees affected with
any bee disease.
(c) Hives.-- No person shall keep or maintain
honeybees in any hive other than a modern movable frame hive which
permits thorough examination of every comb to determine the presence of
bee disease. All other types of hives or receptacles for bees which are
in use are hereby declared to be a public nuisance and a menace to the
community, and the secretary, the chief apiary inspector or any apiary
inspector may seize and destroy the hive or receptacle without
remuneration to the owner.
§ 2110. Free access
The department, the chief apiary inspector and any
apiary inspector shall have free access, ingress and egress to and from
any apiary, premises, building or other place, public or private, in
which bees, queen bees, wax, honey, hives or appliances may be kept or
stored. No person shall deny to such duly authorized officer or agent
access to any such place or hinder or resist the inspection of the
§ 2111. Transportation
No person shall transport bees, hives or appliances
into this Commonwealth unless they are accompanied with a certificate of
inspection signed by the chief apiary inspector or corresponding
inspection official of the state or county from which the bees are being
transported. The certificate shall certify that actual inspection of the
bees was made within 30 days preceding the date of shipment and that the
bees, hives and appliances contained in the shipment are free from bee
diseases. It is the duty of any officer, agent, servant or employee of
any person, firm or corporation engaged in transportation, who shall
receive a shipment of bees consigned to a point in this Commonwealth and
not having attached thereto a certificate as required, to immediately
notify the department and to hold the shipment subject to its orders for
a period of 15 days.
§ 2112. Imported bees
No person shall import any living insects belonging to
the genus Apis from any foreign country except Canada for any purpose
without written permission from the department.
§ 2113. Penalties
(a) First violation.-- A first violation of this
chapter or any order or regulation promulgated under this chapter
constitutes a summary offense punishable by a fine of not less than $
(b) Second violation.-- A second violation of
this chapter or any order or regulation promulgated under this chapter
constitutes a summary offense punishable by a fine of not less than $
(c) Subsequent violations.-- A third and
subsequent violation of this chapter or any order or regulation
promulgated under this chapter constitutes a misdemeanor of the third
degree punishable by a fine of not less than $ 1,000.
§ 2114. Civil penalties
(a) Assessment.-- The department may assess a
civil penalty of not more than $ 1,000 upon a person for each violation.
(b) Contest.-- If a civil penalty is assessed
against a person under subsection (a), the department shall notify the
person by certified mail of the nature of the violation and the amount
of the civil penalty and that the person may notify the department in
writing within ten calendar days that he wishes to contest the civil
penalty. If within ten calendar
days from the receipt of that notification the person does not notify
the department of his intent to contest the assessed penalty, the civil
penalty shall become final.
(c) Hearing and appeal.-- If timely notification
of the intent to contest the civil penalty is given, the person
contesting the civil penalty shall be provided with a hearing in
accordance with 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice and
procedure of Commonwealth agencies). Appeals may be taken in accordance
with 2 Pa.C.S. Ch. 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of
Commonwealth agency action).
§ 2115. Injunctions
The Attorney General at the request of the department
may initiate in the Commonwealth Court or the court of common pleas of
the county in which the defendant resides or has a place of business an
action in equity for an injunction to restrain any violation of this
chapter or any order or regulation promulgated under this chapter. The
Commonwealth shall not be required to furnish a bond or other security
in connection with this proceeding.
§ 2116. Concurrent remedies
The penalties and remedies prescribed by this chapter
are concurrent. The existence or exercise of any remedy shall not
prevent the exercise of any other remedy under this chapter.
§ 2117. Disposition of funds
Moneys received from registration fees, fines and civil
penalties shall be paid into the State Treasury and shall be credited to
the general government operations appropriation of the Department of
Agriculture for administering the provisions of this chapter.