York County Beekeepers' Association

"Beekeeping that is environmentally correct, economically viable and socially just."


"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. 
No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more man."......
Often erroneously attributed to Albert Einstein


 


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(November 16, 2005)


UNOFFICIAL COPY:
THE BEE LAW

(Printer Friendly Version)


     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 Industry.
 

     Section numbers refer to the corresponding section in Title 3 of the Pennsylvania consolidated Statutes,

Annotated (3 Pa.C.S.A.)


*************************************************************************************
 

2101. Short title of chapter
     This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Bee Law.


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 genus Apis.
 

     "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 the honeybee.
 

     "Bureau." The 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 gift.
 

     "Violation." A violation of this chapter or any order or regulation promulgated under this chapter.
 

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 department.
     (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 this chapter.
 

     (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.
 

     (e) Relocation.-- 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 attached
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 to them.
     (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 premises.
 

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 $ 100.
     (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 $ 300.
     (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.
 

END