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  1. #1

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    I've been thinking about getting into some backyard semi-suburban beekeeping as a hobby, probably starting next spring.

    I like to do a lot of research before I plunge into things, found information on top-bar hives and got even more interested (lower startup costs, less maintenence, more easily diy).

    I was reading up on Virginia state law regarding beekeeping I discoved this: § 3.1-610.10. Duty of keepers as to hives.:

    It shall be the duty of all persons engaged in beekeeping to provide movable frames with combs or foundation in all hives used by them to contain bees, except for short periods, not to exceed the first spring honey flow, and to cause the bees in such hives to construct brood combs in such frames so that any of the frames may be removed from the hive without injuring other combs in such hive. It shall be the duty of any person keeping bees within the Commonwealth to securely and tightly close the entrance of any hive in apiaries not free from disease in which the bees shall have died either during the winter or at any other time, and to make the hive tight in such manner that robber bees cannot enter or leave such hive or obtain honey therefrom. The sealing of such hives must be maintained so long as the hives remain in the yard or in any place where honeybees can gain access to them.

    (Code 1950, §§ 3-497, 3.1-602; 1966, c. 702; 1972, c. 499.)
    Keep in mind that I am not a lawyer, but there seem to me to be 3 potential problems:
    </font>
    • No frames.</font>
    • Bars may not have comb or foundation.</font>
    • Adjacent combs may have to be removed to inspect brood, and may have to be "released" from the sides, resulting in "injury".</font>
    It would also seem that based on the provided definition of "hive":
    (p) "Hive" means a movable frame hive with foundation used for a domicile for bees.
    that a tbh may not even qualify as hive.

    Or is my initial interpretation likely too strict? Thoughts? Opinions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Troupsburg, NY
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    Hallow:

    Your interpretation is too strict. TBH by definition have moveable frames. It doesn't really matter if the bees connect the frames to the sides or bottom, they can be cut loose and removed to inspect them. It does make a mess, that is why it is important to maintain bee space so they won't connect them in that matter. You could keep them in a shoe box as long as you can remove the frames for inspection.

    peggjam
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  3. #3

    Post

    Yeah, I figured it was probably just a case of the intent of the law and the wording of the law not matching up.

    I think I'll call the state inspector for my area and double check that it's all kosher before I get started.

  4. #4
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    The principle is that there are movable combs that can ALL (every single comb) be inspected for disease.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
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    Jan 2001
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    You can e-mail the VA state apiarist, Keith Tignor
    [ktignor@vdacs.state.va.us], and I am 100%
    certain that he will agree that a modern top-bar
    hive meets the requirements for "moveable comb".

    It only has a top bar, but it is still a "frame".

    Wyatt Mangum keeps hundreds of TBHs in VA and NC,
    pollinates with them, and does lots of research
    work. If he can have TBHs, anyone in VA can have
    TBHs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
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    Post

    Here in florida the law states you must keep bees in moveable frame langstroth type hives. It actually says langstroth hives.

    Its just parlance, frames have become a ubiquitous word, and means combs just as often as it refers to the frames
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
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    Post

    some times its easier to gain acceptance than
    approval.
    all that is gold does not glitter

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    &gt; Here in florida the law states you must keep bees
    &gt; in moveable frame langstroth type hives. It
    &gt; actually says langstroth hives.

    ...and I cannot imagine Jerry Hayes, or anyone
    who works for him enforcing the strict letter
    of the law to "outlaw" top-bar hives.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Alpine, TX
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    Post

    Jim - Do you know the contact person for Texas?
    I smile like this because I have no idea what I\'m doing :-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
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    Post

    I don't have an e-mail, but I do have
    his other contact info:

    Mr. Paul Jackson, Chief Apiary Inspector
    Apiary Inspection Service
    Texas A & M University
    College of Agriculture
    College Station, TX 77843-2475

    Phone: 979-845-9713/9714
    Fax: 979-845-0983

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
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    Jim,
    You are right. I have spoken with Jerry many times. He has said that the law is written to mean moveable comb hives and that's all. That langstroth style hives and frames have become ubiquitous parlance with colony and combs respectively. All of my hives got 5 stars at inspection.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    &gt; All of my hives got 5 stars at inspection.

    Jerry's gang gives out STARS????
    Wow, just like kindergarden! [img]smile.gif[/img]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Bradenton, FL, and Davenport, IA, USA
    Posts
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    Post

    Lol,
    No Jerry didn't do the inspection. Fred Howard did, but I talked to Jerry prior to scheduling an inspection with Fred due to these concerns in the wording. Jerry assured me that the letter of the law isn't to inforce langstroth hive per se but moveable combs. Jerry and Fred were very impressed with the hives and I got a clean bill of health from Fred.
    Scot Mc Pherson<br />McPherson Family Honey Farms<br />Davenport, IA<br />BeeWiki: <a href=\"http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org\" target=\"_blank\">http://beewiki.linuxfromscratch.org</a> <br /><br />Pics:<br /> <a href=\"http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/\" target=\"_blank\">http://linuxfromscratch.org/~scot/pics/bees/</a>

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