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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default First Bee Inspector Visit

    Got a call from my wife today while I was at work. She had gone home for lunch and found the inspector in the yard. He had just got there and apologized for not calling ahead but popped the tops off the hives and took a peek. My wife called me while he was looking at things and he was good enough to chat with me on the phone when he was done (I feel bad...he got a bee in his veil and got nailed!).

    Told me that the hives looked in good shape with lots of healthy brood and a few mites as well . He was also very interested in the location of any local classes that had been held in the area because he wanted to touch base with mentors or teachers. I asked how other hives were doing and he said that he was seeing less mite related issues this year compared to last year although he thought that the honey stores were a little light compared to what he thought he would be seeing at this point.

    I haven't seen it yet but he supposedly left a report on his visit. He commended me on the overall condition of the hives and commented that it was obvious that they were being attended to.

    I felt pretty good about this surprise visit. I only wish I had been there so I could have asked a bunch of questions...like I do on these boards.

    Just thought I'd share!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    Yup! It's always nice to get a GOOD REPORT from the INSPECTOR! I had mine early this year! Maybe the inspector knew you wouldn't be around and would be ASKING sooo! many questions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,596

    Default

    I think its a shame that you weren't contacted before the inspection. Any time my hives are opened I want to be present. Not only could you have been further educated, but there's a chance for hard feelings if something were to go wrong. I know that they are legally allowed to inspect, but there's little to gain and a lot to loose from going in to someone's hives unannounced. I'd call him back and ask for a curtisory call before the next inspection. Our inspectors are really good about contacting you before they inspect. Just my 2 cents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post

    I felt pretty good about this surprise visit. I only wish I had been there so I could have asked a bunch of questions...like I do on these boards.

    Just thought I'd share!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
    Posts
    3,721

    Default

    AstroBee: I agree with everything/point of view that you said. Sometimes though a beekeeper doesn't realize how BUSY an inspector is; and with reduced "funding" all around.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,137

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    "...although he thought that the honey stores were a little light compared to what he thought he would be seeing at this point.
    I noticed that many of my late swarms are light also, so as of a few weeks ago I've been feeding them along with my summer splits and they've been really packing the 1 to 1 sugar to water away.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    …She had gone home for lunch and found the inspector in the yard. He had just got there and apologized for not calling ahead but popped the tops off the hives and took a peek.

    ...Told me that the hives looked in good shape with lots of healthy brood and a few mites as well . He was also very interested in the location of any local classes that had been held in the area because he wanted to touch base with mentors or teachers.
    Glad to hear everything was fine!

    BUT another perfect example of why I am a vocal opponent of laws which allow inspectors to enter a ‘law abiding’ beekeepers property without prior notice!

    For a guy that is interested in touching base with teachers and mentors, he seemed to have little interest towards teaching you with ’hands on learning’.

    You know from this inspection what ‘he told you’. But missed a perfect opportunity to ’teach you’ and ’show you’ one on one.

    A perfect waste of taxpayers money and teaching opportunity.


    Joe Waggle ~ Derry, PA
    ‘Bees Gone Wild Apiaries'
    FeralBeeProject.com
    Last edited by naturebee; 08-16-2007 at 03:57 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Auburn and Tri-Cities Washington
    Posts
    334

    Default

    I would be more than a little upset with an inspector coming onto my property and inspecting my hives without my approval. I may not want him messing with my experiments or using his contaminated equipment and tools in my hives. Man I would be angry!! We used to have one inspector for the whole state but for some reason they got rid of the position. Pretty soon “they” will be coming in your house unannounced to make sure you made your bed or something!
    \"The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful.\" - Mark Twain

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    --I may not want him messing with my experiments-(Chief)

    Experiments?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Auburn and Tri-Cities Washington
    Posts
    334

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by naturebee View Post
    --I may not want him messing with my experiments-(Chief)

    Experiments?

    Yes you caught me! I am working on my new Frankenstein bee!!! Now if I could just get the lightning to strike just right . . . .
    \"The man who sets out to carry a cat by its tail learns something that will always be useful and which never will grow dim or doubtful.\" - Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Fredericksburg, Va
    Posts
    798

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    . Our inspectors are really good about contacting you before they inspect. Just my 2 cents.

    AstroBee, I was not aware that the Virginia inspectors every did unannounced inspections.

    Since I had Keith Tignor (State Inspector) in my bee yard on a recent queen raising workshop (he now knows where I live), I guess I can expect the unexpected .
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    In most states, bee law states that an inspector has a right to inspect, etc. That part is essential for the program, and without it, an inspection program would be ineffective.

    The law is one thing. How it is effectively run is another. Any inspector should, as most programs allow, make phone calls or send a post card annoucing one's intentions. This allows for contact to be made so the beekeeper can be present.

    I probably had a beekeeper present in over 95% of my inspections. The other 5% were those who had no problem with me "popping in" at my convenience. I used the opportunity to learn from others as much as I was there to help others.

    I never felt comfortable walking around someones property, other than to the front door to knock and leave my card. Dogs, liability, and other factors make it not worth it to do inspections unannounced, and without the beekeeper present. And most times I would of never found the hives anyways on some of the larger farms. What a waste of time if one can't find the hives.

    Some states lost funding for bee programs in budget cuts. Other states lost the support and backing of the beekeeping industry, and lost thier program because of it. Inspectors finding afb and dealing with it without beekeepers present, charges of killed or missing queens, and other allegations, should make any inspector think twice about walking around someone's property unannounced.

    Anyone who has inspectors just stopping in unannounced should talk with the chief apiarist for the state. And make sure your inspection card in marked requesting you be present for any and all inspections.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,415

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    And make sure your inspection card is marked requesting you be present for any and all inspections.
    A great recommendation. This is what I do and it works just fine. When sending in my registration and apiary fees in the spring I'll just make a brief note on the card that I would like to be present at the inspection... and here are my phone numbers. Works like a charm.

    My inspector seems to actually enjoy the company. You get the chance to ask questions about your colonies as he goes through them, and you can pick up on some local info too.
    To everything there is a season....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BjornBee View Post
    In most states, bee law states that an inspector has a right to inspect, etc. That part is essential for the program, and without it, an inspection program would be ineffective.

    Hello Mike!

    I’m 100% in support of the inspection program.
    But that ‘law’ is occasionally used as an excuse to go tromping on private property without any attempt at noticing the owner, despite how easy it is to pick up a phone and call beforehand.
    There are other states with more beekeepers than PA that have a prior notice law, and inspectors there apparently are still capable of performing their duties with prior notice.

    I consider tromping on someone’s property without reasonable attempt at making a prior notice, and abuse of the position and responsibilities entrusted to them. I know there is not a big problem with this in PA, but where it is not written in law, there is always potential for abuse and an amendment is IMO warranted.

    Another point is that a change in the law OR ’bylaws’ for prior notification would enhance communication with beekeepers and the education of them. In this day and age, with the advent of viruses, disease, and PA’s development of an AHB program, better communication and education is a vital component in the ability of the inspection program to keep on top of things.

    Dennis is well aware of my position on this.

    Joe Waggle ~ Derry, PA
    ‘Bees Gone Wild Apiaries'
    FeralBeeProject.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Default

    --And make sure your inspection card is marked requesting you be present for any and all inspections.--BjornBee

    Card? More like a half a page.

    I was unaware that Dennis added this to the inspection form.

    I am aware that he’s had added a plethora of information that the inspector needs to check in each colony. My inspector was griping about them, but still checked every item.

    And also griping that the dang GPS didn’t work.

    A pain no doubt to fill out the detailed inspection card. But I can see that when assembled, it can provide valuable information for the Department.

    Best Wishes,

    Joe Waggle ~ Derry, PA
    ‘Bees Gone Wild Apiaries'
    FeralBeeProject.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    3,770

    Default

    OK....here's some more info.

    He was in the area due to a problem in the next town over. I'm not sure what it was. I had registered with the state in May of 2006 but had never received a visit. He's from about 60 miles away and dropped in on me and a beek about a mile away. He had not planned on opening the hives until my wife pulled up. She asked him if he could call me after he was done and he agreed. She called me.....he opened the hives and then we chatted.

    The written report was that:

    - I have two hives
    - The equipment is in good condition
    - The colonies are strong
    - The brood is in good shape
    - There are adequate stores
    - I have Varroa mites

    He recommended that I pull a drone brood frame from my newest hive since he found it nearly all capped and suggested that now would be a good time to swap it out. He told my wife that there was a good amount of honey in my strong hive. He also left me his cell phone number.

    All in all, I was happy. My wife was nervous about the visit until he indicated that he wasn't there to respond to a problem.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,596

    Default

    JohnBeeMan,

    I'm pretty sure that they do have the right to do unannounced inspections, but as I said, they are very good about contacting before showing up. I've been inspected several times and each time was contacted before to setup a convenient date and time. Overall, a very professional group.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnBeeMan View Post
    AstroBee, I was not aware that the Virginia inspectors every did unannounced inspections.

    Since I had Keith Tignor (State Inspector) in my bee yard on a recent queen raising workshop (he now knows where I live), I guess I can expect the unexpected .

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    colo springs,CO,U.S.A.
    Posts
    57

    Wink Frankenbee

    Quote Originally Posted by chief View Post
    Yes you caught me! I am working on my new Frankenstein bee!!! Now if I could just get the lightning to strike just right . . . .
    The test is on will "frank" bee able to fend off mites and shb????
    practice random acts of kindness; for emily

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Bismarck, ND USA
    Posts
    512

    Default

    I was an inspector in my state during the Summers of 1988 - 1993. Keeping in mind that we are primarily a commercial, migratory state with very few hobby beekeepers, probably 90% of my inspections were unannounced. Probably 100% for the first year or two when I didn't know any of the beekeepers. After that I contacted the beekeepers who wanted to be around during the inspection, but that number was very few, as most were too busy, not around, or the distance to travel was too great. Also keep in mind that for probably 99% of the beeyards in this state, the landowner is not the beekeeper.
    Gregg Stewart

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
    Posts
    1,487

    Default

    In Ohio the inspectors do not have any duty to inform you in advance, nor is there any place on the form to ask to be notified.

    Our inspector does try to meet with new beekeepers the first year or so to make sure they understand things, but after that you are on your own.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    144

    Default

    I've been inspected twice since I've had bees. Both times the inspectors called ahead and were quite accomodating in choosing a time so that I could be present. This is in PA & them most recent was just 3 weeks ago.

    I mentioned to the inspector that I'd like to be there, so he made me his first stop of the day & was there for almost 2 hours. He did sugar rolls on all 9 hives & didn't get any mites. I'm mentioning this for the eternal naysayers who always want mite counts for small cell, lol.

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