When these discussions about inspectors occur they always some that Interpret the discussion WRONG come to the defense. But keep in mind I support the inspection program and love my beekeeping brethren local inspector.
My point is strictly concerning >>>>how the laws are written.<<<<
Ohio has had beekeeper / trespassing complaints due to the warrant-less search law also:
In the April 1987 issue of the American Bee Journal, page 245-246, a federal appeals court has overturned an Ohio law that lets state inspectors examine beekeepers' hives without search warrants.
In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Ohio Department of Agriculture's beehive inspection program is unconstitutional.
State agriculture officials argued that they need warrantless searches to maintain the element of surprise in inspections that single out diseased hives that could infect and destroy other bee populations.
State law allows the inspections without prior notice, without a warrant and outside the presence of the owners. The inspectors may burn hives and bee populations that are determined by laboratory tests to be diseased. Beekeepers are allowed five days to appeal such findings by the state before the hives are burned.
The appeals court's ruling sends the case back to U.S. District Court for further consideration. For its ruling, the appeals court consolidated two separate cases filed by beekeepers William and Caroline Allinder, of Gibsonburg, and Elmer and Marilyn Steiner, of Van Buren. They maintain beehives in Sandusky, Seneca, Wood, Putnam and Hardin counties.
The beekeepers contended that the warrantless searches violated the fourth amendment protection against unreasonable searches.
A majority of the three-judge panel rules that the warrantless searches allow the inspectors too much discretion. The majority noted that because of the degree of technical knowledge needed to make inspections, inspectors are often competitors of those they inspect and may sometimes have the responsibility to inspect their own apiaries.
I am not aware of the results from later appeals.
Joe Waggle ~ Derry, PA
‘Bees Gone Wild Apiaries'