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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
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    463

    Default pollination deal q

    I was asked to place a hive onto a property that is a 4 acre retail nursery for pollination- they feel that some of their fruit tress aren't getting visited by enough bees. The folks asked some questions I didn't have answers to, and I plan to call my state inspector Monday, but figured I'd see what the opinion/experience was out here in cyber-bee-space.

    The biggest question was- if they have customers that get stung while visiting- are they, or I, liable?

    The place is very mom/pop, and we agreed upon an out of the way, nice location for the hive. I wouldn't expect any issues, but anymore, people never cease to be amazing. I get avocados, key limes and star fruit out of the deal, and I toss them a pound or two of honey. My yard looks like it could start to be crowded, so another yard close by would be convenient. I plan to invite them to my home yard, and have them see the activity around a hive, so there are no surprises to them.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    btw- it wasn't just a question of if someone got stung- it was worst case scenario- stung and allergic reaction deal.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Franklin, NC USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    Hmm that's a good one.... My first thoughts would be, have the hives located somewhere where the browsing plant shopper won't see them. I just remember last year when I installed my 2 nucs into hives, and making a trip to Lowes about 2 miles down the road looking for plants to plant, and seeing honey bees in their garden section and thinking hmmm wonder if they are mine. I would think if your hives are out of site, should be no problem. Thinking back to last year, I would have a hard time thinking someone else shopping would sue Lowes if they got stung by a honey bee in the garden section. But these days with the warnings on coffee cups that liquid is extremely hot, who knows. Sucks......

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Greensburg, Ky.
    Posts
    1,148

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    Well if you dont want to be held responsible then you specify that you will not be held responsible! They are wanting your service and the bees will be on their property. No one can prove that they was your bees of course but to be realistic the business owners would need to atleast carry business owners liability Insurance to be on the safe side! Thats how i would have it set up but to really get a correct answer i say you would need to call one of your local attorneys that knows local law on liability issues! Just an idea since every area is different!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    yamahawg- I smell what you're stepping in. I think the 'warning hot liquids theme' is where the business owners are coming from. They want to CTA and I want to CMA. We figured on a location that would be out of sight, and almost full sun. Neither of us want a law suit, but the attorney section of our local phone book is larger than the white and yellow pages combined of my previous zip code. . .
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Franklin, NC USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    Quote Originally Posted by Fl_Beak View Post
    yamahawg- I smell what you're stepping in. I think the 'warning hot liquids theme' is where the business owners are coming from. They want to CTA and I want to CMA. We figured on a location that would be out of sight, and almost full sun. Neither of us want a law suit, but the attorney section of our local phone book is larger than the white and yellow pages combined of my previous zip code. . .
    Yeah, totally sucks...but like Honeybeekeeper touches on, you would think if this is their business, that they would have some level of liability insurance to cover the dum...i mean the uninformed people that don't realize bees will be around blooming plants. If they have the liability that they think will cover them, i'd get them to sign a statement that you won't be held liable in any way, and take a step further and maybe get notarized...and even with all of that, I would choose out of sight out of mind location for your hives. I'm no lawyer, so just what I would do LOL...good luck and hope it works out for you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,681

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    No piece of paper can prevent someone from suing you...it might prevent them from winning, but it won't keep you out of court.

    Carry your own liability insurance and look after your own interests.

    deknow

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Plant City, Florida
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    Florida is pretty bee friendly, I am curious as to what the AG says, if they have been in buisness long enough I am sure thay have been sued allready, I would have them ask his insurance if it is allowed, they will probably say no, it is all about reducing the potential of lawsuit, the property owner would the primary target, is there a way he can ask to put a hive on the neighbor's property? that might work out better for everybody
    Bob

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
    Posts
    2,310

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    It's really terrible what we have become as a people, that we even need to discuss this. I had a lawyer tell me that an indemnity clause won't necessarily protect you. In fact, it proves that there was an a priori knowledge that injury was possible. Then, on top of that, having insurance makes you a target with deep pockets and is a jackpot that will get any lawyers interest.
    Maybe Neil V. will see this post and reply.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,416

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    I am not a lawyer, but i do carry business liability insurance for my office, and having been threatened with a lawsuit it was a great relief to have that insurance. Remember that the insurance company doesn't want to pay out any more than you do, so they will usually vigorously defend you, or pay out a minimal amount of money (at least in my situation). It is usually their money that will be payed not yours, unless the award is more than your liability policy limit.

    There is no paper work in the world that can keep you from being sued but it can keep you from being liable or from losing in court.

    In my case all the paperwork was in order and I had done nothing wrong, the person was just unhappy with the outcome and looking for some quick cash. The lawyer for the insurance company told the threatening party that there was no case and they would fight it. Since the firm was working on contingency and it would cost them more in time and expenses than the whole issue was worth the they just went away.

    Good luck, and I would say get a legal opinion and buy the insurance, if nothing else it lets you sleep better at night. And to me that is well worth the expense.

    Dan
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Lewistown,Pa,USA
    Posts
    178

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    Years ago when my dad still drove truck hauling bees for pap and uncles they would load the truck and park along road in front of house ina wide area. One time dad didn't leave till a little after light and there were some bees left flying at the end of the lane. So we put a hive body there for them to go to. Well a lady thought it would be a good idea to turn around in our lane her window was open and a bee flew in she freaked and stomped the gas drove across the road took out the mailbox and hit the ditch. She tried to sue but got nothing out of it. Court basicly told her bees are part of nature and she had no proof the bee was our bee even though there was a hivebody with bees flying around nearby and a couple collonies in the back yard, home owners took care of the suit or it could have cost for the lawyer. That was in the 80's and ins companies didn't settle as easy and this is 2011 now courts hand out paydays now adays like it is the right thing to do even if it is not. So ins. is always smart to have.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Andover, MA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    The courts are sympathetic to beekeepers. There is a long case history of people taking beekeepers to court and getting nowhere. Law is precedent based and so tradition makes a lot of difference, even if as in this case it is due to a fairly recent change in our way of life. Only 150 years ago most of us were subsistence farmers. The courts had little sympathy for the complaints non-farming people had against the nuisances of living around livestock. The case law still guides the courts today. Bees are legally livestock.

    In the law there is a big difference between owning a domesticated animal and owning a wild animal. If it does harm then your liability is much, much less. If your dog bits the neighbor's kid then there is little liability, perhaps you will have to pay for the doctor's visit. If, however, you own a wolf then it is another story altogether. You are in big trouble if you own a wild animal and it attacks someone. European honeybees are a domesticated animal.

    Then there is the problem of proving a bee sting was by one of your bees. Even standing in your apiary, someone could get stung by a bee from elsewhere. If the bee that did the stinging is caught and kept then perhaps a proof is possible. Since the technology exists then one could do a DNA test, but it is prohibitively expensive. I have never heard of anyone doing such a thing. Perhaps someday if someone tried to use bees to attack someone in a malicious way (releasing them into a car, for example) then the court case will feature the first such use of DNA technology.

    Until then I think that plausible deniability along with a sympathetic court and mild penalties should leave us all feeling secure.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    Quote Originally Posted by Fl_Beak View Post
    I was asked to place a hive onto a property that is a 4 acre retail nursery for pollination- they feel that some of their fruit tress aren't getting visited by enough bees...
    I have always been too practical for my own good, so may I ask what is this "RETAIL NURSERY'S" motivation for wanting your bees on their property? This is a nursery and not a farm right? Surely, the nursery is not thinking of making a crop, is it? Does the nursery want bees to burnish their image? Do you know if their reputation is that tarnished? Is a one-hive apiary practical? So many questions, so little time.

    To help you gauge the financial suffering and hardships lawyers inflict on people like yourself, I suspect that a single page, color, Yellow Pages ad in the phonebook you mentioned cost the law firm in that ad $4,000 and up... every single month. More in truly big cities, much more. The law usually looks upon the honeybee as a wild animal. If bees were livestock, you would have to confine your bees to your property, and could not allow them to range or roam freely as you now do.

    Some citrus growers in California who no longer want or need bees on their land have already proposed this change in the legal status of the honeybee.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pike, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    291

    Default Re: pollination deal q

    I was offered a location to set up a yard in a landscape nursury once. I thought it would be great but then asked about pesticides. The owner explained that spraying was done very frequently, and at times when flowers were open. He said if he didn't do this the bugs would wipe him out.

    Something to consider?

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