USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft
Thankfully our state ran out of money for county inspectors decades ago... in 1986 our moron showed up unannounced at a remote countryside site because most sites here are suburban and he probably was underqualified to arouse bees in a neighborhood. He came in June, middle of the flow, tore down a double brood chamber with six filling honey supers and found what he claimed was AFB in the brood chamber. When I harvested the 180 pound crop I did find three cells in the brood with some kind of scale. The hive lived happily on with no outbreak of AFB. He had placed a burn notice. It was already illegal to burn in the county due to smog regulations. I offered to bring the hive to his site of choice for burning, and never heard from him again. I still use the boxes he scrawled AFB on and have not had any consequential AFB problems over the years. I doubt that at the time he had 1% of the bee working experience that I had and probably never did get any.
Last edited by odfrank; 03-15-2013 at 09:24 PM.
I would call just to hear the inspector's observations. We don't have inspectors here, thankfully but I wouldn't object to a surprise inspection if we did.
Last edited by Sticky Bear; 03-15-2013 at 09:51 PM.
Sticky Bear Apiary ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ 5 years TF https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary
The inspector who checked your hives was probably Bill Troupe. He is responsible for all Carroll Co and all the western counties. With so much ground to cover, he usually gets to your hives once every three years. He actually inpects all year round and brings a dog trained to smell foulbrood.
He will be a speaker at the Carroll Co. Beekeepers short course this Wednesday evening coming up. I welcome you to come to the class and I will introduce you to him. He may even bring his dog with him. The class is held at Carroll Community College in Westminster.
He is very knowledgeable and very friendly and helpful.
Laws are just a few words and piece of paper. The only thing that ever protected the weak was for the weak to get stronger, or get stronger friends.Laws are in place to keep our civilization functioning and keep the strong from overpowering the weak.
What a great idea, I think somebody tried to start a country with that as a founding principle once but it didn't turn out that way.Exactly what is wrong with people these days. They forget THEY are the government.
Bee inspectors are NOT part of MY government. As far as I am concerned they are enemy spies at the worst and busybodies at the best. Neither is welcome on my property.
Personally I don't think its worth dying for to go poke around inside someone else property just to see if they are doing it the right way. I guess thats why I'm not a house breaker or a bee inspector.
What are we going to have next, people who come and look through your dirty laundry to see if you change your underwear often enough? Maybe someone would like to come inspect my cats litter box and see if she has any parasites. Heck, maybe we should just stop having bees at home and turn them all into the government so they can manage them for us.
Then they better call before asking me to bend over or they are going to have a real bad day.Montana certainly does have apiary inspectors. In fact, if you have more than 5 hives you are required to register with the MT Department of Agriculture. Details here:
Its good to know the inquisitor who checked the OP's hives was competent. Still doesn't change the fact that its a violation of basic human rights.I welcome you to come to the class and I will introduce you to him. He may even bring his dog with him. The class is held at Carroll Community College in Westminster.
He is very knowledgeable and very friendly and helpful.
If you don't get satisfactory answers from the Inspector call his/her boss. You have the Right to know and they are Civil SERVANTS. They are there to serve your needs, not theirs. Speaking as an Apiary Inspector of 20 years experience.
So since you may actually know something about the subject, did you perform inspections without permission/notification or did you actually work with your beekeepers? What is the common practice?If you don't get satisfactory answers from the Inspector call his/her boss. You have the Right to know and they are Civil SERVANTS. They are there to serve your needs, not theirs. Speaking as an Apiary Inspector of 20 years experience.
For the most part laws are in place to keep the majority of people happy. The laws may not be fair or the enforcement of the laws may not be fair. But usually when they don't keep the majority happy they are changed. But not in the case where the strong and powerful are concerned. That is what strong and powerful means.
In the case of the unannounced inspector, did someone file a complaint that caused the inspector to do the inspection that day? I would like to know that. I don't think you will find the answer to this case on beesource. The answer lies in the department of inspection. You must inquire or your brain will just go off the deep end, probably for no good reason.
Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping
Inspectors get a bad rap and are misunderstood for the most part. I have had the opportunity to meet many inspectors. Most of which were nice, personal, and willing to help out.
It would behoove anyone to ask an inspector if you have any questions. After all, they ARE the professionals and have seen it all basically.
I once called a building inspector on his cell phone #(which he gave me earlier). He answered, gave me the answer to my question and THEN told me he was on vacation in Florida at the time of my call! lol He talked to me for over 20 minutes after that.
You should check your states Apiary law, it may allow inspectors to come onto your property without permission. Inspectors are there to check for AFB which most states have laws requiring something be done, pending lab results. I've inspected for two states and both required prior notice as a courtesy. Depending on circumstances, he may not have been anticipating the cooler weather but had to perform the inspection anyway. He probably would have looked quickly and closed up the hives. However, I wouldn't have dared to inspect a hive at those temps, why, because I wouldn't open my own hives during those temps
Clearly, Inspectors are required to provide 24 hours notice, but they are not required to gain permission from the land/hive owner.80-6-201. Apiaries -- powers and duties of department. (1) To prevent the spread of pests and contagious and infectious disease among bees and apiaries, the department may:
(a) enter private land containing an apiary site and fly over or enter any farm, railroad right-of-way, or other grounds or premises containing an apiary site to determine the health or ownership of the bees. The department shall provide at least 24 hours' notice to a private landowner before entering private land.
If you are paranoid, this part is especially interesting:
(4) The department may enter into agreements with the United States department of agriculture, other federal agencies, other states, municipal authorities, and individual Montana beekeepers in carrying out the provisions of this part.
USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft
I always remember that the inspectors are there to ensure that hives infected with foulbrood do not spread this to other hives in the area. As a past commercial beekeeper here in Vermont, there used to be more concerns with hives that were allowed to foster foulbrood year after year and soon it could be like an epidemic in the area (if hives were'nt treated). While I agree with all of you about government, I try not lose focus on the purpose of bee inspecting---I never view the inspectors as a threat, but a way for you to improve your hives. If your hives are unhealthy then it only makes sense to be aware of it and do something about it----no one benefits from unhealthy hives.
Doing inspectiopns w/out notification only makes for hurt feelings. I was turned away a number of times. Which was no big deal since there were plenty of other locations to inspect.
What you describe is not an Inspection.
I'm not going to argue w/ you tommyt, you just don't know what you are talking about and I'm not syre what you are talking about. I guess by "pulling brood" you must not mean removing brood frames from the hive and visually looking at the capped brood, but something else I guess.
Smell testing for AFB is very inaccurate. One will miss anything other than a full blown broken down case. Unless perhaps you have a nose like a dog, which MD has used to check hives for AFB but no longer does, afaik.
How do you do an ether roll (the most accurate and my prefered method) or powdered sugar roll w/out removing frames and scooping bees off of a capped brood frame?
Maybe my use of the word "dismantle" was misunderstood. What I meant by dismantle was to remove the cover(s) and then removing the frames, so visual inspection of each and every frame could be done.
How do you inspect a beehive for diseases and pests of honeybees? How does your State Apiary Inspector go about doing an inspection for diseases and pests?
The purpose of inspecting beehives, as far as a State Authority is concerned, is to determine the state of health of beehives w/in a State. If all one does is check to see if a hive is alive and of good strength and doesn't smell like AFB that doesn't determine what needs to be determined.