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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,251

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    This appears to be one of those brain-dead regulations that will only be enforced if for some reason the bee inspector dislikes you. For example, how is it practical or even possible to enforce the provisions regarding queen lineage? If a colony supercedes, the beekeepers may not even be aware that he is no longer in compliance.

    This also strikes a blow against those of us who want to practice treatment free beekeeping. I have 2 hives and planned to have 3, but reality dictates that I will lose some or all of them eventually. Now it appears I can't legally keep a couple of nucs in reserve for replacing these losses. Maybe they should have called it the Florida Package Producers Protection Act.

    What a magnificent example of bureaucratic crappola.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Reddick, FL (Ocala)
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    After having several of the Bee Board members speak at our club, we had several of these similar discussions.

    As far as Queen Breeders in FL, its all about accountability with the "Producer". Maintaining records, inspections, etc. Most important to them was the not ignoring and taking care of a bad situation, i.e. AHB takeover. The point was generally reducing "bad apple" syndrome where someone trying to make a fast buck and is unscrupulous in methods.

    Not like we have ever had anybody like that.

    Property rights include not neglecting a tree in your yard and having it fall on your neighbors house/shed/dog etc. Basically put, Bee's in your yard have to behave on your neighbors property too. In such close proximity (as in quarter acre lots in a typical FL housing development) it can become difficult to manage sooo many Beeks. Hence the need for some sort of paper trail to know who gave OK's and who didn't. That was their line of thinking having to set standards that would NOT become a legal nightmare in the courts tying up Beeks and Ag department funds for years. This was a general "middle ground" that could serve several purposes and provide elements needed such as tracking hives (spraying and testing amongst other purposes) and providing you, the Beek, with documentary evidence that your neighbors did indeed give consent, releasing liability yada yada legal crap.

    If I could keep all the effects of a nuclear reactor to just my 3 acre farm, I would make a ton of money supplying power to the wrinkly golf course types in the Villages. Alas, radiation drift, very loud bangs and funky mushroom clouds are just pesky things, right? Why should that be regulated, I have a right to make a buck or two, right?

    Yes that was meant to be over the top. It is about "common good". Just varying degrees. Do you feel safer knowing that 80% of the cars on FL roads do NOT have car insurance? Or that 90% do? Finding balance is not always easy. The ability to keep bee's is good. Keeping a reasonable amount for size of lot etc. in a densely populated area IS REASONABLE. We all may disagree about the definition of reasonable. Most municipalities were trying to outlaw Beekeeping totally. Be glad they are at least trying to find some sanity in this mess. Did you travel to Gainesville to sit in on the open comment session?

    We are all passionate about our girls, it's the keeping a level head on while thinking forward and adapting to problem situations that gets tricky. Participate and help.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    So it only looks to be an issue in non agricultural areas. I can see the irritation point about only being restricted to 3 colonies in your backyard, but how many colonies in an urban environment can you have and still have them produce adequate honey to survive? I know its a loaded question because of all the variables. I couldn't see someone placing 32 colonies in their back yard, in the middle of any residential area. Forget the neighbors, I would be concerned with needing to feed the bees constantly.
    I for one do not want another job so having X amount of hives that turns a hobby into a job is not what I am after. Maybe most of my complaint is MORE GOVERNMENT telling me what I can and can't do. I understand there are a few counties that did not allow bees at all so it helps them as the state will now allow them to have bees. I'm not sure how many hives it takes to turn a hobby into a job as it might be different for each person.

    I understand the feeding part and for those who live around the concrete jungle Vs. those who live further out and are surrounded by state forests, wetlands and other management areas the city and state have set aside it would be nice to have considerations added in the wording and not just paint brush everyone. IMO.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Reddick, FL (Ocala)
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by trance View Post
    I for one do not want another job so having X amount of hives that turns a hobby into a job is not what I am after. Maybe most of my complaint is MORE GOVERNMENT telling me what I can and can't do. I understand there are a few counties that did not allow bees at all
    Actually, Duval County did and so did Jax city. They both had ordinances to keep you from your hobby, sir, as did the city of Ocala. Fortunately I live outside city limits in an agricultural county. The Master Gardeners here are very friendly with county commission and held off long enough for the state to change the AG Law to supersede ALL local governments regulations.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylocha View Post
    After having several of the Bee Board members speak at our club, we had several of these similar discussions.

    As far as Queen Breeders in FL, its all about accountability with the "Producer". Maintaining records, inspections, etc. Most important to them was the not ignoring and taking care of a bad situation, i.e. AHB takeover. The point was generally reducing "bad apple" syndrome where someone trying to make a fast buck and is unscrupulous in methods.

    Not like we have ever had anybody like that.

    Property rights include not neglecting a tree in your yard and having it fall on your neighbors house/shed/dog etc. Basically put, Bee's in your yard have to behave on your neighbors property too. In such close proximity (as in quarter acre lots in a typical FL housing development) it can become difficult to manage sooo many Beeks. Hence the need for some sort of paper trail to know who gave OK's and who didn't. That was their line of thinking having to set standards that would NOT become a legal nightmare in the courts tying up Beeks and Ag department funds for years. This was a general "middle ground" that could serve several purposes and provide elements needed such as tracking hives (spraying and testing amongst other purposes) and providing you, the Beek, with documentary evidence that your neighbors did indeed give consent, releasing liability yada yada legal crap.

    If I could keep all the effects of a nuclear reactor to just my 3 acre farm, I would make a ton of money supplying power to the wrinkly golf course types in the Villages. Alas, radiation drift, very loud bangs and funky mushroom clouds are just pesky things, right? Why should that be regulated, I have a right to make a buck or two, right?

    Yes that was meant to be over the top. It is about "common good". Just varying degrees. Do you feel safer knowing that 80% of the cars on FL roads do NOT have car insurance? Or that 90% do? Finding balance is not always easy. The ability to keep bee's is good. Keeping a reasonable amount for size of lot etc. in a densely populated area IS REASONABLE. We all may disagree about the definition of reasonable. Most municipalities were trying to outlaw Beekeeping totally. Be glad they are at least trying to find some sanity in this mess. Did you travel to Gainesville to sit in on the open comment session?

    We are all passionate about our girls, it's the keeping a level head on while thinking forward and adapting to problem situations that gets tricky. Participate and help.
    I'm not against everything infact most things are good. Just a few concerns like neighbors animals be confined. SO if I had bees first but my neighbor starts breeding dogs in her backyard, I loose? Now I have to put up with barking dogs all night? I know, no one should have pets and that will settle it all! I jest of course! Just some concerns. I've calmed down a bit, I wasn't going to post till I calmed down so maybe I was still wired a little this morning.

    I guess the above and 3 hives is my main issue. I could understand if I had neighbors all around but I have acres and acres and acres of set aside wetlands behind my house. I guess I had 5 to 6 hives in time in my head and that's what got me going... Maybe 3 will be fine.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylocha View Post
    Actually, Duval County did and so did Jax city. They both had ordinances to keep you from your hobby, sir, as did the city of Ocala. Fortunately I live outside city limits in an agricultural county. The Master Gardeners here are very friendly with county commission and held off long enough for the state to change the AG Law to supersede ALL local governments regulations.
    Duval, when did this change? I was told something different and with talking to people around here they talk like they have been keeping for years with no problems...?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Reddick, FL (Ocala)
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Don't feel bad, Ocala snuck one through on us too. ALL the Master Gardeners did't know either, and they had bee's on govt. leased property INSIDE city limits. Apparently a number of places got them in, just most didn't enforce yet unless someone called local zoning.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylocha View Post
    . The ability to keep bee's is good. Keeping a reasonable amount for size of lot etc. in a densely populated area IS REASONABLE. We all may disagree about the definition of reasonable. Most municipalities were trying to outlaw Beekeeping totally. Be glad they are at least trying to find some sanity in this mess. Did you travel to Gainesville to sit in on the open comment session?
    Do you regard it as reasonable to regulate out of existence those hobby beekeepers who want to breed their own queens, or who want to breed replacement colonies from their own stock?

    I don't believe it is UNREASONABLE to want the freedom to practice these traditional elements of beekeeping. I just got out the plat of my lot, and it is a fraction more than a quarter acre, so I'm okay from the point of view of colony numbers; all I want is two or three colonies and a couple nucs in reserve to practice beekeeping as I think appropriate. But the restrictions on queens make no sense at all, and are unenforceable. The nuc I got from a local beekeeper, and the package I got from Wolf Creek appear to both be illegal; the local guy has open bred queens and the package is from Georgia, a known AHB area.

    Apparently it doesn't matter that there are no known Africanized bees here in this part of NW Florida, according to all the local beekeepers I've talked to.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,601

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by trance View Post
    Maybe most of my complaint is MORE GOVERNMENT telling me what I can and can't do.
    I am right there with you. It is crap. I was just trying to put some sense to something that is fairly senseless.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,601

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhaldridge View Post
    the package is from Georgia, a known AHB area.

    Apparently it doesn't matter that there are no known Africanized bees here in this part of NW Florida, according to all the local beekeepers I've talked to.
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/doc...d=11059&page=6

    I understand the map is 2 years old but I dont see any counties in Ga on it.

    In fact I speak with the Ga inspector every year about AHB and there are only 2 recorded findings of them in southern Ga. Both of which were destroyed.

    So it begs the question that is Ga is a known AHB area how can NW Florida not be considered an AHB area as well?

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    The ordinance should have a caveat that would allow the inspector to approve special situations like vast tracts of undeveloped land adjacent to your property. What kind of property is the wetlands you are talking about. Seems like getting permission to place any extra hives in the wetlands could be the answer to your problems.

    As far as maintaining European Honey Bees vs mixed African and European bees I don't have any suggestions. I can see a day not so far off that it will be either illegal to open breed your own queens or you will have to have the genetics of your hive tested for AHB

    Maybe it's time for you to find a rural location or make friends with some of the other land owners in your area.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.


  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Queen producers such as Miksa (as most others) are perfectly fine to purchase from BY ANYONE as well as other beeks that are queen rearing AS LONG AS they are using breeder queens from non AHB areas (documented through receipts and registration numbers) or other producers with known EHB stock and follow the protocols for drone saturation. All these things are very public information through the state apiary website. From what I understand, Miksa brings in breeder queens from places such as Ferguson (Buckfast), Latshaw and Glenn (when they were operating) as well as developing his own line. These BMP are nothing new, just new to new people wanting to keep bees. They used to be optional, but now appear to be going mandatory. Well, got news for ya, it used to be NOT allowed to keep ANY bees (before 7/2012) in most places that were non-ag, but now it IS allowed. Lesser local laws are overridden, INCLUDING DEED RESTRICTIONS. It's called trade-offs and compromise. The OP to this thread doesn't even have ANY bees and is obviously not aware the state laws have ACTUALLY BECOME MORE FAVORABLE not restrictive. Take it for what it's worth. Get two hives and keep them alive then if you like keeping bees and want to get bigger, find a person that has property for an out-yard or go buy some bigger property yourself.

    Just my .02

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Caryville, Florida
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Everyone needs to keep in mind that this has not been signed into law, it is just a draft and the state bee association is asking for input on the draft and wants to hear from registered beekeepers throughout the state with their concerns and questions. So speak up, write emails to the officers of the state bee club.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/doc...d=11059&page=6

    I understand the map is 2 years old but I dont see any counties in Ga on it.

    In fact I speak with the Ga inspector every year about AHB and there are only 2 recorded findings of them in southern Ga. Both of which were destroyed.

    So it begs the question that is Ga is a known AHB area how can NW Florida not be considered an AHB area as well?
    Both of those instances were within the last 3 years. It seems unlikely that those are the only colonies-- they're just the ones that have been found. One of them was found because an elderly man was stung to death by them. This was in the southern part of the state, where many large package producers are located. Unless all the queens they sell are artificially inseminated (not the case, of course) then there is a risk that AHB genetics are included in packages from Georgia.

    I'm sure NW Florida is considered to be an AHB area, since a couple swarms were found near Panama City, which has a port. The state maintains trap lines along I-10, which runs 30 miles north of my house. But none of the local beekeepers here have seen any AHB. It seems to me that this sort of regulation is pandering to hysteria, and is in real terms counterproductive. If we assume that AHB genetics will eventually come to be a part of the local feral population-- a reasonable assumption-- then the best defense is to have plenty of gentle bee colonies sending drones out to mate with these feral queens. The regulation seems to prohibit open queen mating.

    Also, these practices are mandatory only in the case of non-agricultural beekeeping. Beekeepers in agricultural areas can do whatever they like, apparently. Since bees can fly, I'm not sure of the utility of penalizing and restricting hobby beekeepers. I guess they think we're too stupid to tell if we have aggressive bees or not.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
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    1,251

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nature Coast beek View Post
    but now it IS allowed. Lesser local laws are overridden, INCLUDING DEED RESTRICTIONS.
    This is incorrect:

    10. Deed restrictions and covenants that prohibit or restrict the allowance for managed honeybee colonies within their established jurisdictions take precedence and as a result supersede the authority and requirements set forth in Chapter 586 Florida Statutes and Rule Chapter 5B-54, Florida Administrative Code.
    Emphasis mine.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    258

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    So deed restrictions that prohibit "managed honeybee" colonies are perfectly fine. Deed restrictions applying to agricultural livestock do not apply, correct? In other words there would have to be a specific deed restriction put in place specifically for honeybees....correct? Sucks for you if that is the case. Looks like you've got a fight to win. My local deed restrictions apply only to agricultural livestock. In other words you can't keep a goat or backyard chickens. Looks like "managed honeybee colonies" needs to be in the language.

    FWIW, America's Beekeeper (Beesource member) should probably chime in on this thread since he's the head Apiary inspector for Florida from what I understand.

  18. #38
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    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,601

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by trance View Post
    I read the draft. Whats wrong with it?

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Wausau, WI, USA
    Posts
    212

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    I read the .pdf and was surprised they are allowing queen cells. If their concern is the spread of AHB, then why allow a queen cell. AHB map is out of date, and they know it. If a virgin queen mates with a drone from a AHB colony, you get another AHB colony. It doesn't matter if the source of the virgin is a backyard guy or a "Certified EHB Breeder". Who's doing the certification? It's a documented fact that AHB drones fly earlier, and later then EHB drones. I don't have problems with parts of this draft, but as a whole, it needs to be flushed.

    Wisnewbee
    Honey Luv Farm

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Jacksonville/Florida new laws/rules, I may just not get started.

    Quote Originally Posted by BMAC View Post
    I read the draft. Whats wrong with it?
    BMAC, was posting for others to read and comment on. I wasn't stating anything at the moment about it.

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