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Thread: Texas bee laws

  1. #1
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    Cameron, Texas, USA
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    Default Texas bee laws

    Question, has Texas law changed with the dealing with swarm capture and removal? Caught a swarm today and while I was dealing with them a man pulled up and ask me is I had a applicators license. I said no and that I didn't need one as Milam County doesn't require anything of that sort. His reply was that's it's a state law, I kindly pointed him to the police department as they are the ones that called me and ask if I could remove them. If I'm wrong please set me straight any additional info will be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    An applicators license? Did he think you were using pesticides? While true that if you're doing pest control which requires chemicals, I'm assuming you're not killing the poor little things during your capture.

  3. #3
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    Bell County, KY, USA
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Yeah, I think he thought you were killing them.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2013
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    Lorena, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    I read through the laws a month or so ago and I don't remember anything about that.

    http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/...i=4&pt=4&ch=71

  5. #5
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    Bloomfield,KY
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Most states require a PCO license if your using pesticides but for non-lethal, non-chemical removal you shouldn't need one. I was told the same thing from a guy in our bee club so I checked with the state pesticide agency and was told that I didn't need one since I only do live removals. However you may need to check with your state wildlife division to make sure you don't need a wildlife control license.
    "Of all God's creatures, only the honeybee improves its environment and preys on no other species."--Haydon Brown

  6. #6
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    Cameron, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Sorry I didn't type the whole conversation, but I did tell him that no pesticide was being used and that I wanted them all alive. He said it didn't matter still had to have one. I personally think he was just trying to jerk my chain and of make some easy money. I try my very best to keep up with the laws, but am always aware that one can slip by and that our legislature is in session. Thanks for the replies.

  7. #7
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    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    I'm really disappointed....

    You're a Texan, I was expecting your response to him to be, "I'll applicate this beehive upside your head" or "I'm fixin to apply my foot to your rear end" or "You gonna draw that hogleg or just stand there and bleed?"

    I know a few Texans and they are a little different than Alabamians but not too much.

  8. #8
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    Cameron, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    I'm really disappointed....

    You're a Texan, I was expecting your response to him to be, "I'll applicate this beehive upside your head" or "I'm fixin to apply my foot to your rear end" or "You gonna draw that hogleg or just stand there and bleed?"

    I know a few Texans and they are a little different than Alabamians but not too much.
    Sorry to disappoint Brad, but I'm trying to be a little more civil or something according to my better half.

  9. #9
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    Murray KY, USA
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrobisr View Post
    He said it didn't matter still had to have one.
    Sounds pretty daft, IMO.

    Contact your local office and find out.

    http://milam.agrilife.org/

  10. #10
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    Jan 2013
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    Harrisonburg Va
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    I would have told him I was grandfathered....but I AM old

  11. #11
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrobisr View Post
    Question, has Texas law changed with the dealing with swarm capture and removal? Caught a swarm today and while I was dealing with them a man pulled up and ask me is I had a applicators license. ... His reply was that's it's a state law.
    Well, he had a point...but he used the wrong word, and likely was simply trying to be a pain & had no idea that his point was valid anywise....

    • If you live in the same county you were removing the swarm in, and WERE NOT paid to remove the swarm; then you simply need to register your apiary where you're keeping them.
    • If you live in a different county from where you picked up the swarm, but were not paid; then you also need a transportation permit, with both your apiary's county, and the county the removal was in, listed on the permit.
    • If you live in the same county, but WERE paid, then you need a removal license, but not necessarily the transport permit.
    • If you live in/have your apiary in a different county than the removal, AND were paid for it, then you need all three.


    That's my understanding of all TX bee laws, that I'm aware of, pertaining to the situation you mentioned. That understanding of mine comes from thoroughly reading the laws last year, and several phone conversations with the State Apiary Inspectors' office. I know, that doesn't guarantee correctness, but it's the most effort I was willing to put into that research...I got all 3 myself.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Here's a nice writeup about current "bee law" in Texas: http://www.harriscountybeekeepers.or...egulations.pdf

    As I understand it, if you are doing a removal from a structure for hire, then you need a $35 "Bee Removal Permit" from the state apiary inspection service. I'm still not clear if the law requires that permit for collecting a swarm, and especially not clear if you are collecting a swarm for free.
    But in any case, you no longer are required to have an SPCS license for bee removal, provided you don't use pesticides - that would be a big no-no. It also appears that you're not suppose to use a bee-vacuum (or other electric devices). Do any of you Texas beekeepers have advice on that? I went ahead and paid for my removal permit and have a DIY vacuum I've used successfully, but I don't know if it's actually legal.

    -Patrick
    Houston, Texas

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Quote Originally Posted by robherc View Post
    [*]If you live in a different county from where you picked up the swarm, but were not paid; then you also need a transportation permit, with both your apiary's county, and the county the removal was in, listed on the permit.
    Rob -
    The "removal permit" asks for which counties you'll be doing removals, so I assumed that would cover inter-county transport of removed bees (my registered apiaries are all in the same county). To be safe I should have gotten all three, but I only have the removal permit and the beekeeper registration. I just applied for the permit last month and I think it expires in September. I'll probably just wait until then to get both permits (transport and removal).

  14. #14
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    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Yes, I asked about that & was told I needed the transport permit too, so that's what I got....but, like I said, it took a lot of reading, and a few phone calls, to get everything "straightened out" to that point...always a possibility for misunderstandings in the legal field, unfortunately :/

  15. #15
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    Apr 2012
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    Harris County, Texas
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Another question for you Rob. When talking to the TAIS, did you ask about the use of bee vacuums for removals? Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Cameron, Texas, USA
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Great info thanks.

  17. #17
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    Harris County, Texas
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    Today I spoke on the phone with Bill Baxter, an assistant inspector with the Texas Apirary Inspection Service (TAIS). I had a couple of questions regarding doing cutouts.
    Here are my two take-aways:
    (1) Bee Vacuums are considered conventional beekeeping equipment and beekeepers are allowed to use them for cutouts and removals (provided they have the bee removal permit). They are not included in the ban on "electrical devices".
    (2) If all of your apiaries are in a single county, you can do a bee removal (provided you have the permit) in a different county without an intrastate transport permit. That is, you are allowed to transport bees and equipment from the county where they are removed back to the county of your apiary. Of course, if you maintain apiaries in multiple counties, you still need the transport permit. Mr. Baxter said that this interpretation has evolved, and he is aware that some beekeepers have been advised to get the intrastate transport permit in addition to the bee removal permit in order to perform cutouts in other counties. The current interpretation does not require both permits - just the removal permit.

    Hope my explanation of my conversation is clear.

  18. #18
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    Feb 2013
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    Rusk, Texas
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    I didn't know we had to be registered to catch swarms. Never stopped me before though . No one ever said anything to me, should I get registered or get a permit?
    Potato Guns shouldn't be illegal in Texas!

  19. #19
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    Apr 2012
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    Harris County, Texas
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    It mostly comes down to money. If you charge for your removal services, you need a permit (which requires that you be a registered beekeeper).
    Texas Bee Laws, Rules and Regulations [PDF]

  20. #20
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    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Texas bee laws

    For a state so dead set on "freedom" Texas sure has a lot of restrictions on bees. Sounds annoying.
    NM desert/mountain beekeeper - Black Mesa Honeybees.

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