586.01 Short title.—This chapter shall be known as the “Florida Honey Certification and Honeybee Law.” History.—s. 9, ch. 28167, 1953; s. 1, ch. 86-62.
586.02 Definitions.—As used in this chapter:
(1) “Apiary” means a beeyard or site where honeybee hives, honeybees, or honeybee equipment is located.
(2) “Apiculture” means the raising, caring for, and breeding of honeybees.
(3) “Beekeeping equipment” means honeybee hives, frames, supers, pallets, queen excluders, and other equipment which is used in the cultivation of honeybees and the harvesting of products produced by honeybees.
(4) “Certified honey” means honey that is sampled, analyzed, and certified by the department to be primarily of one type from a principal nectar source.
(5) “Colony” means a distinguishable localized population of honeybees in which one or more life stages may be present.
(6) “Compliance agreement” means a written agreement between the department and any person engaged in purchasing, assembling, exchanging, processing, utilizing, treating, or moving beekeeping equipment or honeybees wherein the person agrees to comply with stipulated requirements.
(7) “Department” means the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services of the state or its authorized representative.
(8) “Honey” means the natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar or honeydew by honeybees and the natural activities of the honeybees in processing nectar or honeydew.
(9) “Honeybee pest” means an insect, mite, or other arthropod or a bacterium, fungus, virus, microsporidium, nematode, or other organism that damages or causes abnormalities to honeybees, colonies of honeybees, or beeswax.
(10) “Honeybee products” means honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis, and other products resulting from the activities of honeybees.
(11) “Honeydew” means a sweet substance found on leaves of plants, usually a secretion from homopterous insects.
(12) “Nectar” means a sweet solution secreted by the plant extra floral glands (nectaries) or by any part of the flower.
(13) “Regulated article” means any article capable of transporting a honeybee pest or an unwanted race of honeybees.
(14) “Special inspection” means an inspection of honeybees, honeybee products, or beekeeping equipment performed at the request of the beekeeper or honeybee product producer or handler for the purpose of meeting inspection or certification requirements of other states or countries.
(15) “Unwanted race of honeybees” means those natural, genetically isolated subspecies of honeybees which beyond a reasonable doubt can inflict damage to people or animals greater than managed or feral honeybees commonly utilized in North America. History.—s. 1, ch. 28167, 1953; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 250, ch. 71-377; s. 1, ch. 74-284; s. 4, ch. 83-14; s. 2, ch. 86-62; s. 1, ch. 89-56; s. 939, ch. 97-103; s. 7, ch. 2012-83.
586.025 Unlawful acts.—It shall be unlawful to:
(1) Introduce into this state any honeybee pest or an unwanted race of honeybees, except under special permit issued by the department, which shall be the sole issuing agency for such special permits.
(2) Use the terms “certified honey,” “certified,” “registered,” or “inspected” or any other term to convey or imply to the purchaser that the honey is certified honey, unless the honey has been certified by the department.
(3) Label, represent, advertise, or offer honey for sale unless it meets the definition provided in this chapter.
(4) Knowingly sell, offer for sale, or distribute any honeybee, any unwanted race of honeybee, or any regulated article infested or infected with any honeybee pest declared by rule of the department to be a nuisance or threat to the state’s apiary industry.
(5) Knowingly conceal, or willfully withhold information regarding, honeybees, honeybee pests, unwanted races of honeybees, or regulated articles from the department.
(6) Knowingly receive honeybees, honeybee pests, honeybee products, beekeeping equipment, or other articles for distribution within this state that are not in compliance with this chapter without immediately informing the department and isolating and holding the honeybees, honeybee pests, honeybee products, beekeeping equipment, or other articles unopened or unused until action is taken by the department. History.—s. 3, ch. 86-62; s. 66, ch. 93-169.
586.03 Certification and labeling of Florida-produced honey.—
(1) Any beekeeper or his or her representative managing honeybees in this state may make application to the department for inspection and sample analysis on which qualification for “certified honey,” or for special certification, shall be based.
(2) When requested by beekeepers, honeybee products processors, or other interested parties, the department may provide special certifications based on special inspections, special laboratory analyses, special investigations, or other honeybee regulatory activities when or where feasible and not otherwise specifically provided for in these statutes.
(3) The department may fix, assess, and collect fees not to exceed actual expenses incurred for certifying honey, including fees for special certification. History.—s. 2, ch. 28167, 1953; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 86-62; s. 67, ch. 93-169; s. 940, ch. 97-103.
586.045 Certificates of registration and inspection.—
(1) Each beekeeper having honeybee colonies within the state shall apply to the department, on forms supplied by the department, for certificates of inspection and registration, and for annual renewal on the anniversary date of the registration. An application for renewal postmarked after the anniversary date shall be accompanied by a $10 late filing fee.
(2) Each application shall be accompanied by a registration fee as set by department rule, based on the cost of the honeybee inspection program.
(3) Neither the registration fee nor the annual renewal fee shall exceed $100. The department may exempt from the payment of a registration fee those governmental agencies having honeybee colonies for experimental or educational purposes.
(4) The department shall provide to each person subject to this section written notice and renewal forms 60 days prior to the annual renewal date informing the person of the certificate of registration renewal date and the application fee.
(5) Upon application prior to the renewal date, the department may, for good cause, such as natural disasters, hardship cases, or unusual circumstances, supported by written documentation, extend the renewal date without penalty for up to 90 days.
(6) The certificate of registration shall be renewed if the registrant has complied with the provisions of this chapter, including the payment of the applicable fee, and the rules of the department. History.—s. 2, ch. 89-56; s. 8, ch. 92-147; s. 69, ch. 93-169; s. 10, ch. 95-317.
586.055 Location of apiaries.—An apiary may be located on land classified as agricultural under s. 193.461 or on land that is integral to a beekeeping operation. History.—s. 8, ch. 2012-83.
586.10 Powers and duties of department; preemption of local government ordinances.—
(1) The authority to regulate, inspect, and permit managed honeybee colonies and to adopt rules on the placement and location of registered inspected managed honeybee colonies is preempted to the state through the department and supersedes any related ordinance adopted by a county, municipality, or political subdivision thereof.
(2) The department shall:
(a) Administer and enforce this chapter.
(b) Adopt rules necessary to enforce this chapter, rules relating to standard grades for honey and other honeybee products, and, after consultation with local governments and other affected stakeholders, rules to administer this section.
(3) The department may:
(a) Enter upon any public or private premises or carrier during regular business hours for the purpose of inspection, quarantine, destruction, or treatment of honeybees, used beekeeping equipment, unwanted races of honeybees, or regulated articles.
(b) Declare a honeybee pest or unwanted race of honeybees to be a nuisance to the beekeeping industry as well as any honeybee or other infested or infected article that is exposed to infestation or infection in a manner believed likely to communicate the infection or infestation.
(c) Declare a quarantine against any area, place, or political unit within this state or other states, territories, or foreign countries, or portion thereof, in reference to honeybee pests or unwanted races of honeybees and prohibit the movement within this state from other states, territories, or foreign countries of all honeybees, honeybee products, used beekeeping equipment, or other articles from such quarantined places or areas which are likely to carry honeybee pests or unwanted races of honeybees if the quarantine is determined, after due investigation, to be necessary in order to protect this state’s beekeeping industry, honeybees, and the public. In such cases, the quarantine may be made absolute or rules may be adopted prescribing the method and manner under which the prohibited articles may be moved into or within, sold in, or otherwise disposed of in this state.
(d) Enter into cooperative arrangements with any person, municipality, county, or other department of this state or any agency, officer, or authority of other states or the Federal Government, including the United States Department of Agriculture, for inspection of honeybees, honeybee pests, or unwanted races of honeybees and products thereof and the control or eradication of honeybee pests and unwanted races of honeybees, and contribute a share of the expenses incurred under such arrangements.
(e) Investigate methods of control, eradication, and prevention of dissemination of honeybee pests or unwanted races of honeybees.
(f) Inspect or cause to be inspected all apiaries in the state at such intervals as it may deem best and keep a complete, accurate, and current list of all inspected apiaries to include the:
1. Name of the apiary.
2. Name of the owner of the apiary.
3. Mailing address of the apiary owner.
4. Location of the apiary.
5. Number of hives in the apiary.
6. Pest problems associated with the apiary.
7. Brands used by beekeepers where applicable.
Notwithstanding s. 112.313, an apiary inspector may be a certified beekeeper as long as the inspector does not inspect his or her own apiary.
(g) Collect or accept from other agencies or individuals specimens of arthropods, nematodes, fungi, bacteria, or other organisms for identification.
(h) Confiscate, destroy, or make use of abandoned beehives or beekeeping equipment.
(i) Require the identification of ownership of apiaries.
(j) Enter into a compliance agreement with any person engaged in purchasing, assembling, exchanging, processing, utilizing, treating, or moving beekeeping equipment or honeybees.
(k) Make and issue to beekeepers certificates of registration and inspection, following proper inspection and certification of their honeybee colonies.
(l) Revoke or suspend a beekeeper’s or honeybee product processor’s certificate of inspection or use of a certificate or permit issued by the department if the department determines that the beekeeper or honeybee product processor is selling or offering for sale or is distributing or offering to distribute honeybees, honeybee products, or beekeeping equipment in violation of this chapter or rules adopted under this chapter, or has aided or abetted in such violation.
(m) Refuse the certification of any honeybees, honeybee products, or beekeeping equipment if it is determined that an unwanted race of honeybees exists, or honeybee pests exist on honeybees, honeybee products, or beekeeping equipment, or that the condition of the apiary inhibits a thorough and efficient inspection by the department.
(n) Conduct, supervise, or cause the fumigation, destruction, or treatment of honeybees, including unwanted races of honeybees, honeybee products, and used beekeeping equipment or other articles infested or infected by honeybee pests or unwanted races of honeybees or so exposed to infection or infestation that it is reasonably believed that infection or infestation could exist.
(o) Require the removal from this state of any honeybees or beekeeping equipment that is brought into the state in violation of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter. History.—s. 1, ch. 61-415; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 7, ch. 86-62; s. 2, ch. 87-17; s. 3, ch. 89-56; s. 71, ch. 93-169; s. 941, ch. 97-103; s. 9, ch. 2012-83; s. 94, ch. 2013-15; s. 18, ch. 2013-226.
586.11 Certificate of inspection to accompany interstate shipments; enforcement.—
(1) All honeybees, except bees in combless packages, and used beekeeping equipment shipped or moved into this state shall be accompanied by a certificate of inspection issued by the state of origin.
(2)(a) The certificate shall certify that the apiaries owned or operated by the beekeeper or his or her agents or representatives have been inspected annually in the state of origin at a time when the bees are actively rearing brood, and that the honeybees meet the entry requirements of the department concerning honeybee pests and unwanted races of honeybees.
(b) The certificate described in paragraph (a) shall not be valid to allow honeybees and used beekeeping equipment to be shipped or moved into this state unless the certificate is issued by a state which has standards of inspection which are adequate to ensure the health and safety of Florida honeybees and which are at least equal to the standards established by the department.
(3) Bees in combless packages must be accompanied by a certificate of inspection from the state of origin and an affidavit that no honey is used in the feed.
(4) It shall be the duty of the sheriffs and officers of the Florida Highway Patrol to enforce the provisions relating to the movement of bees and used beekeeping equipment into the state, as well as such movement within the state. History.—s. 2, ch. 61-415; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 83-168; s. 8, ch. 86-62; s. 4, ch. 89-56; s. 1, ch. 91-21; s. 72, ch. 93-169; s. 942, ch. 97-103.
586.112 Stop-sale or stop-movement notice.—The department may issue and enforce a stop-sale or stop-movement notice to the owner or custodian of any honeybees, honeybee products, or honeybee equipment found or suspected to be in violation of this chapter or any department rules promulgated thereunder. The notice shall prohibit further sale, barter, exchange, or distribution of such items until the department has issued a written release confirming compliance with the provisions of this chapter and any department rule promulgated thereunder. History.—s. 11, ch. 95-317.
586.13 Removal, destruction, or treatment of infested or infected honeybees or beekeeping equipment.—
(1) If the department finds any honeybees, honeybee products, or used beekeeping equipment or other articles infested or infected with honeybee pests or an unwanted race of honeybees, notification shall be given in writing to the owner or person having charge of the apiary to that effect. The owner or person in charge shall, under the supervision of the department and within 48 hours after notice, cause the infested and infected honeybees, honeybee products, or beekeeping equipment or other article to be removed from this state or destroyed if the problem cannot be successfully treated, as determined by the department. If successful treatment is possible, the owner or person in charge shall, under the supervision of the department, follow the treatment as prescribed in the notice of the department.
(2) No damages shall be awarded to the owner for the destruction of unwanted races of honeybees or infested or infected honeybees, honeybee products, or beekeeping equipment or other articles except as provided under the provisions of this chapter.
(3) If the owner or person in charge refuses or neglects to comply with the terms of the notice within 10 days after receiving it, the department may treat or destroy or cause to be treated or destroyed the infested or infected honeybees, beekeeping equipment, honeybee products, honeybee pests or unwanted races of honeybees. The expenses shall be assessed, collected, and enforced against the owner by the department. History.—s. 4, ch. 61-415; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 10, ch. 86-62; s. 3, ch. 87-17; s. 74, ch. 93-169.
586.14 Compensation for beekeeping equipment and honeybees contained therein destroyed due to infection with American foulbrood.—Upon destruction of honeybees or honeybee equipment infected with American foulbrood, Bacillus larvae, Florida resident owners of honeybees and beekeeping equipment may receive compensation from the department. This compensation shall be up to 50 percent of the appraised value of the destroyed property, providing funds are available for this purpose; however, compensation shall not exceed $30 per colony. History.—s. 5, ch. 61-415; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 75-213; s. 2, ch. 80-113; s. 418, ch. 81-259; s. 11, ch. 86-62; s. 75, ch. 93-169.
586.15 Penalty for violation.—
(1) A person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 for the first offense, and commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084 for a second or subsequent offense.
(2)(a) The department may, after notice and hearing, impose an administrative fine in the Class II category pursuant to s. 570.971 for a violation of this chapter or the rules adopted under this chapter upon any person. The fine, when paid, shall be deposited in the Plant Industry Trust Fund. The imposition of a fine pursuant to this subsection may be in addition to or in lieu of the suspension or revocation of a permit or a certificate of inspection or registration.
(b) Any administrative order made and entered by the department imposing a fine upon any person pursuant to this subsection shall specify the amount of the fine and the time limit, which shall not exceed 15 days, for payment thereof. Upon failure to pay the fine within the time limit, the permit or the certificate of inspection or registration of the person may be suspended or revoked without further hearing. An additional fine of $100 per day may be imposed until the order is complied with.
(3) In addition to the penalties provided in this section and chapter 500, the department may collect costs related to enforcing prohibitions against the adulteration or misbranding of honey. Such collections shall be deposited into the General Inspection Trust Fund. History.—s. 6, ch. 61-415; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 611, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 80-113; s. 12, ch. 86-62; s. 76, ch. 93-169; s. 19, ch. 2013-226; s. 142, ch. 2014-150.
586.16 Handling of money received.—All money received by the department as fees and penalties under the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the Plant Industry Trust Fund and shall be used by the department to defray its expenses in carrying out the duties imposed on it by this chapter. History.—s. 13, ch. 86-62; s. 77, ch. 93-169.
586.161 Honeybee Technical Council.—
(1) COMPOSITION.—The Honeybee Technical Council is created in the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and shall be composed of seven members to be appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture of which there shall be five representatives of the honeybee industry, one representative of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and one representative of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services who shall serve as secretary of the council.
(2) STAGGERED TERMS.—Members shall be appointed to 4-year staggered terms. Effective July 1, 1993, two members shall be appointed to a term of 4 years, two members shall be appointed to a term of 3 years, two members shall be appointed to a term of 2 years, and one member shall be appointed to a term of 1 year.
(3) MEETINGS; POWERS AND DUTIES; PROCEDURES; RECORDS.—The meetings, powers and duties, procedures, and recordkeeping of the Honeybee Technical Council shall be pursuant to s. 570.232. History.—s. 14, ch. 86-62; s. 1, ch. 87-50; s. 5, ch. 91-429; s. 78, ch. 93-169; s. 28, ch. 94-335; s. 53, ch. 2011-206; s. 143, ch. 2014-150.