Last edited by Barry; 12-19-2015 at 05:32 AM. Reason: fixed URL
This is a more specific section of the law.
I have just received notification from VDAC that this years inspections will include mite counts and any apiary with counts above 3 mites per 300 bees will not receive health certificates I wonder if this will effect the treatment free sector of beekeepers who do not control or do mite counts.
When the VDAC inspector inspected my VA (back)yard (also 28 March) she mentioned a threshold mite count for treatment _recommendations_ but I did not understand this as a threshold for required mite treatment. As I recall, this inspection is required for comb transfer in VA. If you want to transfer bees on comb even as gifts you are required to "pass the inspection," but my understanding as of last year was that the "pass the inspection" condition was to be free of comb-borne diseases like foul-brood and chalk-brood, not bee-borne issues such as mites. But I'm all ears and eager to be better informed.
I also recall being told that contributing bees to the alcohol wash was voluntary, not required for the inspection. Perhaps that also depends upon colony count.
"I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself
This is a copy of an email received
The new inspection protocol requires me to do a mite count on the apiary before I issue a health certificate. Depending on the size of the apiary a sample will be taken from each hive and combined to obtain half a cup of bees. I will do an alcohol wash or a sugar roll, count the mites, and divide by 3. The threshold is 2-3 mites per 100 this time of year, and 4-6 in the summer. If the test exceeds the threshold a HC cannot be issued.
For example, if an apiary has 2 hives, a quarter cup will be taken from each hive. If there are 4 hives an eighth of a cup from each. More than 4 hives, it remains a sample of 4 hives. If necessary, I’ll do 2 washes to get an accurate count and take the average.
Thanks for your help!
I wonder if that is subjective to what they are seeing in an apiary or who the particular inspector might be. I've searched online for the health permit with VDACS and I don't see any mention of the mites. I'd push back and asked him to forward you the requirements so you can read them for yourself. I know there was a discussion of this on the Virginia Beekeepers FB page. Keith Tignor had emailed one of the guys back directly saying it has always been part of the inspection.
I am not in the least perturbed by this development as the inspectors including Keith Tignor have sampled bees in my yards prior to getting health certificates as I supply nucs and queens in my area. My mite loads at this time of the year are very low as a round of OAV just recently showed, however the mite counts have never been tied to the certificate before. If really it is a health hazard as far as the state is concerned 1 mite per sample is as good as 10 mites in the sample as the only difference is time.
City of Poquoson regulations. More cities to follow once I find an old email.
(5) the following shall apply to beekeeping:
a. In no case shall a have be placed closer than 3 feet from a property line.
b. A beekeeper who places hives less than 25 feet from a property line, with the entrance facing said property line, shall do so only if there is a barrier between the hive and the property line, or if the hive is elevated with its entrance no less than six feet above the ground. Barriers should be of sufficient density, length and height to establish bee flyways six feet or higher above ground level at the property line and main include dense vegetation, an accessory structure or a privacy fence.
c. Beekeepers shall maintain a water source within 50 feet of a hive or less than one-half the distance to the nearest unnatural source of water which is on their property, whichever is closest. Unnatural sources of water include swimming pools, and pet or livestock watering receptacles.
d. The Public Works Department shall maintain a list of contact information for beekeepers who wish to be notified of insect control measures performed by government entities which are harmful to bees. Listed beekeepers shall be notified at least 48 hours prior to aerial application of control measures. The public works Department shall exercise prudence near known hive locations when performing ground-based control measures.
e. In cases where beehives are located more than 40 feet from a public right of way, enforcement of beekeeping regulations shall only be initiated based on complaints of an affected adjacent property owner.
This is what is already in the regulation regarding permits.
(b) All use permits for the keeping for farm animals shall be issued for a period of one year from January 1 to December 31. All use permits shall be subject to revocation upon violation of any of the conditions set forth in the permit. The grant of a use permit shall not vest in the recipient an unqualified right of renewal for the permit. Renewal of all use permits issued shall be subject to the imposition of additional restrictions as land uses in the area change. Individuals wishing to keep farm animals shall make application for a use permit on such forms as the city manager may require. A nonrefundable fee of $15.00 shall accompany the initial application. Prior to issuance of a use permit the city manager shall notify all property owners adjacent to and across the street from the location at which the animals are proposed to be kept of the request for a permit and shall ensure that the applicant is capable of meeting all of the requirements imposed by this section. Each year, prior to renewal of the use permit, the city manager shall notify all adjacent property owners of the renewal and shall review the permit for compliance with all conditions imposed either by ordnance or by the terms of the permit itself. No fee shall be charged for renewal permit.
And some more cities that I researched about a year ago
Beehives maintained as a hobby for household use and non-commercial purposes shall be allowed provided the following criteria are met:
a. No beehive may be placed or allowed to remain closer than three (3) feet from an adjoining property line.
b. No beehive may be placed or allowed to remain closer than fifty (50) feet from any house, dwelling unit, apartment, hotel, motel, office, commercial establishment, place of worship or school with the exception of the owner's dwelling.
c. No beehive may be maintained unless the owner thereof provides for or has access to an accessible and adequate water supply within fifty (50) feet of each beehive.
B. Requirements for the construction and maintenance of beehives and beekeeping activities in residential districts:
1. There shall be no more than four beehives per 8,000 square feet or less of lot or parcel area. On parcels or lots consisting of less than one acre of land, two additional beehives shall be allowed for each additional 2,000 square feet in excess of 8,000 square feet of lot area, with a maximum of eight beehives allowed. The density restrictions established by this section shall have no application to beehives kept, placed or maintained on any parcel of real property of one acre or more in size.
2. It shall be unlawful for any person to keep, place, or allow a beehive to remain:
(a) Closer than ten feet to a public right-of-way or to the property line of adjoining property not owned by the person maintaining the beehive; or
(b) Closer than 30 feet to any house or other residential dwelling other than the residence of the person maintaining the beehive; or
(c) Closer than 30 feet from any hotel, motel, office, commercial establishment, church or school.
3. For any beehive placed within 30 feet of any property line adjoining a residential property or public right-of-way, a barrier of sufficient density to establish bee flyways above head height must separate the beehive from such property line or public right-of-way. The barrier may be constructed of fencing or vegetation or a combination of the two. The barrier must be no less than six feet in height and extend no less than ten feet in length on either side of beehive. The requirements of this section shall have no application to beehives kept, placed or maintained on any parcel of real property of one acre or more in size.
4. An adequate water source must be provided within 20 feet of any beehive. An adequate water source shall consist of an accessible and useable supply of water for the bees maintained so as not to harbor mosquitoes.
5. Honey bees must be acquired and beehives constructed and maintained in accordance with Title 3.2, Chapter 44 of the Code of Virginia as determined by the state apiarist.
(7) Beekeeping provided no beehive is closer than 50 feet to any dwelling, school or church establishment and that the owner provides a supply of water for the bees within 50 feet of the hive.
Section 46-1-1. - Definitions.
(a) A public health or safety menace means any condition which might endanger the health or safety of the public, including but not limited to:
(5) Accumulation of bees, fowl or animals in such a manner to create a condition that may be injurious to the public health or safety;
(Sounds like there has to be a "problem" before it is an issue.)
ARTICLE VI. - BEEKEEPING
Sec. 6-108. - Violation of article as nuisance.
In addition to any penalty imposed for a violation of any provision of this article, such violation is hereby declared a public nuisance and any person suffering injury or damage therefrom may seek the correction, removal or abatement of such nuisance through appropriate suit in equity.
(Ord. No. 24443, Ch. 6, § 4, 12-11-78)
Sec. 6-109. - Exceptions from article.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to the keeping of bees within an educational institution, museum, physician's office or laboratory for the purpose of study, observation or medical research or treatment, provided that such bees are not permitted to fly at large.
(Ord. No. 24443, Ch. 6, § 3, 12-11-78)
Sec. 6-109.1. - Definitions.
For the purposes of this article, the word "beehive" shall have the following meaning:
Beehive. The word "beehive" shall mean a single colony, hive or stand of bees, regardless of size.
(Ord. No. 29076, § 2, 5-2-88)
Sec. 6-110. - Location of beehives.
It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or place a beehive or cause or allow a beehive to remain:
(1) Closer than ten (10) feet to the property line of adjoining property of anyone other than the person maintaining the beehive or his immediate family; or
(2) Closer than fifty (50) feet to any house or other building used for residential purposes by anyone other than the person maintaining the beehive or his immediate family or any apartment, hotel, motel, office, commercial establishment, church or school; or
(3) Closer than thirty (30) feet to any "street" as defined by Section 1-2 of this Code.
(Ord. No. 24443, Ch. 6, § 1, 12-11-78; Ord. No. 29076, § 1, 5-2-88)
Sec. 6-111. - Water supply for bees.
Every person owning, possessing or keeping any beehive shall maintain, within fifty (50) feet of each beehive, an adequate, accessible and useable supply of water for the bees.
(Ord. No. 24443, Ch. 6, § 2, 12-11-78; Ord. No. 29076, § 1, 5-2-88)
Sec. 6-112. - Density requirements.
(a) No person shall keep, place or maintain more than four (4) beehives on any parcel of real property which contains ten thousand (10,000) square feet or less in area. With respect to parcels larger than ten thousand (10,000) square feet in area, one (1) additional beehive shall be permitted for each two thousand (2,000) square feet of area in excess of ten thousand (10,000) square feet. Notwithstanding the foregoing, during the months of April, May and June (swarm season) only, a person shall be permitted to keep two (2) additional beehives, over and above those permitted during the balance of the year, on any parcel of real property.
(b) The density restrictions established by this section shall have no application to beehives kept, placed or maintained on any parcel of real property of one (1) acre or larger in size or on any parcel zoned RA, Residential-Agricultural District.
(Ord. No. 29076, § 2, 5-2-88; Ord. No. 37350, § 1, 4-3-06)