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DATE: September 9, 2020

ACTION: Notice of Intent to Consider the Adoption of Chapter 620-9

TO ALL INTERESTED PERSONS AND PARTIES:

Pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, O.C.G.A. §§ 43-45-8 and 50-13-4, notice is hereby given that the Georgia Department of Agriculture (“Department”) and the Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission (“Commission”) will hold a public hearing on October 9, 2020, at 9:00 A.M. via Zoom video and teleconference.

Said hearing shall be for the purpose of considering adoption of Chapter 620-9 entitled “Control and Removal of Honeybees from Structures.” Written comments will be accepted from September 9, 2020, to the close of business (4:30 pm ET) on October 9, 2020.

SYNOPSIS, MAIN FEATURES AND DIFFERENCES:

The Commission is proposing to adopt Chapter 620-9 entitled “Control and Removal of Honeybees from Structures.” Specifically, the Commission is proposing to adopt Rule 620-9-.01 entitled “Definitions” which would define terminology necessary for administration of the proposed Chapter. Proposed Rule 620-9-.02 entitled “General Requirements” would set forth the requirements for the control and removal of honeybees from structures in Georgia. Specifically, the rule would clarify that the use of any “pesticide” to control, remove, or eliminate honeybees in, on, or under a structured is considered household pest control and requires a Household Pest Control License. The Rule would also clarify that “Honeybee control and removal” is limited to the control and removal of honeybees. The control, removal, or elimination of other types of bees requires a Household Pest Control license as defined in Rule 620-2-.01(s).

In addition, proposed Rule 620-9-.02 would require a honeybee control and removal contract be issued on all honeybee control and removal jobs in accordance with requirements of the Fair Business Practices Act of 1975, and the rules of the Federal Trade Commission, 16 C.F.R. 429, including disclosure by the licensee of the three (3) day right of cancellation. The terms of any contract extension beyond the original terms must be indicated on the contract. Likewise, the Rule would require honeybee control and removal jobs include the removal of all honeybees, honeycomb, honey, and wax from the structure including, but not limited to, all voids which must be properly sealed following control and removal Furthermore, proposed Rule 620-9-.02 would require any person engaging in honeybee control and removal be a Certified Bee Control and Removal Operator and hold a Structural Pest Control Company License in the Operational Category of Honeybee Removal. Before being issued a honeybee removal operator certification, the applicant would be required to provide the Commission with satisfactory evidence of his or her qualifications including the following: (a) Completed application form; (b) Documentation certifying completion of the University of Georgia Certified Beekeeper Program; and (c) Payment of an Operator Certification Fee.

The Rule would also provide for recertification. Specifically, certified honeybee removal operators would be required to complete one of the following requirements prior to expiration of the five (5) year certification period: (a) Complete a University of Georgia workshop on Bee Removal and Relocation; or (b) Retake and pass the University of Georgia Certified Beekeeper Program.

Proposed Rule 620-9-.03 entitled “Exceptions” would clarify that a Honeybee Removal license and Certified Honeybee Control and Removal Operator shall not be required for the control and removal of honeybees if the licensee holds a Household Pest Control license.

COMMENT PERIOD AND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

The Department and Commission will be accepting written comments from September 9, 2020, to the close of business (4:30 pm ET) on October 9, 2020. A public hearing will be held on October 9, 2020, at 9:00 A.M. via Zoom video and teleconference:

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85903501405?pwd=RndPZXZmcEw3NW51YTRhSFRoWG9RQT09

Meeting ID: 859 0350 1405
Passcode: 985467

All comments will be considered on October 12, 2020. Please submit written comments to:

Derrick Lastinger, Vice Chairman
Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission
19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, S.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Telephone Number: (404) 656-3641
Fax Number: (404) 463-6671
Email Address: [email protected]

Interested persons may call or submit a written request to obtain a copy of the proposed rules. A copy of the synopsis and the proposed Chapter may be downloaded from the Georgia Department of Agriculture website at www.agr.georgia.gov. To request a copy, contact Derrick Lastinger at 404-656-3641 or submit the written request to [email protected] or 19 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, Georgia 30334.

This notice is given in compliance with the Georgia Administrative Procedure Act, O.C.G.A. § 50-13-4.
 

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I may have an unfavorable reply but here in NJ, I was going to suggest that the State start requiring licenses, say $25-50 along with a 3 day supervised training from a Master Beek, for all beeks in the State with this caveat. My other passion of fly fishing and I pretty much get licenses in 6 different states every year-in some case (Florida where I also get a snook and lobster stamp) where I haven't fished in 5 years. However, in NJ, 100% of the fees are dedicated to the Fish and Game level, not the general fund and can only be used for maintaining and expanding F&G's programs for fishing. My thought for NJ Ag Dept is the same, it should be used to fund the State Apiarist Meg McConnell's efforts, perhaps add an assistant apiarist or fund other support for the State's Beeks. The importance of having a well funded Apiarist, like Meg, is they should be there to us and in theses days of varroa, foulbrood and other perils, wouldn't you want a second set of eyes or an expert resource to call? Think of it as a users fee, the fairest tax of all.

Of course if they wanted to just dumping the fees into the General Fund, lets get the torches and pitchforks out.
 

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New Jersey honey bee legislation has been incredibly active for the past 3 or 4 years. My bet is that beekeepers are going to want a break. They fought back a terrible plan that was rolled out a couple of years ago. Meg may be great, I am not familiar with her, but the retirement of Tim Schuler as your state apiarist was a huge loss to NJ beekeepers.

As to the Georgia legislation, I am betting it was brought by beekeepers that do cut out services. But you never know. It might have come about by a bad experience of a state legislator. Always interesting to know the motivation behind these things.
 

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Not commenting on the merit of the proposal, but I see nothing there about licensing beekeepers.
 

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In Arkansas if you remove bees from a structure and charge money for it you have to have a pest control license.
 

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Yes, agreed-I just have had this on my mind and sorry for hijacking the thread. A friend of a friend got into bees earlier this year and lost interest pretty much within a month, Never really took a course, just went out with a credit card, bough up a bunch of stuff, watched some YouTube videos (think brain surgery for home owners) bought packages and didn't work them. I'm going over to their place today to pick up three dead hives of brand new equipment for free. I'll clean them up (or burn them) and store them for next spring and (IF) my hives make it over the winter, have a place to put my spring splits.

I guess because it's fresh on my mind because like fishing, I hate seeing resources wasted and quite possibly, the source of my late summer mite bomb as the hives died out. One can only imagine if the unmaintained hives became a source for something even more serious. If training was required and verified through a license, maybe these types of out comes could be avoided. NJ does have bee yard registration ( a small part of Tim's great legacy) but I think there's still a lot of hobbyist don't know or don't think it applies to them. I'm not a fan of big government being the last of the R's here in the People's Republic but government has it's role. After 40 years in Public Works contracting, including Mega-projects in NYC, I've seen my fair share of corruption, incompetence and general stupidity in government, it'd been nice to see a little piece actually work.
 

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larry bud
Would you like to be one of those that could charge new bee keepers $500 each for those three day classes that you suggest could be offered. I, like pms, am curious about the motive for interest in this new interest in legislation.
Cheers
gww
 

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gww-
I am not competent enough to teach a class so no. I took a three day (consecutive Saturdays) class with my daughter at the Essex County Beekeepers Club here in NJ, in the County's Nature Facility last March that was taught by a well known local Master Beekeeper, Landi Simone, had plenty of supporting speakers, hands on stuff, food (breakfast and lunch) and printed manuals to keep. It was limited to 30 people and at $130 per person, absolutely worth it. The strongest part of the program was Landi's presentation on hive maintenance including Varroa, Nosema and other diseases with the related discussion/Q&A pretty much address a lot of stuff that's discussed here. Because it was a local club, it covered local issue with local experts and experienced beeks. At $500, I hope it includes a lobster dinner..and breakfast... and a limo to and from! I spent $200 last weekend on taking my wife out for a birthday diner-and after 34 years of marriage, didn't even get any honey.

As far as proposing legislation, yes but as I said, like the fees for a fishing license with a trout stamp where revenues for the licenses go to (and can only be used for) maintenance of the hatcheries, stream water quality and directly related programs-by law, nothing into the General (Slush) Fund. In as far as a Beekeepers Licenses, yes, were all swimming in the same pool, if something like foulbrood happens, it doesn't stay in your neighbors yard for long. Does everyone jumping into beekeeping know what foulbrood looks like? I just looked at the hives I mention and definitely a mite bomb hit and then SHB and Wax Moths. Maybe if the owner knew what he was getting into or knew how to identify hive issues, they'd still be alive.
I look at the State Apiarist as resource much as the County Ag Agent is for farmers. We have one and maybe if you drive the NJ Turnpike or Rt 80 and cross the State in an hour, hour and a half, you miss that north to south is 4-5 hours. If she has 220 working days plus the political dog and pony shows she has to do, how much time is that inspecting or helping out beeks? How much do you spend on woodenware, supplies and bees? A new beek course at $130 and an annual registration of $25 or $50 is nothing but the yield could be hugh just in education and eradication of the diseases we deal with.
 

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Did anybody read it? Seems clear that it only applies to someone going in and spraying the hive with pesticides. Not beekeepers like us.
Sounds like they are responding to complaints by pest control companies and consumers about untrained and unlicensed yahoos getting around the laws by claiming they are doing cutouts/swarm removal and then just spraying Raid. J
 

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gww-
I am not competent enough to teach a class so no. I took a three day (consecutive Saturdays) class with my daughter at the Essex County Beekeepers Club here in NJ, in the County's Nature Facility last March that was taught by a well known local Master Beekeeper, Landi Simone, had plenty of supporting speakers, hands on stuff, food (breakfast and lunch) and printed manuals to keep. It was limited to 30 people and at $130 per person, absolutely worth it. The strongest part of the program was Landi's presentation on hive maintenance including Varroa, Nosema and other diseases with the related discussion/Q&A pretty much address a lot of stuff that's discussed here. Because it was a local club, it covered local issue with local experts and experienced beeks. At $500, I hope it includes a lobster dinner..and breakfast... and a limo to and from! I spent $200 last weekend on taking my wife out for a birthday diner-and after 34 years of marriage, didn't even get any honey. Apparently $130 for a new beek is a bargain.

As far as proposing legislation, yes but as I said, like the fees for a fishing license with a trout stamp where revenues for the licenses go to (and can only be used for) maintenance of the hatcheries, stream water quality and directly related programs-by law, nothing into the General (Slush) Fund. In as far as a Beekeepers Licenses, yes, were all swimming in the same pool, if something like foulbrood happens, it doesn't stay in your neighbors yard for long. Does everyone jumping into beekeeping know what foulbrood looks like? I just looked at the hives I mention and definitely a mite bomb hit and then SHB and Wax Moths. Maybe if the owner knew what he was getting into or knew how to identify hive issues, they'd still be alive.
I look at the State Apiarist as resource much as the County Ag Agent is for farmers. We have one and maybe if you drive the NJ Turnpike or Rt 80 and cross the State in an hour, hour and a half, you miss that north to south is 4-5 hours. If she has 220 working days plus the political dog and pony shows she has to do, how much time is that inspecting or helping out beeks? How much do you spend on woodenware, supplies and bees? A new beek course at $130 and an annual registration of $25 or $50 is nothing but the yield could be hugh just in education and eradication of the diseases we deal with.
 

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Did anybody read it? Seems clear that it only applies to someone going in and spraying the hive with pesticides. Not beekeepers like us.
Sounds like they are responding to complaints by pest control companies and consumers about untrained and unlicensed yahoos getting around the laws by claiming they are doing cutouts/swarm removal and then just spraying Raid. J
Yes, I apologized earlier for the hijacking
 

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My state requires a license, which ends up just being red tape.

None of this will help prevent people from splurging on $1000 worth of equipment to have dead bees by mid summer.

Most of my learning came from attending my local beekeeping club, beekeeping classes, and from our discussions here on beesource.com.
 

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My state does not require license or registration thankfully. My small experience with the bee club is that there are many different levels of competence and also avenues of keeping bees and goals for having bees. The ones that consistently have bees seem to watch their own bees and act accordingly regardless of what they can't control that goes on around them. Some things that sound good may have adverse effects for some portion or sector of others that have different goals.

I would use as example, restricting antibiotic use to needing a prescription first. Such cost may not be out of line per hive for some one with 10,000 hives but might be prohibitive for ten bee keepers with three hives each. Such things could cause the opposite effect by making more disease due to cost or the cost stopping them from reaping any benefits from keeping bees.

I still have never bought into the effect of mite bomb and assignment of blame or effects of individual effect on the environment. First of all, there are wild bees and I find it hard to believe a guy with a few hives would be worse that that. He might do better but I doubt worse in the big picture. A guy with a few hundred hive managing perfectly may have a bigger impact. Both would need to watch their own bees and adjust according to what they told him and this is what happens to the ones that make sure there is no excuse for them not to be successful.

I also think that it is very few people that just enjoy throwing money at something that never works and so my belief is that even if there were a short term bee keeper not catching his problems, he will be weeded out and so I don't worry about him but just worry about me and my goals. I never purposely try and aversely effect my neighbors but also do not try and keep up with the "Jone's" cause I am the one doing the work. This is why I don't have a flow hive even though it was a nice presentation at the bee club meeting.
Cheers
gww

Ps I also don't put down some one who has the money and wants a flow hive. I believe in different strokes for different folks.
 

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That is not the way I read it Fivej. It clearly applies to cut outs. At least in my state, cutouts are typically done by beekeepers. Exterminations by exterminators. Our local exterminators call me frequently. I will do a cut out of it is easy and a carpenter will fix what I tear up.
 

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If our state mandated mapped out locations, this would alleviate the problem to some degree. At least even just listing the # of hives per town, without a GPS location.
 

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If our state mandated mapped out locations, this would alleviate the problem to some degree. At least even just listing the # of hives per town, without a GPS location.
NJ's registration (which in free) allows the inclusion of the apiary on a list for pesticide applicator notification list where licensed applicator have to provide 48 hour notice to beekeepers of any applications within a certain distance (I forget how much but yards not miles) so that hives can be protected in advance. If the applicator doe not notify listed beeks, he's subject to loss of license, criminal and civil penalties. Further, it allows the State Apiarist to inspect apiaries for diseases and utilizing the data base, notify surrounding beeks should a transmittable issue like foulbrood if found nearby and limit its spread. There is a map somewhere on the Department's website (my wife looked at it, I don't have time) which does show locations of the registered hives. I highly doubt this is an act of deep state operatives looking for illegal bees but rather (as I say as a conservative) the way government should work. Not sure why anyone would object to this and not support it's expansion. Too cheap to pay your own way?
 

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NJ's registration (which in free) allows the inclusion of the apiary on a list for pesticide applicator notification list where licensed applicator have to provide 48 hour notice to beekeepers of any applications within a certain distance (I forget how much but yards not miles) so that hives can be protected in advance. If the applicator doe not notify listed beeks, he's subject to loss of license, criminal and civil penalties. Further, it allows the State Apiarist to inspect apiaries for diseases and utilizing the data base, notify surrounding beeks should a transmittable issue like foulbrood if found nearby and limit its spread. There is a map somewhere on the Department's website (my wife looked at it, I don't have time) which does show locations of the registered hives. I highly doubt this is an act of deep state operatives looking for illegal bees but rather (as I say as a conservative) the way government should work. Not sure why anyone would object to this and not support it's expansion. Too cheap to pay your own way?
Could you post the link of the map if you can find it?

In our state, it's just not mapped out, unfortunately.
 

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I tried to find it with no luck, called my wife (who is an engineer with the NJDEP, parent of NJDA) who is at work in a meeting and after some words (from her) that might get me band for life on the forum, hung upp on me. …very abruptly. This is their website with registration and somewhere within lies the map, not just the list referred to on the cover page.

https://www.nj.gov/dep/enforcement/pcp/bpo-bee.htm
 

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That is not the way I read it Fivej. It clearly applies to cut outs. At least in my state, cutouts are typically done by beekeepers. Exterminations by exterminators. Our local exterminators call me frequently. I will do a cut out of it is easy and a carpenter will fix what I tear up.
I misread it, I think. I thought it was amending a prior rule to clarify that beekeepers do not need a pest control license if they are not using pesticides. It now looks like a whole new licensing scheme. This is undoubtedly brought about by the pest control companies and maybe some complaints because of beekeepers doing bad cut outs.
The end result will probably be very few going to the bother of licensing, pesticide companies will just kill the bees. Lose lose. J
 
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