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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Wondering if any of you folks may have any leads on Municipalities that have input legislation on a local level making it ILLEGAL to destroy Hives/Swarms/ of Honeybees?

I have found much in regards to keeping them, but need to find out if there is a precedent in regards to "KILLING" Honeybees.

Working with our County Legislators to implement a plan, but need to know if others have started?

Thank you for your attention and time,
Bee Well,
JTtheBeeGuy
 

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If you are writing an ordinance to try to limit killing bees, I would write it carefully. You don't want to make it so draconian that no one can dispose of an aggressive colony that is a problem. You just want to discourage people spraying swarms hanging in trees (there is probably never a reason to kill them) and have them get professional help with bees in a building. Killing bees in a wall usually makes a mess that has to be cleaned up anyway... depending on the wall, of course. But a typical stud wall will be a mess if you kill the bees. But if you make it so they can't get rid of mean bees you will get a backlash and your law will probably get repealed. The people most likely to follow the law are probably the pesticide applicators who don't want to lose their license, but that may result in a lot more calls to beekeepers to rescue the swarm. Home owners probably will pay little attention to it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Michael,
Thank you, we are hoping to implement a program in our predominantly agricultural county. Since we are in NY State, I don't think the issue of "Aggressive" hives is much of an issue.

I agree that we wish to inform all PESTICIDE Applicators, Public Safety personal, and Homeowners of the importance of HONEYBEES and how they are important to the community in which we live and that they should NOT be destroyed.

We are looking to have a large team of BEEKEEPERS available for removal of SWARMS and the Removal of Bees in Buildings and Structures when feasible and possible keeping SAFETY in mind for all involved.



Thank you for the input, it is GREATLY appreciated!
 

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Michael,
Since we are in NY State, I don't think the issue of "Aggressive" hives is much of an issue.
Just because we don't have African honeybees here in NY doesn't mean that there are no aggressive/overly defensive colonies.

And occasionally the responsible thing to do with them is to kill them.

What do you expect an urban beekeeper to do who inadvertently hives AMM bees in town because he has no access to a rural yard when they are stinging every passerby that comes within 50 yards?

Mr Bush's counsel concerning this is prudent.
 

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How about you stop seeking to legislate the actions of others. An information campaign to inform people as to the benefits of bees and giving them some options for removal is a less dictator like approach. You NY people seek to regulate everything from pop to popcorn, and it becomes habit, look at other options.

Ricky
 

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Just because we don't have African honeybees here in NY doesn't mean that there are no aggressive/overly defensive colonies.
We have them in Ohio when someone decides to bring their bees North for the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Over the last 7 years we have worked to get the message out about the importance of HONEYBEES in our Agricultural Community, However each season, we still have an alarming number of "KILLS" that are still performed due to the perception of the public.

It is our desire to put into place some sort of action that would cause folks to think twice before they decide to destroy that which does not belong to them. We have laws protecting animals, wildlife, children an the elderly, but nothing is being done to protect the honeybees specifically. We do need to FURTHER the education and to make folks more aware, but the continued onslaught against honeybees is just wrong and needs to be corrected.

I agree that overly Aggressive Hives have to be dealt with on a case by case basis, and sometimes it may be necessary to destroy them, and any sort of guidelines would need to clearly make this clear as to what constitutes that behavior and the course of action.

It isn't a desire to REGULATE and LEGISLATE Everything, but there needs to be some tangible protection for honeybees, that makes it clear that killing or destroying hives is a violation, due to the nature of our COUNTY still representing AGRICULTURE as a primary source of community income.
 

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In support of your effort; a year ago I would have said nobodies business but theirs. Then.

Last August my bees found a hive that someone had killed, robbed it and brought the pesticides home. I found out when 3 days after finding eggs from 3 new queens in my castle they were all dead and dying. It spread to my nucs and hives, shaking out all the uncapped nectar in all hives helped but queens died for another month. I expect to come out with a big fat zero or maybe a couple of survivors.

So no, spraying bees on your own land is not just your business.
 

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In support of your effort; a year ago I would have said nobodies business but theirs. Then.

Last August my bees found a hive that someone had killed, robbed it and brought the pesticides home. I found out when 3 days after finding eggs from 3 new queens in my castle they were all dead and dying. It spread to my nucs and hives, shaking out all the uncapped nectar in all hives helped but queens died for another month. I expect to come out with a big fat zero or maybe a couple of survivors.

So no, spraying bees on your own land is not just your business.

There are already laws on the books that protect your property from others actions. More laws are not and should not be viewed as the fix. How will you kill hives with AFB? How will you deal with Aggressive hives? The reality is sometimes hives need to be killed. Who will be the arbiter of when and who gets to do so? A state agency with a state paid bee inspector/ killer? At tax payers expense? Do you realize the slippery slope? The funds to enforce it will lead to necessary taxes or fees. How much is your licenese to keep bees now? It cost 10.00 here in Utah. How long until it costs 500.00 to pay for someone to police the killing of bees? The restrictions on freedom never end and they always come at great cost and with unintended consequences.


To paraphrase. A man who will trade a little freedom for more security, will lose both and deserve neither.
 

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We have them in Ohio when someone decides to bring their bees North for the summer.
I think even more an issue is all the Northerners that bring their bees south for the winter...do their splits here...and allow their queens to open mate. I know my area gets pretty inundated with those wanting to take advantage of our resources come November. I am always glad to see them leave, and always hope they won't return

To the OP, wise advice provided thus far. Now that I have done many, many removals, it is impossible to save the bees every time. Community outreach and education is likely the best bet. You may be more successful making sure that exterminators aren't able to "scare the crap" out of the public with their "killer bee" campaigns.
 

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If you kill it, you remove it. If you can't do that get someone who can.

It is against the law in Maine to throw paint and pesticides in the trash, nobody is ever charged with a crime, but tons are collected every year.
 

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I, too, would be very careful about trying to put rules and regulations in place. You cannot escape the law of unintended consequences when you're implementing new ordinances.

Honeybees are enjoying an all-time high in public awareness, and I would be inclined to figure out a way to leverage that into an educational campaign rather than trying to impose yet another section-subsection-paragraph solution, which may not end up being a solution at all.
 

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How about you stop seeking to legislate the actions of others. An information campaign to inform people as to the benefits of bees and giving them some options for removal is a less dictator like approach. You NY people seek to regulate everything from pop to popcorn, and it becomes habit, look at other options.
I have to admit. We almost killed a hive in our wall when I was younger. Mom sucked quite a few of them up in the vacuum before a beekeeper volunteered to get the swarm out the next day for a deeply discounted price. There just wasn't any way for us to pay a beekeeper to come get them. But she didn't spray it because one of the keepers explained what could happen to other hives around and how important they were. I wish someone would have suggested to her that her boy (me) could start keeping bees with a little oversight and I would have been tearing at the wall in a heartbeat, lol. Maybe it's just my country upbringing, but I don't like being told what to do, and I also understand that most legislation hurts the people on the bottom the most.

It is our desire to put into place some sort of action that would cause folks to think twice before they decide to destroy that which does not belong to them.
I mean, I like bees as much as most, but I don't think I feel as strongly about this as you. When do you actually own a hive? When you build the box? When a swarm moves into your box? When a swarm moves into your wall? I hate to say it, but a beehive in your wall can be as dangerous as a dog on your steps to bystander that is allergic to your bees. Or course, with proper knowledge, people would know that it's probably safer to get someone to remove it rather than spray it because of everything they leave behind and the chance of another swarm moving in, but I don't really like trying to protect people from themselves much.


At most, I'd be willing to concede on there being some kind of law about killing them in a way that could seriously hurt other people's hives. We are talking about damaging someone else's property. Then again, we're also keeping 10's of thousands of lifestock that we let free graze wherever they want. That has inherent risks. I don't know what other options there are than RAID for most situations, but surely there's a safer alternative for people to deal with problems on their land? Of course, I don't mind giving them a strong speech about how stupid it is to kill them, and what they left in their walls, but I'd just as soon keep the government out of it.

Just my Missississippi 2 cents.
 

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Sorry, but if you can put a pesticide out there you can clean it up. If you want to swat them all that is fine with me.

Waiting for that post that says" My neighbor killed half my hives in three weeks and half the bees in the surviving hives, They should have the right to do it again."
 

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I think even more an issue is all the Northerners that bring their bees south for the winter...do their splits here...and allow their queens to open mate. I know my area gets pretty inundated with those wanting to take advantage of our resources come November. I am always glad to see them leave, and always hope they won't return
Point taken. Thanks for helping me to think of the issue in a new way :)
 

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Bees are an interesting "livestock". We claim they are ours, then let them forage over other people's properties, but want to control how they treat them on their own property. Obviously, I love bees or I wouldn't be on Beesource. However, honeybees are not a native species, they are an introduced species. I also love our native pollinators as well. If we are going to legislate honeybees, do we legislate spraying hornet nests as well? Or ant nests?

I moved to a rural area and am very protective over my property. My thought is that if you are going to tell people how to handle bees on their property, then maybe it should be legislated that beekeepers have to remove them for free.
 

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I was the Bayer Bee Care stop last week and had another experienced beekeeper argue with me that it was illegal to kill honeybees. I get cutout calls every summer from people that don't want to get in trouble for killing bees. Another law, will just confuse things more so tread lightly. Incidently, the state apiary inspector was the next table so I asked her. She started laughing and said "it's a non native species, kinda hard to regulate something that's not supposed to be here". She went on to say that the chemicals and anyone calling themselves pest control was heavily regulated.
 

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Michael,
Thank you, we are hoping to implement a program in our predominantly agricultural county. Since we are in NY State, I don't think the issue of "Aggressive" hives is much of an issue. I agree that we wish to inform all PESTICIDE Applicators, Public Safety personal, and Homeowners of the importance of HONEYBEES and how they are important to the community in which we live and that they should NOT be destroyed. We are looking to have a large team of BEEKEEPERS available for removal of SWARMS and the Removal of Bees in Buildings and Structures when feasible and possible keeping SAFETY in mind for all involved. Thank you for the input, it is GREATLY appreciated!
It sounds like Orange county should create a list for county beekeepers interested in doing bee removals.

That way, everyone knows who to call if there's a Honeybee related problem in Orange.

You may want to put together a needs assessment to see what, if any, new ordinances/regulations your county might want to implement with regards to Honeybee removals.
 
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