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Discussion Starter #1
I live in Southwest Montana. While looking at the legal options for getting into keeping bees I have found out that I really can't do the Hobbyist license. Montana only allows for 10 hives. My original plan was to have the yard at the family ranch. I'm wondering if I understand the laws correctly. The family land is my Dad's by legal defintion, and the law says he must maintain the yard himself. Does that mean another member of the immediate family can not manage the yard? The commercial side isn't an option for me, because there are a few apiaries within three nautical miles. I just want to make certain I can even operate a yard legally before I invest anymore time or money.
 

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I would contact the State's ag dept or whoever is in charge of enforcement. In most States, the term landowner refers to and is inclusive of family members of the "landowner", especially if you live on the land with your dad. I would call around when you have some time and find out who is in charge at the State level and the, (never trust the b****ds ) to write you an email clarifying that. At the end of the day, I would think in a State like Montana, they are probably focused on more important stuff than getting down to this level of bee keeping. If you need to, get your dad to pull the license and take care of the hives yourself-as long as Montana Ag doesn't operate any Predator Strike Drones, who's gonna know?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Montana years ago? I wouldn't even look into it. Montana is now pretty much the west coast. Demographics have changed for the worse. The state does conduct a lot of aerial surveys, even our property taxes are accessed by satellite. I don't live on the ranch. I'm middle aged with a family of my own now. I'll take your much appreciated advice and call the girls at the state now. I didn't really want to, as they appear to be extremely young, and from out of state by the looks on the government website. Here I go.......
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, I called the state entomologist. If getting into this isn't an option, I am going to tig weld the drain on this extractor and start boiling traps with it. I've been eyeballing it for that purpose for years anyway. Thanks for the heads-up LarryBud!
 

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I would say if you haven't kept bees before, its a little early to start worrying about the 5 hive limit under the hobbyist license
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would agree, but why go through years of failure then moderate success, just to hit a bureaucratic wall. :scratch: Why spend the money, and more importantly the time, just to hit a wall with no reasonable room to grow. I have no intention just to peter out at five to ten hives in 5 years. Better to think about the future than just a few moments gratification. A plan without a goal is not something I wish to start.
 

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Why let a perceived bureaucratic wall stop you from having those years of failure, you might never hit that wall, many don't get that far.

your worried about 5 years down the road, not to be morbid but your self described as middle age, with your current plan your investment hinges on your dad still being there and still having the ranch.. heck maybe you turn up aleagic after a year or 2 like some do, or decide its way too much work for the returns (as many do)

Get some bees, after a few years in the local beekeeping community you will likely gain an understanding of work arounds that random people on the internet can't help you with
maybe you don't need "free rent" from dad and can put your hives on a different site for a small fee.
maybe you "buy" a acre of the family ranch and are the landowner and put the hives there...
don't know, just a rando on the net....you need local help
but you seem to be working real hard to paint your self in a corner
 

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..... Montana only allows for 10 hives......
My city only allows 6 hives on my property per the license.
Well, I have 15.....
LOL

To clarify - the 15 hives are scattered across several properties - very simple work-around.
You over-complicate this.
 

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My county has banned all transportation of hives, but allows you to keep one hive, not to exceed one box in total...

I obviously follow that to the letter, along with thousands of other local beekeepers, breeders, package and nuc producers.

And I'm in socialist California!
 

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It's been my experience that agencies don't like to screw with people on the hobbyist level, too much to loose-you might have a distant cousin who's lives next door to a commissioner. if you were commercial, they'd read you the statues like they were gospel. Just get something in writing like an email so when the girls get real jobs, you have proof.
 

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Agreed, and same here.

Hobbyists are entirely left alone. It's the real big commercial guys bringing in hundreds of hives for pollination and honey production they crack down on.
 

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I posted the NJ laws here a while back, we're allowed to have 3 hive (plus 1 nuc) on a 1/4 acre, 6 on 1/2 acre, 12 on an acre and up to 20 on over an acre. I think this is more liberal for 2 reasons, first, our climate is pretty nice-average annual average temps are 86 F as a high and 11 F as a low and 60 inches of rain a year-yes we do occasionally get extremes but they are usually short lived. I am in the central western area not far from the Pennsylvania border. I think that is part of the reason we have that allowable hive density and for the most apart, there are limited commercial guys, mostly in the southern rural areas where cranberries and blueberry farms are. In my areas, lots of pasture, stream and creeks and extensive open space provides a lot of habitat and forage. I got well over 200 pound this year on two nuc's started in March.

I think a lot of States like California and Montana may have somewhat restrictive laws due to the volume of commercial guys (God bless them all) and the fear of disease transmission through pollination services or storage of thousands of hives in the off season. I don't believe any restrictions are meant to harm hobbyist. A few years ago, they did try to do some restrictions that were not based in science but due to not in my backyard attitudes on local levels where a beek might have gotten out of line with a 100 hives on a 1/2 an acre in a suburb. Here, we are politically charged and the last thing a state senator or county freeholder wants is 200 phone calls from beekeepers. Learn to use the process if science is on your side.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow. I have seem to have stumbled into the wrong bar. I'm not perceiving anything on current law. I'm not a law maker. Two sites total is what is allowed on hobbyist side. I didn't mean to paint myself into a corner, as I have never voted for big government in my entire life. I didn't mean to offend anyone here or hurt their feelings. I honestly just posted a couple questions thinking the community might have the knowledge to answer. I can't have a guerilla yard as the USDA inspects certain aspects of the ranch now. Plus the other two ranches that lease colonies will know, and also be seen by the commercial operation when they come to service and inspect their yards. Can't buy an acre from "Dad", as the left has changed a lot of what we can do with our own land.
I did get two calls back about 20 minutes ago, and it is a no go situation for what I'm looking for. I'll shut up with my ignorance now.:D
 

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Wow. I have seem to have stumbled into the wrong bar. .......
I did get two calls back about 20 minutes ago, and it is a no go situation for what I'm looking for. I'll shut up with my ignorance now.:D
This red tape sounds strange - coming from the "freedom loving" and blah, blah.... Montana.
Logically speaking, I should have all kinds of problems in my socialist-driven WI county (since you mentioned the "west coast" taking over).
And yet - it is the opposite!
;)

OK, one typical advice on BS has been - you drive around, approach the property owners, ask to setup 2-3 hives on their property (for some honey/pollination in return) - chances of getting a nod are rather high.
This approach definitely works.
Let me tell you.... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That is true Greg, I actually know the ranchers, and we have talked about it just yapping out the truck window. Infact last winter while setting wolf traps, one of the ranchers with a lease yard was complaining about paying for the bees he has on two different locations. He was telling me that the company keeps complaining about issues with the yard. That is what got me into reading up on the subject.

As far as Montana being freedom loving? Not any longer I'm afraid. 16 years of really bad governors now. We are probably just as bad as Wisconsin now. Especially since the massive influx of Oregon, California, and Georgia residents. I'm a home builder, and can't keep up with all the work now. Shoot, my own house has almost tripled in value in the last six months alone.

I'm not looking into a hobby really. Pollenating a community of native ranches that share fence lines is the key. All natives of the same mind. Now only about 1000 acres of that is actively farmed instead of just hayfields, and cows. The rancher that buys the most seed, and fertilizer would like to see more return for his investment as crop production has sucked lately. What he told me was the yards he leases out to big commercial companies have issues supposedly because their bees go down to california and work their way up the coast until reaching Montana in our mid summer. I am not talking out my rear, because I freely admit I don't know if the rumor that they pick up diseases by jumping states ect. ect. is true or not. Starting Monday I will be working on a remodel for him. I'll just let him know what my little bit of internet research found. I don't remember when he said the leases run out for the commercial operators.
 

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....Especially since the massive influx of Oregon, California, and Georgia residents. I'm a home builder, and can't keep up with all the work now. Shoot, my own house has almost tripled in value in the last six months alone...
Well, gee.

You should be thankful to those moving from Oregon, California, and Georgia.
I don't get it.
What IS the gripe?

Let us be honest - beekeeping is such insignificant peanut compared to home building business.
There is no comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thankful? Hardly. There was plenty of work before. The disease that is introduced is not worth chasing the almighty dollar over. Everything else goes up when they show up. Taxes, regulation, loss of culture, and on and on. No need to go down that road I guess. It never really is productive.

I have no frame of mind that beekeeping is or will be significant in comparison with the construction industry. Most of us have to look for other lines of work, now that a real working ranch can't support a whole family nucleus any longer. But enjoying life and husbandry of various kinds of livestock is more fulfilling is that building stuff for those of us with a similar background here.
 

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Romedius, is this your first attempt to get into bees or do you have some hives already? Going from zero to a whole **** lot is probably not realistic, the guys that I know who run hives in the thousands are about the hardest working guys I know, they make dairy farmers look like 9 to 5 bankers. Keep in mind, this is farming, all long money.

I don't want to jump into politics here but I'm watching the court hearing right now and my senator's on. If you guys think you have it bad, my family's been in NJ since the late 1600's. I live in the People's Republic of Princeton, as a registered Republican. We have not had an R on the town council since 1991, we had an election for 3 council seats a while back where there were 7 democrats, 3 green party candidates and a commie on the ballot-no R's. We have both the dumbest governor (Murphy), dumbest Senator (Booker) in the nation and the other one is an un-indicted criminal (Mendez). My taxes now are more than what my mortgage P&I, taxes and insurance were when I bought this house. But I stand to fight them and dumb people everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Larry, I don't have any up at all. Nor any experience at all. Not trying to go nuts or big. What I have been trying to get at is that I don't want a cap at something so small. Meaning since failure and mistakes are given. I'm not going to call the shrink when mistakes are made, or when life happens. I do not have big plans. I don't even care so much if one hive makes it as long as I am learning through experience. Something to keep in mind is that almost all of our government employees are steve irwin/nat geo worshippers. They grew up often on the west coast or out in the North East. they watch tv, and are indoctrinated by the schools, or college. Usually it is the boomer grandparents, who were commies or maybe could have been at woodstock? Millenials are not something new. It started in the 60s. Sometimes the grandparents grew up, sometimes they just cut their hair and went gray. The millenials look up to them as aged and wise. They do not understand that they can't compare as a whole to the generation just above them. In 92 when one of them, Robert Redford came out with a movie called a river runs through it...Montana was flooded by these people pretty much overnight. Some wanted to escape their own mess and moved here. BUT...they brought their lovely grandkids who happened to be no good. They change everything. want to be wildlife biologists, who happen to dictate too much. y

Besides the extractor which I found out holds 8 frames total, a couple smokers, a bee suit, some wire dividers a couple feeders, a hot knife, and various frames, old langstroth boxes (maybe 20 to 30 in various conditions) and some other stuff in a couple of totes. Don't know anything about them other than that. The one local that got out of beekeeping after working at it professionally for a big company for years told me not to buy anything from them. To catch the swarms I get from demolitions, and remodels every spring. He told me those bees will be better for my area as they have to overwinter from about now until end of may before the first nectar flows. Don't know if this is true, but he said most bees here go to california to over winter. This forum has been great, I'm backing out of the idea of getting into it. Didn't want to ignore your question. You haven't been prissy at all Larry. I sure appreciate the advice. My oldest son is out welding up on the stainless extractor now. That boy don't let any grass grow under his feet! Be well and good luck to you Larry.
 
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