During the TBA annual membership meeting held in November during the 2017 TBA conference in Temple, TX the TBA membership unanimously approved a resolution to pursue legislation to update Chapter 131 of the Texas Agriculture Code. This resolution signals the start of a third attempt in as many bi-annual Texas legislature sessions to improve Chapter 131.
The resolution adopted in the membership meeting reads:
Whereas TBA recognizes that the current Texas apiary regulations under Chapter 131 of the Texas Agriculture code are outdated and in need of updating,
Be it Resolved that TBA will continue to consider pursuing updates to Chapter 131 to the 2019 Texas Legislature for their implementation.
In a session of the executive committee of TBA following the membership meeting, President Chris Moore established a committee “pursuant to the Chapter 131 resolution passed by the members”. He then appointed Tanya Philips as committee chairperson saying, “Tanya is the committee chair and has the reigns at this point to establish a committee to come up with a proposal.”
Ms. Philips informed Save Texas Beekeepers Organization “a committee has not yet been formed” however “I am working on a questionnaire that I would like to send out to EVERYONE we can think of asking for input on what they consider to be KEY ISSUES.” The implication is that though the way to committee formation has been paved, committee members have yet to be appointed or selected.
Among the issues in the past change proposals were removing mandatory marking of hives with owner information, stream-lining the permitting process, clarification against which diseases and pests the chief apiary inspector can order treatment, quarantines or seize and destroy orders, and who decides what those pests and diseases are. Other issues were to expand the allowed equipment beekeepers may use to remove unwanted bees from structures, and mandate the requirement that a certificate of inspection accommodate bees sold by certain beekeepers.
No further TBA actions toward beekeeping regulations are known by Save Texas Beekeepers Organization at this time.
Chapter 131 can be downloaded from website http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/AG/pdf/AG.131.pdf