|2018 DFW Area Beekeeping Conference|
DFW Area Beekeeping Conference will be held in the Metroplex October 27.
Hagee Communications Center
499 East University Avenue
Waxahachie, Texas 75165
Hagee Communication Center is located 30 minutes from downtown Dallas & 50 Minutes from downtown Ft. Worth on the campus of SAG University
Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association of Dallas and Metro Beekeepers Association of Fort Worth are joining forces to conduct the First Annual Metroplex wide beekeeping conference.
Notable speakers from across the State of Texas and beyond will be sharing their expertise in areas ranging from beginner topics to intermediate and advanced subject matter.
Featured speakers Les Crowder, the author of Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health and Michael Bush, the author of The Practical Beekeper will be conducting multiple talks ranging from Top Bar Hive to pest control management options.
Lone Star Beekeepers Association announced its formation last month and that it is accepting memberships. LSBA is a state wide incorporated non-profit beekeeping association whose mission is to support beekeeping activities of all sizes and give beekeepers a voice in local and statewide regulatory issues in Texas.
Among the membership types is an associate membership category for businesses, allied professionals and local beekeeping associations.
A great benefit of being an LSBA associate member is a free web hosting service is included. Clubs, associations & bee related businesses and individuals can maintain a professional looking website under their own custom registered domain name. In addition up to 10 e-mail addresses are also provided under that custom registered domain name. Associate members can use e-mail addresses such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to make it easier for members to conduct club activities or business.
Further information on membership and the web hosting service can be found on website http://www.lonestarbeekeepers.org/memberships/#AssociateMembership
This month Dan Weaver is the Valentines treat for the Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association in Dallas, TX.
Dan will be speaking about raising strong resistant stock in the face of modern beekeeping challenges. Dan has been selecting for varroa resistance since the 1990’s, and runs BeeWeaver Apiaries, producing bees raised free of miticides, pesticides, and any chemical control measures.
Dan comes from a long beekeeping tradition and is a clear authority on all things honey bees. He received his PhD in Molecular Biology from University of California and his JD from University of Texas. He is past-president of the Texas Beekeepers Association and the American Beekeeping Federation, and has served on many pollinator/bee/beekeeping committees at a national and international level. He has also been an author on numerous papers pertaining to bees, covering topics ranging from the impact of in-hive pesticides to the mapping of the honey bee genome.
The Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association meetings every second Tuesday at 7 PM at The Point on the campus of C. C. Young, 4847 W. Lawther Dr., Dallas (map)
More information about Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association can be found at
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
The Texas Apiary Inspection Service has announced Mary Reed to be Chief Apiary Inspector for the State of Texas.
Although Ms. Reed is new to that position, she is not new to TAIS and has served in TAIS as apiary inspector for many years.
More information can be found at: https://txbeeinspection.tamu.edu/contacts/
2017 TBA Annual Convention
November 9th -11th
Frank Mayborn Event & Convention Center
Temple, TX * 9 am to 5
The following is taken from the Texas Beekeepers Association Website.
To View original post, goto website -> http://texasbeekeepers.org/cancellation-hb-1293/
Cancellation of HB 1293
TBA members and fellow beekeepers,
Your TBA board and others have worked diligently for the last months, and in some cases years, to draft legislation to update the beekeeping laws in Texas. We want to inform all of you of the status of HB 1293, the bill proposing changes to Chapter 131 of the Texas Agricultural Code.
After much discussion, the TBA board chose to not proceed with HB 1293 for this legislative session. This was not an easy decision to make. TBA is still committed to updating the bee laws in Texas, but that update will have to wait until the 2019 legislative session.
There are three main reasons that the TBA board decided to not proceed with the legislation this year:
- Communication/Involvement – TBA has worked on HB 1293, and its predecessor, for 4 years. We communicated to our members the reasons for writing the legislation as we did and invited TBA members to participate in the development of the proposed legislation. However, we did not communicate our message clearly enough to all Texas beekeepers. Some individuals reported feeling that TBA had poorly communicated to them, or did not solicit their input, so they opposed the bill on those grounds. It is a daunting task to gather input and to communicate with thousands of beekeepers across the state to the extent that everyone feels involved, represented, and routinely updated.
- Wording – Some individuals, both inside and outside of our membership, opposed the bill because of the way specific sections were worded. Many individuals offered good suggestions. TBA absolutely heard all of the input, and much will be incorporated into the development process for the 2019 legislative session. However, the time required to communicate, incorporate, and then legislatively write the changes to HB 1293 would have put us beyond the deadlines for the 2017 legislative session, so we stopped the process.
- Oversight – Opinions on what bee laws should look like in Texas vary greatly. HB 1293, as written, is an improvement over the existing Section 131 laws. It would have given Texas beekeepers an appeal process if they disagreed with the Chief Apiary Inspector on quarantines. The main issue here was whether the Texas Apiary Inspection Service needed a legislatively appointed oversight board to review their decisions. A change of this magnitude to HB 1293, without knowing all the details and ramifications of such a change, could not be properly handled in the short time remaining in this legislative session. Hence, we stopped the process so that all beekeepers could properly consider whether to incorporate an oversight board into the Section 131 laws and if yes, what its powers and oversight of the Chief Apiary Inspector would be.
TBA’s desire and the only reason for TBA suggesting changes to Section 131 is to improve the beekeeping industry in Texas, and thus protect our industry and our bees. Unfortunately, HB 1293, in its current form, is not the right change. We know that our current law is not working well for us and that it could be very oppressive to all scales of beekeepers if the letter of the law were strictly enforced. We highly encourage all of you to read the Texas Agriculture Code Chapter 131 to understand what the current requirements are and then to comply with them. Continue your involvement with TBA. Watch your inbox, read the TBA Journal, and attend TBA meetings as, together, we communicate about the next steps in this process.
We are determined to update the beekeeping laws in Texas. We will use the time between now and the next legislative session to address the issues listed above and any others you want to bring forth. You have our commitment to do so.
Thank you so much for your support. We wish you a fantastic year of beekeeping as the honey flow begins in Texas!
The TBA Board
Imagine you are pulled over by a police officer for speeding and that police officer is allowed to decide what the speed limit is between the time he gets out of his car and issues you a citation. Whether or not this was the intention of Texas Beekeepers Association in their proposals to amend Chapter 131 of the Agriculture Code, it’s analogous to a scenario allowed under House Bill 1293.
Section 25 of House Bill 1293 changes Section 131.121 of Chapter 131 to read, “A person commits an offense (Class C Misdemeanor) if the person fails to report reportable diseases, reportable pests, or unwanted species of bees,……. sells, offers for sale, barters, gives away, ships, or distributes honey or pollen taken from a colony of bees that has a reportable disease or a colony of bees that contains a reportable pest;” Further language is changed under HB 1293 that allows the Chief Apiary Inspector, the person that enforces Chapter 131, sole discretion in determining what is a “reportable pest”.
Section 10 of House Bill 1293 changes Section 131.023 to read, “…. a person may not sell or offer for sale a queen bee and attendant bees, package bees, colonies, nuclei, or queen cells in this state unless the bees are accompanied by a certificate of inspection that certifies that the bees are apparently free from disease and pests based on an actual inspection conducted not more than 12 months before the date of the sale. Again in HB1293 language is changed under HB 1293 that allows the Chief Apiary Inspector sole discretion in determining what is a reportable pest.
This author prefers a system whereby there is a division between those that write regulations and those that enforce them.
HB 1293 – Issues and Solutions
The Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance has been in discussions with its members and other beekeepers to identify the core concerns with HB 1293, and possible solutions to those concerns.
While everyone agrees that Chapter 131 needs to be revised, several of the provision of HB 1293 will create new problems or exacerbate existing ones.
Issue #1: Accountability. The CAI has broad powers, and HB 1293 expands those. Yet despite having essentially regulatory powers, the CAI is not a regulatory officer nor within the jurisdiction of a regulator agency. Decisions to define unwanted pests and disease, or to order a quarantine or destruction of hives, need review by experts and stakeholders. Even absent abuse, the current structure does not provide representation for the wide range of people affected by the bee industry.
- Recommendation #1a: Create a Honey Bee Advisory Board with 7-9 members, including representatives of large-scale commercial beekeepers, small-scale commercial beekeepers, hobby beekeepers, farming, wildlife, and academia. This board would meet at least annually to set TAIS policy and regulatory objectives and initiate rule-making, recommend or endorse specific TAIS actions in response to the detection of new pests or disease, and approve extraordinary actions (seize and destroy, order implementation of colony management practices, quarantine, etc.). The Board would thus set boundaries on the CAI’s discretion.
- Recommendation #1b: Expand appeal procedures to cover not just quarantines, but also other decisions or actions affecting property rights, such as seizure, destruction, or required treatment.
- Recommendation #1c: Direct the new Board to include consideration of the feral honey bee population, and the impact of that population on the probable efficacy of pest or disease control, eradication or mitigation measures.
- Recommendation #1e: Remove any provisions in HB 1293 that refer to the CAI determining what diseases or pests are subject to regulation of penalties. Change all references to “pests” or “diseases” to “reportable pests” or “reportable diseases” as designated by the new Board. If the new Board is not established in 2017 legislation, then the designations could be linked to USDA APHIS determinations.
Issue #2: Negative impact on small to medium scale operations: The ability of the CAI to require inspections, combined with the directive to recover costs, are likely to result in competitive disadvantage.
- Recommendation #2a: Establish a tiered or sliding scale structure for fees based on colony count or other equitable measure.
- Recommendation #2b: Retain the option to self-certify via affidavit.
Issue #3: The bill places all bees, both native and domestic, including bumble bees, under the authority of the CAI.
- Recommendation #3: Change the definition of bee so as not to extend authority to native bee species. (If no one believes that the CAI would declare native bees as unwanted, then there should be no objection to removing that power.)
Issue #4: Mandatory registration will not be acceptable to many people, and the requirement will lead to widespread noncompliance. In addition, to try to avoid impacting micro-beekeepers with the new mandatory requirement, the bill changed the provision for registration to 25 hives; but this could have an unintended impact on property tax valuation because many county appraisal districts have used the current apiary registration definition of 6 hives as a starting point for their guidelines.
- Recommendation #4: Remove the mandatory registration requirement and maintain the current definitions of apiary and beekeeper. A voluntary registration could be established that would allow notification of beekeepers when there is an issue of concern (disease, pests, or pesticide overspray) in their areas, providing benefits that would encourage registration.
Issue #5: The bill expands the failure of a beekeeper to report endemic diseases and pests in any colony that he is aware of, to be a Class C Misdemeanor. If read strictly, this requires reporting on fellow beekeepers. Whether the CAI enforces it this way or not, the possibility of it will discourage beekeepers, especially newcomers, from seeking help and advice from more experienced people.
- Recommendation #5: Clarify the language so as to require people to notify the CAI of reportable diseases in their own hives. Change the failure to do so to a civil penalty only.
Issue #6: The bill requires Texas queen and package bee suppliers to pay for certificate of inspection, though out-of-state bee suppliers have no such requirement.
- Recommendation #6: Remove the requirement of certificate of inspection for intrastate sales and delivery.
Issue #7: The regulations on “equipment” do not specify used equipment, yet there is no risk of spreading disease through new equipment.
- Recommendation #7: Amend the definition of “equipment” to “used equipment,” and then amend the requirements to apply to used equipment. Proposed definition: “’Used Beekeeping Equipment’ means hives, supers, frames, veils, gloves, tools, machines, vacuums, or other devices for the handling and manipulation of bees, honey, pollen, wax, or hives, including storage or transporting containers for pollen, honey, or wax or other apiary supplies used in the operation of an apiary or honey house and that have previously been used to contain, manipulate, transport, house or process colonies, hives, bees, bee colonies, bee products or their unpasteurized by products.”
In cooperation with: