STATE LAWS RELATING TO BEEKEEPING
California laws regulating beekeeping are enforced by county agricultural
commissioners and provide the basis for an effective apiary inspection
program that helps beekeepers protect honey bee colonies from disease,
pesticide damage, and theft.
Excerpts from the California Agricultural Code relating to bees and
apiary inspection can be purchased from: Office Services, California
Department of Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814; (916)
445-8164. Beekeeping in some localities is also governed by city or county
ordinances. Beekeepers should consult local authorities about this.
Apiary registration.All apiaries must be registered each January with
the agricultural commissioner of the county in which the colonies are
located. Registration fee is $10 and involves listing the location of each
apiary and the number of colonies at each location. Newly acquired apiaries
and apiaries brought from out of state must be registered within 30
days of establishment.
Apiary movements and identification. Details of laws pertaining to
movement and identification of apiaries can be obtained from county
agricultural commissioners or Supervisor of Apiary Projects, California
Department of Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
Apiary assessment. Resident and nonresident beekeepers operating
40 or more colonies in California are required to pay an annual assessment
fee on their colonies. The rate has varied for several years, so the
Supervisor of Apiary Projects (address above) should be contacted for
When I was searching the web earlier trying to find some info on any laws, I discovered that there isn't much on the web about bee laws in California. Your state must really be broke because they MAKE YOU PAY for "excerpts from the California Agricultural Code relating to bees and
apiary inspection." It seems that should be something that they would give to beekeeper FOR FREE!!! I'm just glad I am where I am at. Our legislators gave the Dept of Ag Apiary Division an additional $200k this year to help out the beeks. They have a co-pay program for packages, beeks pay $25 per 3# package. They are also giving beeks a treatment of Apivar per each colony registered last year and an amount of HFCS determined also by the number of colonies registered last year.
So since there is no money for inspections, any fly by night outfit could decide to start up and sell packages, nucs, and queens all across the country from within California without ever having a single inspection (since ther is no money) or no knowledge themselves of how to diagnose a diseases. That's good to know, especially for someone who might have been thinking of buying some of those bees that will be coming out of the almonds real soon. I'm am truly sorry that this is your reality in CA.
As for the guy with the AFB, I believe I would have been pouring some gasoline in those colonies late at night after sealing the entrance. A few guys each with a 5 gallon can of gas could really do some damage in a short amount of time. There is nothing wrong with being a vigilante every now and then, as long as you don't caught. Well, if you police yourselves you shouldn't have to worry about that.
Scott, here is a list of county ag commissioners if you should decide to contact the one for where you intend to move.http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/exec/county/county_contacts.html