Well, I just finished relocating the six hives I had been keeping at the property in Marana, Arizona (without a "beekeeping permit"), moved them about 18 miles away. I replaced them with some empty older deeps that are almost completely worn out. They are barely useable, but since I don't use deeps and these weren't worth cutting down to mediums, I keep them only to store unused frames/combs and as swarm traps. I thought I had some that were without frames, but I didn't have six empties, so I used those with frames, some even have a few combs that the wax moths missed. I also have some older worn-out bottom boards and tops that I used to populate my decoy apiary. I posted a sign inside the apiary enclosure: "From: The Clemens' Honeybees
Gone on vacation. Will return soon."
I waited until after dark, used ratcheting straps to lock each hive together. Puffed a little smoke in each to quiet them down. All done while wearing only a pilot's skull cap (to keep them from finding my hair) and a red LED headlamp. Turned out the skull cap wasn't necessary, the girls stayed calm throughout the entire trip, loading and unloading included.
It will be very interesting to see how the officials react if they still get more complaints and come to investigate.
If their response includes the continued insistance that I obtain this "Beekeeping permit", I can honestly tell them, "I don't need one". If they don't ask specifically, why, who am I to tell them. :D
The zoning code concerning beekeeping clearly states that it requires them to investigate to determine if I am keeping the bees according to the code guidelines. If I am not, the code then requires them to contact the Health Department for a determination whether the bees are a nuisance or hazard, if they are determined to be so, their fate is then decided by a joint decision of the zoning and health inspectors. None of this has happened yet. The Health Department inspectors have visited twice, in reponse to complaints filed directly with their department. The zoning enforcement office had received its own complaint, yet has not acted on it in accordance with the zoning code concerning beekeeping.