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Author Topic: I am semi legal  (Read 4716 times)
Understudy
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« on: July 10, 2006, 08:02:11 PM »

Well my days as a renegade beekeeper are not as renegade as they use to be. Today the inspector came out and looked at my hives.

I know I an never going to fit in well with beekeepers who are set in their ways. But after over 20 years in construction and dealing with inspectors I have learned to keep my mouth shut. Also I am not so foolish as to think I know everything.

The inspector really didn't mind me not using chemicals as long as I was using  the powdered sugar for mite control I didn't mention to him my last powdered sugar treatment was over a month ago.  The permacomb has done really well at keeping mites down to near nothing. We find one mite between two hives and that was in a drone cell that existed between the permacomb frames.

He didn't like the fact that I didn't use an excluder and pointed out the pollen in my frames as an issue on that. I kept my mouth shut. It wasn't going to be a deal breaker.

He was very pleased with my queens brood pattern, where as I was not. I kept my mouth shut. My queen can fill a frame completly in one day. This was about half a frame in a football pattern he was happy. I thought if he caught her on a good day he would have been overwhelmed.  I realize that a week of solid rain may have had an affect on the queen laying maybe not but I had hives busting with bees that couldn't fly for over a week.

He didn't like my top entrances. He had a good couple of points but never recognized the benefits they produced. When you take off a top entrance bees can get confused as to where to land. As so there can be quite a few bees in the air buzzing about. I understand how he could see it like that, but he never recognized the fact that that this help the aircirculation. Which he mentioned. He felt a bottom opening and a screened bottom board would produce good aircirculation. I didn't keep my mouth shut here. I pointed out that heat rises and that with the slanted top and the screened bottom board the air circulation is much better. He also didn't acknowledge my comments on keeping mice and toads out of the hive. Now he did make a very obvious point. The removal of dead bees and trash. He pulled out my bottom entrance blocks and said. It is much easier for the bees to remove dead bees and trash from the bottom. As soon as he did three bees flew out with corpses. I will give him that point. So I may cut a small notch on the bottom so the bees can remove trash from the bottom but not large enough to be a major entrance.

He didn't like that I used sphagnum moss for the smoker but as soon as I say him open his smoker and saw the half inch of tar in his. I thought there is no way I am using pine needles. He was cool about this he just has been using pine needles for 40 years and scrapes tar out of his smoker occasionally. He just didn't understand using anything else.

He didn't like that I let the burr comb build up between the hive bodies and proceeded to scrape it off. I kept my mouth shut, not saying anything about letting the queen move from one box to the other. I also realized my bees will rebuild all of this in about a week. The thing I thought was odd was him saying that the bees would build the comb and end up blocking themselves off from box to another. I didn't buy that one. I did understand his point about it causing frames from the box below to accidentally be pulled out as I had just done that yesterday and caused an unmitigated disaster, by not paying attention and rushing into a hive. Keeping my mouth shut is a good thing.

Now he is actually very smart and quite informative and I don't want prior comments to make him seem like a bad guy when he was just the opposite. As I told my wife I always seem to never be able to completly conform to the accepted standard. I am just different.

He was very pleased with how healthy my hives were and they seemed to be working quite well. He was impressed with the 36 pounds of honey I had gotten out of the one hive and that in seven months the other hive had gone from a 5 frame nuc to a deep with 3 mediums on it.

The small hive beetles made an apperance and I mentioned to him about the SHB trap if they became a real problem. He said with the small number what I should since I have permacomb was to fill the plows (the ears topside are shaped like bowls) with a little bit of canola oil or food grade mineral oil. Not a lot of it but just enough to be a problem for a SHB. I may want to spray a small stream on the very top of the sides so the SHBs can't adhere to the box. I will give this a try.

So I after all that I passed. I am getting a registration number. I am very happy and almost semi legit. If I wasn't living in a residential area.

The inspection and registration cost me $10.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2006, 02:17:11 AM »

State bee inspectors tend to be retired from their jobs and doing it as a sideline income.  Like many of us they have their own opinions about what is the proper way to keep bees.  Those opinions have been shaped by years of what has worked for them.
Some are unable to consider that there are other ways of accomplish the same task or that little variations like yours is how many advances in beekeeping occurs.
Some people, by their very nature, become like horses wearing blinders and can't even see what's right in fron of the eyes.
Consider yourself lucky--their are some inspectors who would have failed you on general principals because you "weren't following accepted practices" of beekeeping.
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Finsky
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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2006, 11:25:35 AM »

Take it so that you got good advices with 10 $ and you share now those valuable knowledge. - Confusing top entrance is new  to me.
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Rich V
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« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2006, 12:35:03 PM »

Here in Illinois, we have to by law, regesiter are hives. The inspector comes out and does his thing. There is no pass or fail. Except if he finds a serious disease and orders the hives destroyed. Other then that his suggestions are just that. There is no cost to the beekeeper for his service. Most new guys like me look forward to his visits.

Rich V
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« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2006, 02:18:36 PM »

Quote from: Rich V
There is no pass or fail. Except if he finds a serious disease and orders the hives destroyed. Other then that his suggestions are just that.
Rich V



That's what I thought the inspection thing was about unless you are selling bee's commercially, never heard of the pass or fail thing for a hobbyist, I thought the inspections should be to see if the hives have any bad diseases, now on commercial bee suppliers it is different, they look for mites, diseases, SHB's, etc.....  total inspection has to be passed to sale bee's...
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Rabbitdog
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« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2006, 05:09:46 PM »

I'm glad we don't have inspections like that.  I certainly can understand the state wanting to keep a handle on disease issues but why should any inspector be concerned with personal beekeeping methods.
We have an annual state inspection for vehicles in Virginia.  The Florida inspection procedure would require the vehicle inspections to check not only brakes, lights, steering, etc. but also what radio station was tuned in, the color of the seats, and if there were ashes in the ashtray shocked
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Understudy
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« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2006, 08:23:19 PM »

I believe his main concern was health issues and related items. However he knew I was a new beekeeper so I believe he was sharing the wisdom of his years. I don't fault him for that. He has been in beekeeper longer than I have been alive. I would be foolish to at least not listen and consider his advise. It doesn't mean I am going to heed every bit of it.

The inspectors concerns are disease, AHB, parasites (such as mites),  foul honey. Certain plants can cause bad honey that in rare cases may be toxic it apperently may even be bad for bees. I didn't get a full discussion on that. It is very rare but does occasionally happen.

Inspectors have a tough enough job. I really wasn't looking to make his any tougher. It was like I said in the first post. I know I am just a bit different. I never quite conform to normal standards. It doesn't mean I am right and he is wrong. Just that I am different.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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tillie
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« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2006, 10:18:02 PM »

I'm an oldest child, so I always try to do the right thing - so one month into beekeeping I called the state bee inspector listed on the GA Beekeeper's webpage to announce that I had two hives I wanted him to know about.

He replied via email that he was so glad I had the hives and nevermind, we don't have to register them in Georgia any more.

So much for the oldest child issues in beekeeping wink

Linda T in Atlanta
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Apis629
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« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2006, 12:35:02 AM »

ONE MONTH?  I called them 3 days after I got my package.  Then, they told me to call back in 6 weeks.  And, oh, thankyou Understudy.  You just reminded me that I have an inspection comming up.  I had completely forgotten about it.  Given I was registered August 1st, I assume it will happen before that date.  I guess I may have some explaining to do when I mention that I now have 5 colonies, spanning 2 locations (1 even being a TBH).  I got enough looks from the other beekeepers when I mentioned the TBH...let's see how an inspecter will do.

TBH photos: http://flickr.com/photos/20991296@N00/sets/72157594194422625/

Darn, I have less than a month to get my hives in "tip top" condition.  

*stress*
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shado_knight
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2006, 06:25:34 AM »

Here in Ohio, registration is $5, inspection is optional. When I registered, I had the option of allowing an inspection or not. I was leary about allowing one. One of the neighboring county inspectors actually spread AFB to a bunch of apiaries, due to wearing the same leather gloves whilst inspecting hives.  From what I hear, he is still doing inspections. According to the state's guidelines, the inspectors are supposed to inspect gloveless, and only after dipping thier hands in a bleach/water solution. Since the county I live in has no inspector, the state inspector may or may not come to check mine.
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Understudy
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« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2006, 10:35:45 AM »

The inspector I had didn't wear gloves because of AFB contamination.  
He used a cleaning solution on his hands and tools before we went and looked. I didn't see what it was.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Summerbee
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« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2006, 07:32:46 PM »

I waited 5 months before registering shocked   I really didn't want to, I only have one hive and figured it would just be a bother. I did not like the idea of Big Brother coming up to my private farm and poking around my bees.  Then I looked into it and found out keeping bees in FL w/out an annual inspection and registration is a misdemeanor.  This was an exciting thought at first... the Outlaw Beekeeper... Cheesy   but, word gets around in a small town and I could imagine The Bee Police knocking on my door.  Of course they probably wouldn't care, but still...

 Ergo, I paid $10 and had the insp. come out and check out my hive.  He wrote on the form "hive in good shape".  I have been blessed by the state, hallelujah!  rolleyes   Infiltrated, more like...  I still have yet to put my registration number on the inner cover though...3 months later...  Must do it before next April... Smiley
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Understudy
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« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2006, 07:48:14 PM »

Summerbee:

Big bother in a way it is. Besides being a minor crime, they will destroy your hives immeditally.

They will also blame you for every bee sting withing a 50 mile area, all the AHBs in the state, the reason foulbrood exists, the varroa mite infestation and the existance of single ply toliet paper.

So for $10 bucks to make sure my hives don't have AFB or some other nastyness, is not to bad. $10 bucks to speak with someone who lots of bee knowledge seems not to bad to me. Not only that unless there is a report of a problem he will not come on the property without your permission. He has to inspect the hives with you.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2006, 10:19:49 PM »

>The inspection and registration cost me $10.

There is no registration and no full time bee inspector.  I have to request one and it costs me $200.  Sad
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« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2006, 10:54:27 AM »

In New Jersey it is free. I've yet to do so but look forward to my first inspection. I would love someone who actually knows soemthing about bees to give me "two thumbs up." Although I have kept a variety of animals my whole life, it would be reasuring to know that i am doing it correctly. For those of you who are more experienced or have a hands on mentor, you can't understand how not knowing, or being unsure at what you are seeing and what it means is unnerving. I am avery goal oriented person and always want to be exceptional at whatever I am doing, while still maintaining my sanity. I am extremely wary of governmental intrusion but accept and understand the need for inspections to prevent the spread of diseases and non-indigenous flora and fauna. Our country is inundated w/ these non-native flora and fauna, not just in beekeeping. The list of nuisance species throughout our country is mindboggling. Zebra mussels, kudzu, starlings, honey suckle, loosestrife, to name a very few.
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2006, 05:29:02 PM »

Congratulations Understudy!!

Sorry to lose you to the darkside.
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« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2006, 11:31:38 PM »

Understudy, do you know if it's legal to expand your beeyard from 1 yard and 1 hive, at the time of registration to 2 yards and 5 hives without notifying them ahead of time?  This question has been on my mind constantly but, I'm not even sure if one of my yards is legal.  (about 100 yards from elementary school.  They're separated by thick undergrowth, a 6 foot 1x4 fence running the length of the property and, 60 foot trees to act as wind blocks.  Probably the bigger issue of legality spawns from the fact that I have a "wild caught" hive in a TBH.  I'm sure I'll get the AHB talk as well as the "Why would you want a TBH?" [TBH=crazy])  That and, as far as the state knows...the only bee yard I have consists of 1 hive at my house.  I was just wondering if I should contact the Apiary division of plant industry before my next inspection or, just tell the inspecter on the day of...or... *happen* to forget?
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Understudy
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« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2006, 08:47:13 AM »

Quote from: Apis629
Understudy, do you know if it's legal to expand your beeyard from 1 yard and 1 hive, at the time of registration to 2 yards and 5 hives without notifying them ahead of time?  This question has been on my mind constantly but, I'm not even sure if one of my yards is legal.  (about 100 yards from elementary school.  They're separated by thick undergrowth, a 6 foot 1x4 fence running the length of the property and, 60 foot trees to act as wind blocks.  Probably the bigger issue of legality spawns from the fact that I have a "wild caught" hive in a TBH.  I'm sure I'll get the AHB talk as well as the "Why would you want a TBH?" [TBH=crazy])  That and, as far as the state knows...the only bee yard I have consists of 1 hive at my house.  I was just wondering if I should contact the Apiary division of plant industry before my next inspection or, just tell the inspecter on the day of...or... *happen* to forget?


I asked about the expansion. His answer was whenI buy my hives call him and tell him the registration number of the people I bought them from and if he can find the history on them he may not even bother to come out and look at them. Up to 5 hives forthe $10 fee. As far as location goes I am not sure. However he didn't say anything about the fact that I was in a residential area. I believe that is because that isn't part of his authority. The people I have to deal with in reguards to location is local code enforcement.

I also spoke to him about catching feral swarms. They don't encourage the behavior but he knows that he really couldn't stop people. What he recommends is if you do catch one requeen it within 30 days becaus of the AHB issue.

The thing I would do is get all of your hives into your yard. Have the inspector be able to look at them there. And then put them back out. For $10 he doesn't need to drive all over the place.Let himknow beforehand that you have a few more hives. He doesn't care that you have more hives or were they will be he is just wanting them to be healthy. Although those of us with radical and different ways of keeping bees will also have to listen to them tell us why we are off our rocker. Wink

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2006, 07:16:54 PM »

>>Although those of us with radical and different ways of keeping bees will also have to listen to them tell us why we are off our rocker.  

I've been listening to that for years--mostly from people who have less experience than I do and are concerned about maintaining standards instead of imporving them.
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Apis629
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« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2006, 08:52:09 PM »

It was hard enough convincing my parents to put the hives in the car when they were small or the bees were in a cardboard box.  How am I going to convince them to allow me to move those three in the car when at peak strength?  I guess I'll tell the inspector ahead of time that I have a different yard and, offer to pay the gas for the side trip.  It's only about 5 miles.  I bike there usually every other day or so just for a little bit of exersize and, it's more fun than watching my hives here.
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