Catch The Buzz By Zachary Bauer April 4, 2019
Bee removal is a common practice for many bee owners. Well, it’s about to become illegal in Texas if an Irving lawmaker has her way.
When a local bee keeper gets a call concerning a swarm or hive in a nearby residence or tree, they load up and ride to the rescue. They arrive and set up their equipment and carefully bring the bees home to a new location where they can grow and thrive.
However, new legislation being filed in Texas would prevent most bee keepers from performing this valuable service unless they first jump through a bunch of bureaucratic hoops and red tape. What was once a sometimes cheap or free service from local bee keepers looking to expand their hives or preserve local bee populations for the benefit of a community, will turn into an expensive fee for whomever calls needing a bee removal.
Rep. Theresa “Terry” Meza (D.) of Irving, Texas has authored House Bill 4212 that would make the process of bee removal illegal. Unless of course the person removing the bees has undergone 160 hours of both class room and field training in beekeeping and removals. That amounts to over 3 college semester classes worth of training! A normal college class of 3 semester credit hours is around 45-48 contact hours. This nonsense will make almost all bee keeping removal services illegal overnight! If this bill passes, nobody will be able to legally remove and relocate bees after January 1, 2020 until after they go through 160 hours of training and licensing.
There is currently no agency, organization or authority that is set up to train such licensed bee removers in Texas. The legislation would place licensing and training specifics under the authority of the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Additionally, the “licensed” bee remover must obtain $600,000 in liability insurance. If that wasn’t enough, the bee remover must also have $300,000 in workman’s comp before being able to legally remove bees. Oh and you have to pay a yearly licensing fee and whatever fees are associated with your 160 hours of classroom and field training.
I probably don’t have to remind you just how important bee keepers are to our communities. Not only are they providing and harvesting a natural sugar source in the form of honey, but by growing these bees, they are heavily contributing to the pollination of plants, gardens and crops by local growers and farmers. With the amount of pesticides being used in communities today, having these bee champions working and operating freely is very important.
Rep. Meza would tie the hands of those who would perform an amazing community service and ensure the health and growth of local bee populations in Texas. The result of the passage of the Meza bill is obvious. Landowners and homeowners will grab a can of RAID and kill the bees rather than pay the local bee keeper’s high fees as a result of training, licensing and insurance payments that allow them to do their job legally.
Read The Bill Here: https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/pdf/HB04212I.pdf