BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE APIARY INSPECTION LAW
Chapter 586, Florida Statutes, Rule Chapter 5B-54
The honeybee industry of Florida is of major importance in the pollination of various agricultural crops and in the production of high quality honey and honeybee products. Honeybee pests and unwanted races of honeybees which threaten this important industry must be regulated. To accomplish this, the Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection must register and inspect honeybee colonies in order to certify them as meeting the requirements of freedom or substantial freedom from honeybee pests of regulatory significance and freedom from unwanted races of honeybees. Therefore, the following is required by law, Chapter 586, Florida Statutes, and Rule Chapter 5B-54, Florida Administrative Code, to assist in the protection of the apiary industry.
Registration: Each beekeeper having honeybee colonies with the state must register with the Department using application form DACS-08176 which will be completed at the time of the initial inspection. Upon approval of the application, the Department will issue to the beekeeper a Certificate of Beekeeping Registration. This certificate must be renewed annually on or prior to the anniversary date of the certificate.Effective November 3, 1992, each application for registration or renewal of registration (DACS-08176) must be accompanied by the proper registration fee based on the total number of colonies operated by the registrant as follows:
Number of Colonies
The penalty fee for late payments shall be $10.00. The law makes no provision for exemption from payment of this fee due to a person's disability or age. The certificate of registration must be renewed before the expiration date.Fees for special inspection services may vary depending on the service requested. For further information contact: The Apiary Inspection Section at (352) 395-4633.
Inspection: Each apiary shall be inspected by the Department at such intervals as the Department deems best for the detection of honeybee pests and unwanted races of honeybees.All apiaries must have been inspection within 12 months of the registration renewal date.
Inspection Conditions: Each apiary site shall be maintained in such a manner as to allow reasonable access for inspection. All hives must have movable frames.
Identification of Honeybee Hives: All honeybee hives must be permanently imprinted on the upper left hand corner in letters at least ½ inch in height with the beekeeper's registration number issued by the Department. Beekeepers with honeybee hives branded with a numerical or alphabetical code before November 22, 1988, shall not be required to rebrand with the registration number, provided the existing brand is registered with the Department. This number may be applied with paint, permanent ink marker or legible permanent marking method.
Certificate of Inspection: A certificate is required:
- On each sale or movement of honeybees within the state unless the hives are branded with the beekeeper's registration number
- On all out-of-state movements there will be a $25 fee per certificate issued, or special inspection made plus mileage.
- On all shipments moving into Florida from outside the state. This certificate is to be issued by the state of origin.
Quarantine and Destruction or Treatment of Infested Hives:
- All hives found infested with American Foulbrood disease shall be destroyed by burning. Other hives in the bee yard shall be quarantined for a minimum of 30 days. Compensation shall be paid at ½ the estimated equipment value, not to exceed $30.00 for the first 10 hives, after which payment will be discounted if the disease rate exceeds 50 percent of the total colony inventory, payment will be discounted 50 percent.
- Hives infested with other related honeybee pests and any unwanted races of honeybees shall
be quarantined and treated as prescribed by the Department. No compensation will be awarded for such action.
Abandoned Apiaries: Any apiary found without proper identification or registration information shall be considered abandoned. Following a reasonable effort to contact the owner, the Department shall dispose of such equipment following guidelines detailed in Rule 5B-54, Florida Administrative Code.
Penalties: Any person who violates the provisions of Chapter 586, Florida States, or rules adopted thereunder shall for the first offense be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, and upon a second or subsequent conviction thereof shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree. The Department may, after notice and hearing, impose a fine not exceeding $5,000 for the violation of any of the provisions of this law or rules thereunder.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CONTACT DAVID WESTERVELT – ASSISTANT CHIEF, APIARY INSPECTION, DIVISION OF PLANT INDUSTRY, POST OFFICE BOX 147100, GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA 32614-7100, (352) 395-4636, (352) 395-4633 OR 421 OR FAX (352) 395-4624 OR E-MAIL David.Westervelt@freshfromflorida.com Revised 10/20/04