H. B. 2694
(By Delegates Stemple, Boggs, Crosier,
Williams, Anderson, Evans and Schoen)
January 27, 2003
; referred to the
Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources then the
A BILL to repeal sections eight and ten, article thirteen,
chapter nineteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and
reenact sections one, two, three, four, five, six, seven and
eleven of said article, all relating to apiaries; removing
pesticide poisoning and certain violations; adding, deleting
and clarifying definitions; authorizing commissioner to
seize infected bees and bee equipment; establishing
expiration date for certificates of registration;
strengthening commissioner's inspection and quarantine
powers; clarifying manner of dealing with abandoned apiaries
and interstate movement of bees; and modifying penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections eight and ten, article thirteen, chapter
nineteen of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, be repealed; and that sections one, two,
three, four, five, six, seven and eleven of said article be
amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 13. INSPECTION AND PROTECTION OF APICULTURE.
§19-13-1. Short title.
shall be known by the short title may be cited
as "The West Virginia Apiary Law of 1991 Act."
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation
and enforcement of this article. All words shall be construed to
impart either the plural or the singular, as the case demands For
the purpose of this article, the term:
(a) (1) "Abandoned apiary" means any apiary in which the
owner cannot be determined and in which twenty-five percent or
more of the colonies are dead or diseased, or the death or
disarray of the colonies exposes them to robbing, or diseased or
potentially diseased abandoned bee equipment which may jeopardize
the welfare of neighboring colonies.
(b) (2) "Apiary" means any place where one or more colonies
or nuclei of bees are kept or where bee equipment is stored.
(c) (3) "Appliances" means any apparatus, tool, machine or
other device, used in the handling and manipulating of bees,
honey, wax and hives. It also means any container of honey and
wax that may be used in any apiary or in transporting bees and
their products and apiary supplies.
(d) (4) "Bees" shall be construed to mean means any stage of
the common hive or honeybee honey bee (Apis mellifera), or other
species of the genus Apis.
(e) "Bee diseases" shall be construed to mean American foulbrood (Bacillus larvae), European foulbrood (Bacillus
pluton), Varroa mite (Varroa jacobsoni), honey bee tracheal mite
(Acarapis woodi), or any other infection or parasitic infestation
determined by the commissioner to be transmissible to other bee
colonies and that represents a threat to beekeeping in West
(f) (5) "Bee equipment" means hives, supers, frames, veils,
loves gloves or any other appliances.
(6) "Bee products" means honey, bees wax, pollen, propolis
and royal jelly.
(g) (7) "Colony" means the hive and includes bees, comb,
honey and bee equipment.
(h) (8) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the
department of agriculture of the state of West Virginia or a duly
(i) (9) "Control agents or control mechanisms" means any
method of chemical or mechanical control to suppress or eradicate
an apiary disease, pest, or parasitic infestation in an apiary or
the colonies contained therein.
(j) (10) "Department" means the department of agriculture of
the state of West Virginia.
(k) (11) "Hive" shall be construed to mean means a frame
hive, box hive, box, barrel, log, gum, skep or any other
receptacle or container, natural or artificial, or any part
thereof, which may be used or employed as a domicile for bees.
(12) "Honey bee pest" means American foulbrood (Bacillus
larvae), European foulbrood (Melissococcus pluton), Varroa mite
(Varroa destructor), honey bee tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi), or
any other virus or infectious or parasitic organism determined by
the commissioner to be transmissible to other bee colonies and
that represents a threat to beekeeping in West Virginia.
(l) (13) "Nuclei" means the removal of a split portion or
division of any colony of honey bees for the express purpose of
creating a numerical increase in colonies for honey production,
pollination service or monetary gain through sale of honey bees.
(m) (14) "Packaged bees" means bees shipped in combless
packages which shall bear accompanied by a valid certificate of
health by from an authorized state or federal agency verifying
the absence or presence of any infectious or communicable
diseases or parasitic infestations, and further provides
providing that no honey has been used for food while in transit
or that bears an affidavit that any honey used as food in transit
was properly sterilized.
(n) (15) "Person" shall include all means corporations,
partnerships, associations, societies, individuals or group of
individuals or any employee, servant or agent acting for or
employed by any person as above defined.
(o) (16) "Premises" means any parcel of real estate and
structures in which bee equipment, bees, bee products and bee
appliances can be are or may be utilized for storage purposes.
(p) (17) "Quarantine" means a declaration by the
commissioner which specific specifies a period of enforced
isolation to contain and prevent the spread of contagious bee
diseases or parasites, honey bee pests which shall include
specific perimeters deemed by the commissioner to be affected or
potentially affected by such contagious bee diseases or
parasites. The notice of quarantine shall specify the name of the
honey bee pest, the premises to be regulated, the appliances and
bee equipment to be regulated, and all conditions governing
(q) (18) "Sterilized or sterilization" means to treat and
neutralize contagious bee diseases honey bee pests by means of
steam autoclave or ethylene oxide fumigation, boiling at a
temperature of two hundred twelve degrees Fahrenheit for thirty
minutes, pit incineration, or by any other acceptable method
which the commissioner determines effective for control of bee
diseases or parasites honey bee pests.
§19-13-3. Commissioner's powers and duties; rule-making
authority; apiary education; cooperation with
governmental agencies; seizure of infected bees and
It shall be the duty of the commissioner of agriculture
to exercise the powers and duties imposed by this article for the
purpose of protecting agriculture. For this purpose, the The
commissioner is hereby authorized and empowered to promulgate such may propose rules for legislative approval in accordance
with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of
this code: (1) To effectively eradicate, suppress or control bee
diseases honey bee pests as far as may be practical; (2) to
regulate the keeping and maintaining of bees, bee equipment,
queen breeding equipment, apiaries and appliances; (3) to
regulate treatments, retreatments, and fees for said the
services; and (4) such any other rules as are necessary to
effectuate the enforcement of this article.
(b) The commissioner is authorized to conduct apiary
education in a manner which
may advance advances and promote
promotes bee culture in West Virginia.
(c) The commissioner is
hereby authorized and empowered to
cooperate with the federal government and any its agencies,
departments and instrumentalities thereof; the state of West
Virginia and any its agencies, departments, divisions, or
political subdivisions thereof; and any other state or
commonwealth and any its agencies, departments or political
subdivisions thereof, in order to carry out the effective
administration of this article.
(d) The commissioner is authorized to stop the delivery of,
to seize, to destroy, to treat or to order returned to point of
origin, at the owner's expense, all appliances, bees, bee
equipment, bee products or hives transported into or within this
state, found to be infected with honey bee pests regardless of whether a valid certificate of inspection is attached.
§19-13-4. Registration of bees; identification of apiaries.
(a) All persons keeping bees in this state shall
ninety days of the effective date of this article, notify apply
for a certificate of registration for bee keeping from the
commissioner, within ten days of the date that bees are acquired,
by notifying the commissioner, in writing, of the number and
location of colonies they own or rent, or which they keep for
someone else, whether the bees are located on their own property
or someone else's property. Thereafter, such information shall
be provided within ten days of the time the bees are acquired.
Bees shall be registered on an annual basis thereafter. All
apiary certificates of registration expire on the thirty-first
day of December of each year and must be renewed annually.
(b) All persons owning or operating an apiary which is not
said owner's or operator's their own property must
post the name and address of the owner or operator in a
conspicuous place in the apiary.
§19-13-5. Right of entry; apiary inspections; quarantines.
To effectuate the purpose of this article, the
commissioner is hereby invested with authority, during During
reasonable working hours, with prior consent by the owner or
person in charge of such apiaries, if known, the commissioner may
to enter upon any public or private premises , except private
residences, and shall have to access to any apiary for the purpose of inspecting or sampling. No person shall obstruct or
hinder the commissioner in the discharge of his or her duties.
(b) The commissioner shall inspect, as
practicable, all colonies of honey bees domiciled within the
state of West Virginia. If upon such inspection, it is found
that any bee disease or parasite any honey bee pest exists is
found in such the apiary, the inspector making the inspection
commissioner shall immediately notify, in writing, the owner or
person in charge of such apiary operator stating the nature type
of the disease or parasite honey bee pest and whether the same it
may be successfully treated or not.
In cases where the
disease or parasite honey bee pest is
subject to treatment, the inspector commissioner shall specify
and direct the necessary treatment, which shall will be
administered by the owner or person in charge operator, within
fourteen days thereafter of the date of notice . Otherwise If
not treated, the colonies contained in the apiary in which such
bee diseases or parasites the honey bee pests are found shall be
depopulated without remuneration to the owner. All bee hives and
related bee equipment found in any diseased apiary shall be
destroyed, or sterilized or treated in a manner approved by and
under the direction of the commissioner.
queen breeding apiaries producing queens, packaged
bees or nuclei colonies for distribution shall be thoroughly
inspected twice each season year. If upon such inspection it shall appear that any bee disease or parasite exists honey bee
pests are found
in such the apiary, the inspector making the
inspection commissioner shall immediately notify, in writing, the
owner or person in charge thereof operator, and thereafter it
shall be unlawful for any such person the owner or operator to
ship, sell or give away any queen bees, appliances, packaged
bees, full colonies or nuclei colonies from such the apiary
until the disease or parasitic infestation honey bee pests has
have been eradicated controlled to the satisfaction of the
(d) The commissioner shall
have the power to establish
interior and exterior quarantines to prevent or contain the
spread of contagious bee diseases and parasitic infestations Such
quarantines shall include specific perimeters to encompass any
township, area, county or region within the state deemed by the
commissioner, which may be affected by such contagious diseases
or parasitic infestations quarantine all apiaries, bees, bee
equipment, bee products, appliances and premises infected by
honey bee pests. Quarantine orders shall specify the honey bee
pest, the premises or apiary quarantined, bee equipment, bee
products and appliances regulated. The commissioner may adopt
other orders to prevent the introduction of or to contain the
spread of honey bee pests that are capable of being transported
by bees, appliances or bee equipment. The order shall set forth
the conditions governing the movement of the regulated items.
Exterior quarantines may be established to prevent diseased
or parasitized bees and related equipment from being transported
into West Virginia. When the commissioner issues a quarantine
pursuant to this authority, he/she shall issue an order which
specifies the type of contagious bee disease or parasitic
infestation, the area or areas quarantined, conditions governing
movement of bees or bee equipment from the quarantined area and
such other information that protects the beekeeping industry as
deemed necessary by the commissioner. The commissioner shall
post a notice of quarantine at the primary location of the bee
disease or parasitic infestation. If the quarantine affects more
than three miles in radius, then notice of the order of
quarantine shall be published as a Class I legal advertisement in
compliance with the provisions of chapter fifty-nine of this
code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the
All apiaries, bees, bee products, premises, bee equipment
and appliances wherein or on which bee diseases and parasites are
found to exist shall be quarantined by the commissioner. Such
quarantine shall continue until the commissioner declares the
same to be apparently free from any such bee diseases and
The commissioner shall
have authority to rescind, in
writing, quarantines and other orders as he/she when he or she
determines the need or practicability no longer exists by the same notice method utilized to implement the quarantine.
§19-13-6. Abandoned apiaries and equipment; notice.
When any apiary or bee equipment is deemed by the
commissioner to be abandoned, the commissioner shall give written
notice by registered mail to the owner or operator thereof, if
such ownership or operator can be determined, that the
commissioner deems such apiary or bee equipment abandoned. It
shall be unlawful for a person to knowingly maintain an abandoned
apiary or bee equipment. When the commissioner determines that an
apiary or bee equipment has been abandoned, he or she shall
notify, in writing, the owner or operator that the apiary or bee
equipment has been declared abandoned. The owner or operator has
thirty days from the date of notice to enclose, dispose of or
destroy the abandoned apiary or bee equipment in a manner
approved by the commissioner. If the owner or operator of the
property abandoned apiary or bee equipment cannot be located
after reasonable inquiry, said notice shall be provided by the
same mailing requirement to the owner of the real property on
which the apiary or bee equipment is located. If such the apiary
or bee equipment continues to be abandoned for a period of sixty
thirty days thereafter, the commissioner may seize the apiary or
bee equipment and take such action as is necessary to dispose of
or to destroy said the apiary or bee equipment as its condition
warrants conditions warrant. In order to halt the spread of bee
diseases and parasitic infestation when an abandoned apiary is found upon inspection to be diseased, the commissioner is
authorized to cause it to be destroyed.
§19-13-7. Bees brought into state to carry inspection
certificate; commissioner to be notified; interstate
movement of bees.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to transport bees,
used hives, used bee equipment or used appliances into West
Virginia, unless the same be accompanied by a certificate of
inspection signed by an authorized state or federal inspection
official of the state from which such bees or equipment is being
transported. Such certificate shall certify verifying the actual
inspection of the bees, used bee equipment or used appliances
made within thirty days preceding the date of shipment and that
the bees, hives, equipment and appliances contained in the
shipment are apparently free from bee diseases and parasitic
infestation certifying the absence of honey bee pests.
(b) Prior to the movement of any bees, used bee equipment
combs, bee or used appliances or equipment into West Virginia,
and as a prerequisite to the issuance of a permit of entry, the
commissioner shall be furnished by the owner, transporter, or
lessee operator the following:
(1) The exact location or destination of the bees,
equipment or used appliances.
(2) Name and address of the owner of the property where the
or used bee equipment or used appliances will be located.
(3) The exact number of colonies or amount of used bee
and or used appliances in the shipment.
(4) A copy of the inspection certificate issued by the state
or federal inspector
of the state of origin.
Upon compliance with the mandatory requirements set forth
heretofore, the The commissioner shall issue a temporary or
permanent permit of entry. A temporary permit may not to exceed
sixty days unless said bees and equipment are to be permanently
located within West Virginia, then the commissioner shall issue
a nonlimited permit.
If the commissioner denies the request for an entry permit,
then the commissioner he or she shall notify the owner, operator
or transporter of said the denial and the reasons therefor.
§19-13-8. Pesticide poisoning to bees.
Any application or treatment of any pesticide to
agricultural crops while in full bloom which is inconsistent with
product labeling of the pesticide and is deemed by the
commissioner to be injurious to bees shall be prohibited.
It shall be unlawful for any person to:
(a) Knowingly keep in his/her possession without proper
treatment, any colony of bees affected with any bee disease or
parasitic infestation; or to expose any diseased or infested
colony, hive, or appliance so that foraging bees have access to
(b) To sell, barter, give away, accept, receive or transport
any bees that are known to be affected with any bee disease or
(c) To resist, impede or hinder the commissioner or an
authorized employee in the performance of his/her duties under
the provision of this article.
(d) To use or apply any apiary disease, pest or parasite
control chemical by any mechanism which is inconsistent with the
product label as approved by the United States Environmental
§19-13-11. Penalties for violations of article; rules.
(a)(1) Criminal penalties.
-- Any person violating any
provision of this article or rule
adopted hereunder issued
pursuant to this article is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon
conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty one
hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for the first
offense, and for each subsequent offense, shall be fined not less
than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or
imprisoned in the county or regional jail not more than six
months, or both fined and imprisoned. Magistrates have
concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts to enforce the
provisions of this article.
(2) It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney of the
county in which the violation occurred to represent the
department of agriculture, to institute proceedings, and to prosecute the person charged with such violation.
(b) Civil penalties.
(1) Any person violating the provisions of this article or
adopted hereunder issued pursuant to this article may be
assessed a civil penalty by the commissioner. In determining the
amount of any civil penalty, the commissioner shall give due
consideration to the history of previous violation of any
persons, the seriousness of the violation, including any hazards
to agriculture in West Virginia and the demonstrated good faith
of any person charged in attempting to achieve compliance with
this article after written notification of the violation.
(2) The commissioner may assess a penalty of not more than
two hundred fifty one hundred dollars for the first offense or
nonserious less serious violation, as determined by the
commissioner in accordance with the rules promulgated approved in
accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this
code, and not more than one thousand dollars for a serious,
repeat or intentional violation, as determined by the
commissioner in accordance with such promulgated the approved
(3) The commissioner may negotiate and enter into a
settlement agreement for the payment of civil penalties.
(3) (4) The civil penalty is payable to the state of West
Virginia and is collectible in any manner now or hereafter
provided for collection of a debt collectable in any manner authorized by law for the collection of debts. Any person liable
to pay the a civil penalty and neglecting or refusing to pay the
same it within thirty days of written notice of demand for
payment, shall be assessed interest at the rate of ten percent
per year from the date the penalty was assessed to the date of
payment. Such The penalty and interest constitute a lien in favor
of the state of West Virginia and shall attach on the person's
property when such a lien is properly recorded in the county
where wherein the property is situated. There shall be no cost
as a condition precedent to recording.
(4) (5) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the
contrary, the commissioner may promulgate and adopt rules which
permit consent agreements for the civil penalties assessed as a
result of violation of the provisions of this article. The
commissioner shall propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-
nine-a of this code to establish procedures for the assessment
and collection of civil penalties as provided in this section.
(5) (6) No state court may allow the recovery of damages for
administrative action taken if the court finds that there was
probable cause for such action.
(6) It shall be the duty of the prosecuting attorney of the
county in which the violation occurred to represent the
department of agriculture, to institute proceedings, and to
prosecute the person charged with such violation.
NOTE: The primary purpose of this bill to protect the
beekeeping industry. The bill: (1) repeals sections covered
elsewhere in the code; (2) adds, deletes and clarifies
definitions; (3) authorizes the seizure of infected bees and bee
equipment; (4) strengthen's inspection and enforcement powers;
(5) clarifies the manner of dealing with abandoned apiaries and
the interstate movement of bees; (6) establishes a maximum
penalty for first offense misdemeanor violation and changes the
maximum first offense civil penalty; and (7) makes stylistic
changes in accord with current and preferred word usage.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.
This bill is recommended for passage by the Interim
Committee on Agriculture and Agribusiness.