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Last modified: April 21, 2020
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Thank you for using the BeeCheck® App as part of California’s BeeWhere program!
BeeWhere is a real time communication tool used in the State of California to foster better communication between Growers, Beekeepers and Pesticide Applicators during bloom. BeeWhere is based on the current California laws outlined below to steward our pollinators as they are in the field during any blooming crop or weed activity.
Registration is the law for Beekeepers. Registration information is only viewable to the County Ag Commissioners and staff. Pesticide Applicators, Grower Applicators and PCAs do not receive the actual location data. All laws cited below can be found in the Food and Ag Code: Bees. ARTICLE 4. Registration and Identification of Apiaries [29040 - 29056]
Every person that is the owner or is in possession of an apiary which is located within the state, on the first day of January of each year, shall register the number of colonies in each apiary which is owned by the person and the location of each apiary. Every person required to register under this article, shall do so on the first day of January of each year in which they maintain, possess, or are in possession of an apiary, or within 30 days thereafter, as prescribed in this article.
(Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1404, Sec. 2.)
Every person who moves bees into the state or otherwise comes into possession of an apiary that is located within the state after the first day of January, shall register the name of the owner and the number and location of colonies moved into the state or so acquired within 30 days after coming into possession of the apiary.
(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 320, Sec. 1. (AB 2468) Effective January 1, 2019.)
Beekeepers can use the BeeWhere system to easily register with their local county and provide notification of hive locations, or they can contact the County Ag Commissioner directly to register with local county.
Registration of an apiary shall be filed with the commissioner of the county in which the apiary is located, or with the director if there is no commissioner in the county. The director shall adopt a form of registration to be used statewide, which shall include a request for notification of use of pesticide in accordance with Section 29101. All commissioners shall use the same form. (Added by Stats. 1987, Ch. 1404, Sec. 2.)29045.
It is unlawful for a person to maintain any apiary that is not registered pursuant to this article. Each registration is valid until January 1 of the following year. (Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 320, Sec. 2. (AB 2468) Effective January 1, 2019.)
Beekeepers are charged an annual $10 Registration Fee regardless of whether they choose to register through BeeWhere or directly with the County. A county may waive the registration fee, for a hobbyist not in the business of beekeeping and who possesses nine or fewer colonies.
Each beekeeper, apiary owner, apiary operator, or person in possession of any apiary, shall pay, in addition to any other fees imposed under this chapter, an annual registration fee of ten dollars ($10) to the commissioner of the county where the bees reside on January 1, to cover the cost of apiary registration. The director shall by regulation adopt and periodically update a schedule of the fees, which shall include late fees for anyone who fails to register an apiary under Sections 29041 and 29042. The board of supervisors of any county may waive the registration fee for any beekeeper, apiary owner, apiary operator, or person, who is a hobbyist not in the business of beekeeping and who possesses nine or fewer colonies. (Amended by Stats. 1992, Ch. 146, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1993.)
Beekeepers must mark their registered hives with identifying information to help facilitate communication with grower, applicator and other in-field stakeholders. This information should include:
(a) No person shall maintain an apiary on premises other than that of his or her residence unless the apiary is identified as follows:
(1) By a sign that is prominently displayed on the entrance side of the apiary or stenciled on the hive, that states in dark letters not less than one inch in height on a background of contrasting color, the name of the owner or person responsible for the apiary, his or her address and telephone number, or if he or she has no telephone, a statement to that effect.
(2) If the governing body of the county or city in which the apiary is located has provided by ordinance for the identification of apiaries, in the manner that is prescribed in the ordinance.
(b) No person shall locate or maintain an apiary on private land not owned or leased by the person unless the person has approval from the owner of record, or an authorized agent of the owner of record, and can establish approval upon demand of the secretary or commissioner. The approval shall include the name and phone number of the person granting approval.
(c) (1) No person shall locate or maintain an apiary on any public land without the expressed oral or written approval of the entity that owns, leases, controls, or occupies the land, and can establish this approval upon demand of the secretary or the commissioner. The approval shall include the name and telephone number of the person granting the approval. During the citrus bloom period, as established by the commissioner, including 72 hours before the declaration of the bloom period until 48 hours after the conclusion of the bloom period, the apiary operator shall obtain written permission to place bees on public land, and shall make it available to the secretary or the commissioner upon demand. Any apiary located or maintained on public land without lawful consent is a public nuisance and may be subject to seizure by the secretary or the commissioner.
(2) The secretary or commissioner may commence proceedings in the superior court of the county or city and county in which the seizure is made petitioning the court for judgment forfeiting the apiary. Upon the filing of the petition, the clerk of the court shall fix a time for a hearing and cause notices to be posted for 14 days in at least three public places in the place where the court is held, if the person owning the apiary is unknown, setting forth the substance of the petition and the time and place fixed for its hearing. At that time, the court shall hear and determine the proceeding and upon proof that the apiary was located or maintained on public lands without approval of the entity, may order the apiary forfeited. Any apiary so forfeited shall be sold or destroyed by the secretary or the commissioner. The proceeds from all sales shall be used in accordance with Section 29032.
(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 320, Sec. 3. (AB 2468) Effective January 1, 2019.)
Beekeepers must maintain active locations, providing an update to the County Ag Commissioner through BeeWhere or a phone call to the local office within 72 hours of a hive re-location. This includes relocations both in county and between counties.
Current Law through 12/31/2019:
Any apiary operator or his or her designated representative relocating a colony of bees within a county where the apiary is currently registered shall notify the commissioner of the movement.
(Amended by Stats. 2018, Ch. 320, Sec. 5. (AB 2468) Effective January 1, 2019.)
Effective Law 1/1/20 (under AB 450 Bees: Apiary Protection Act)
Any apiary operator or the apiary operator’s designated representative relocating a colony of bees within a county where the apiary is currently registered shall notify the commissioner of the movement within 72 hours of the relocation
BeeWhere acts as a data steward to provide County Ag Commissioners registration data for beekeepers seeking Notification by Pesticide Applicators. Pesticide Applicators are required to provide 48-Hour Notification of pesticide application to all registered beekeepers who have requested Notification within a mile of the permit when a pesticide LABELED TOXIC TO BEES is being applied. The notification is meant to foster communication, it does NOT block their application.
§ 6654. Notification to Beekeepers.
(a) Each person intending to apply any pesticide toxic to bees to a blossoming plant shall, prior to the application, inquire of the commissioner, or of a notification service designated by the commissioner, whether any beekeeper with apiaries within one mile of the application site has requested notice of such application.
(b) If the person performing pest control is advised of a request for notification, he or she shall notify the beekeeper, at least 48 hours in advance of the application, of the time and place the application is to be made, the crop and acreage to be treated, the method of application, the identity and dosage rate of the pesticide to be applied and how the person performing pest control may be contacted by the beekeeper. This time may be increased or decreased by the commissioner, or by a agreement of both the beekeeper and the person performing the pest control work.
(c) This section shall apply statewide. However, from March 15 through May 15 in a citrus/bee protection area, if there are conflicts between the provisions of this section and those of section 6656, section 6656 shall prevail.
Note: Authority cited: Section 29102, Food and Agricultural Code. Reference: Section 29102, Food and Agricultural Code
Because BeeWhere is a real time communication system, by acknowledging your use here, you are acknowledging sites marked with one or more hives are active locations with your bees present. A location marked with zero hives can be used to document your own historical data without interrupting the mandatory notification system for active bees.