FL or Federal Law protecting hived bees from harassment/killing???

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Bees In Miami, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    A little difficult to word my dilemma in my title...

    Recently there has been 'suspicious' things happening around my hives. Examples...big pieces of 4X4's that I have never seen before under and around my hives (like they were thrown there), and suddenly many dead bees on the ground in front, etc. I am suspecting my lawn crew is harassing and spraying the bees as they drive near the hives the same day they were here. We set up video cameras to record activity around two of my three hive areas yesterday. The lawn crew is due here tomorrow. [​IMG] I think I remember hearing that hived bees are now classified as farm animals, and thus protected by Federal/State Law? I have been told it is a felony to harass or kill these 'farm animals'. Is this correct, or is it a pipe dream? I tried to search for the statute, but the closest I could come was 828.12 protecting animals from cruelty (but I think that's for cattle). If I catch them in the act tomorrow, I plan to call the police, and would like to be able to provide them with the Law. Thanks to any and all for input!!

    Americasbeekeeper, Gary...I hope you see this! Thanks for being on this forum!!!
     
  2. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Harassment of bees is not a crime. It is very difficult to prove with insects.
    Damaging your hive, equipment, beekeeping livelihood is another matter.
    Florida Stature Chapter 586 and Florida Administrative Code 5B-54
     

  3. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Gary...Thanks! And if I have them recorded on video spraying, does this give me a leg to stand on? Can I get Law Enforcement involved with recorded proof? I am not saying I would press charges, but would like to at least scare them enough so that they don't do it to others, not to mention fire them on the spot. Thanks again. You are most helpful!!!
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I know that I am not a citizen of your country but, those bees when they are inside your hive, are your property and if they are spraying your hive I would be amazed if they couldn't be charged.
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    If you do press charges........if they sprayed your hives with poison be sure to get money for new equipment since yours is now contaminated, plus a package of bees with queen. This is destruction of property which amounts to several 100 dollars, plus loss of profit. Remember I would take you another year to get a package to where an established colony is today.
     
  6. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    If you do capture it on video you will probably be able to get them to make it right by having a man to man chat with the owner. You can use law enforcement as a threat. Keep it civil, they're from the area and have a clear knowledge of your property.
     
  7. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    The mention of a lawyer might also be effective added to the law enforcement bluff when the man to man with the owner comes to happen....i hope you catch em....people sure do know how to be jerks sometimes....me included...id problly throw sticks at em as they drive by on their mowwers...lol.
     
  8. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you employ them and they are damaging YOUR property, there is something wrong with this picture. The owner can handle it. And if he doesn't I'd slap a lawsuit on him additionally.
     
  9. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    Have you had any further development of this situation?

    Rex S.


     
  10. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    The first thing the LEO will ask is did you contact the owner or manager and explain the situation. Then take what you have and request a police report (investigation) There is a number to contact at AES to initiate a state investigation based on illegal use of pesticides which is also a Federal violation. If you mention your intent to the owner he may wish to avoid the $5000 per incident fine and losing his license. Write me at work and I will give you the AES complaint info. Gary.Vancleef@FreshFromFlorida.com
     
  11. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    Thank you everybody!!! Sorry I did not update sooner... I did as I planned, and had the house buttoned up. Watched from the video camera monitor in the garage, and I swear, they didn't give the hives a second look! :thumbsup: The bees were in their 'take off like a rocket' mode, so I am sure that helped. When the bees are doing their orientation flights, the hives take on a whole new "look"...really intimidating to those that don't understand, so perhaps that was a difference. They never have mowed close to my strong colonies, and that is something we just deal with. So bottom line, the mystery continues. At least I know ANYthing that goes wrong at my hives is now recorded. It is a great sense of comfort to know I will have video proof, regardless of the problem. Thanks again to all for the encouragement and feedback! (ps...this is a family owned and operated lawn service...they do our yard, plus our two neighbors. The owner is also a worker, so....) I was probably wrong to accuse them, but only time will tell! Thanks again!

    Gary, Thanks so much, and I will be contacting you. I assume the AES contact info would begin with the initials M and P??? I will contact you tomorrow. Thanks.
     
  12. 2kooldad

    2kooldad New Member

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    Glad to hear they didn't do it....but now ya gotta find out who did....just out of curiousity...would the owner/worker be open to putting on some protective gear an weed wacking around the hives for you...maybe you'd rather do it yourself... if he would is what intrests me...people freak about bees untill they get some bee time in....then become advocates (not always but more than not)
     
  13. Bees In Miami

    Bees In Miami New Member

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    2kool...They didn't do it this time anyways. I'll keep my eyes on things. My neighbors are very much on board with the bees, absolutely loving the bumper crops they get now, so neighborhood involvement would be an absolute shocker (and no kids in the hood, at all). They also got their first "The Bees say thanks for being such great neighbors" jar of honey yesterday. We do our mowing every other week, so we just take care of the hive areas ourselves. Not a big deal, really. We did a lot of research, and invested in a 4 stroke weed whacker when our 2 stroke died. The lower Rpm of the 4 stroke doesn't agitate them nearly like the 2 stroke did. As far as offering them bee time, I don't think they'd go for it, AT all. I approached my hives one day to show them that the bees do not attack, and they about ran away! Actually, one did get into a full run. :lol:Maybe a jar of honey is in order for them, too. If anything develops, I will update here, but so far, so good. Thanks!