Beekeeping Changes in 2023

This year, legislation was passed that was an overhaul of Texas Agriculture Code for beekeeping.  This is Chapter 131 of the Texas Agriculture Code.

The following letter was sent from the Texas Apiary Inspection Service in regards to some of the changes that take effect on Sept 1.

Changes coming September 1st, 2023 to the Texas Apiary Inspection Service. The Texas Beekeeper’s Association (TBA) has worked for several years to update Chapter 131, “The Bee Laws.”

HB 4538 passed in our recent legislative session and will take effect September 1st, 2023. Many thanks from Texas beekeepers to Representative Kyle Kacal and State Senator Morgan LaMantia for their work in making this happen.

Registration will not be required, but if requested, a $35 fee will be assessed. Registration will be valid through the end of the fiscal year and must be renewed each September 1st.
Intrastate permitting will be repealed. No longer will there be restrictions on moving bees across county lines. Beekeepers doing live removals will still be required to pay the $35 fee for the annual registration, but it will be a different form as opposed to the Removal Transportation Form.

Apiary definition will have “six or more” struck.

Beekeeper – means a person who owns, leases, possesses, controls, or manages one or more colonies of bees for any personal or commercial use.

In situations involving Ag Valuation/Exemption, the beekeeper and/or landowner can decide who should register.

The law changes the registration to “beekeeper” registration, not “apiary” registration.

The focus will still have space to place apiary location(s).

Beekeepers moving bees into and out of Texas will no longer have to do separate Importation and Exportation permits. One Interstate permit will replace these. This permit will be an annual fiscal year (September 1st – August 31st) operational permit with a fee of $250. Beekeepers can then come and go with bees.

The fee for a requested inspection (by TAIS) will increase to $100.

We ask patience of everyone as we make these changes. Feel free to reach out to us with questions or concerns.

Bill Baxter (Interim Chief Apiary Inspector)
Hannah Blackburn (Apiary Inspector)

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