Chapter 7.50


7.50.010    Purpose.

7.50.020    Definitions.

7.50.030    Provisions supplement laws.

7.50.040    Location and keeping of apiaries.

7.50.050    Water.

7.50.060    Identification.

7.50.070    Screening.

7.50.080    Moving.

7.50.090    Installing.

7.50.100    Notice of violation.

7.50.110    Authority to enter upon property.

7.50.120    Account and itemized report.

7.50.130    Posting or report and notice of hearing.

7.50.140    Hearing.

7.50.150    Modifications--Confirmation of report.

7.50.160    Special charge.

7.50.170    Penalty.

7.50.010 Purpose.

The board of supervisors finds that the unregulated and improper keeping of bees and apiaries in numerous locations throughout the unincorporated territory of the county has in several instances become a nuisance and a hazard to the safety of landowners, road users, and the public generally.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.020 Definitions.

Any word or phrase used in this chapter and not defined in this section shall be given the meaning established for such word or phrase by the California Agricultural Code, as it now is or may hereafter be amended.

Whenever in this chapter the term "commissioner" is used, it means the county agricultural commissioner and regularly appointed employees acting pursuant to his instructions.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.030 Provisions supplement laws.

This chapter shall in all respects be construed to supplement and harmonize with the provisions of law of the state pertaining to bees and the beekeeping industry.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.040 Location and keeping of apiaries.

A.    All apiaries owned or kept within the county shall be kept and located at a place at least one hundred fifty feet from all public roads (traveled portion), unless there are natural barriers to prevent bees from causing a nuisance or hazard to persons using the road.

B.    All apiaries owned or kept within the county shall be kept and located at a place at least the numbered feet distant from the nearest house or building inhabited as a dwelling shown below and shall not be kept and maintained at a lesser distance thereto unless the owner of said apiary first procures permission from the occupant or person using said building or house as a dwelling to do so:

1.    three or fewer colonies, two hundred feet;

2.    four to twenty colonies, four hundred feet;

3.    twenty-one or more colonies, six hundred feet.

C.    All apiaries owned or kept within the county near school yards or places where people congregate shall be located and maintained at least six hundred feet therefrom and behind barriers (natural or otherwise) in order to cause bees to fly at a high altitude over such school yard or place where people congregate.

D.    No apiary shall be maintained or allowed to remain in any particular location in the county, but shall be moved to another location when the commissioner determines that there are substantial numbers of bees from the apiary which are entering land other than where the apiary is situated and are interfering with the comfortable enjoyment of such other land by damaging property or threatening individuals.  No removal or relocation under this subsection shall be required until a misdemeanor compliant has been filed and the party responsible for the apiary has been found guilty or pleaded guilty or no contest or until the keeping of the apiary as such is enjoined by order of a judge of the superior court.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.050 Water.

Prior to locating or maintaining any apiary, an adequate water supply must be furnished and kept available to such apiaries at all times.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.060 Identification.

Every hive in every apiary owned or kept within the county shall be clearly marked with the name, address, and telephone number of the person owning or legally responsible for the hives.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.070 Screening.

Hives shall be screened when moved during daylight hours so that the bees shall be contained in the hives.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.080 Moving.

The commissioner shall be notified within five days of the moving of any hive into the county or the changing of any hive’s location from one parcel to another in the county.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.090 Installing.

The installing or placing, either permanently or temporarily, of any hive on any real property in the county without the permission of the owner of said real property is prohibited.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.100 Notice of violation.

Any person as apiary owner or possessor who violates any provisions of this chapter may be served with a written notice to cease or remedy such violation by the commissioner of the county.  The notice shall require that such person cease or remedy the violation within forty-eight hours.  The notice required by this section shall be served personally on such person or, if he cannot be readily found, shall be served by registered mail (return receipt requested) or, if he cannot be served by mail, then service shall be accomplished by posting such notice on a conspicuous place on or near the apiary where the violation occurred.  The forty-eight-hour period for which the notice provides shall commence to run from the time on the day such notice is served pursuant to this section.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.110 Authority to enter upon property.

The commissioner or his assistants, deputies, employees, or contracting agents may enter upon the private property for which notice has been given as provided in Section 7.50.100 and abate and/or remove the apiary to terminate the violation of this chapter; however, the commissioner or his assistants, deputies, employees or contracting agents shall not cause the destruction of any bees or of any apiary.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.120 Account and itemized report.

The commissioner, at the time of the abatement provided for in this chapter, shall keep an account of the cost of abatement and shall render an itemized report in writing to the board of supervisors showing the cost of the abatement and making corrections necessary to bring the apiary into compliance with this chapter.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.130 Posting or report and notice of hearing.

Before the report required by Section 7.50.120 is submitted to the board of supervisors, a copy of it shall be served, as provided in Section 7.50.100, on the owner and/or the possessor of such apiary with a notice of the time when the report will be submitted to the board for confirmation.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.140 Hearing.

At the time fixed for receiving and considering the report required by Section 7.50.120, the board shall hear it and any objections of any apiary owner or possessor liable to be assessed for the work of abatement.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.150 Modifications--Confirmation of report.

Upon hearing, as provided in Section 7.50.140, the board may make such modifications in the report required by Section 7.50.120 as it deems necessary, after which, by order or resolution, the report shall be confirmed.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.160 Special charge.

The amount of the cost for abating the violation of this chapter mentioned in the report required by Section 7.50.120 as confirmed shall constitute a special charge against the apiary owner or against the possessor, who has received notice as provided in this chapter, and said individual or individuals shall be liable to the county jointly and severally for the amount of the charge.  The commission shall recover such charges by court action if not paid within fifteen days of the board’s confirmation.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).

7.50.170 Penalty.

Every person, firm or corporation, as principal, agent or employee, violating any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.  (Ord. 690 §1(part), 1979).