Montana Administrative Register Notice 4-14-197 No. 18   09/23/2010    
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In the matter of the adoption of New Rules I and II, and amendment of ARM 4.12.102, 4.12.106, 4.12.108, 4.12.110, and 4.12.111, relating to Apiculture








TO:  All Concerned Persons


            1.  On October 19, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. the Montana Department of Agriculture will hold a public hearing in Room 225 of the Scott Hart Building, 303 N. Roberts at Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed adoption and amendment of the above-stated rules.


            2.  The Department of Agriculture will make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities who wish to participate in this rulemaking process and need an alternative accessible format of this notice.  If you require an accommodation, contact the Department of Agriculture no later than 5:00 p.m. on October 7, 2010, to advise us of the nature of the accommodation that you need.  Please contact Cort Jensen at the Montana Department of Agriculture, 303 North Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201; phone: (406) 444-3144; fax: (406) 444-5409; or e-mail: agr@mt.gov.


3.  The rules as proposed to be adopted provide as follows:


NEW RULE I  DEFINITIONS  (1)  "Beekeeper without a valid Montana Certificate of Health" means any beekeeper that has not been inspected within the last four years by either a Montana Department of Agriculture inspector or by appropriate authorities in another state that is recognized as able to issue a certificate of health by the Montana Department of Agriculture.

(2)  "Interstate Inspection" means the inspection of an operation that does not have a valid Montana certificate of health or proof of inspection from an originating state.

(3)  "Landowner Notice to Change Apiarist" means the cancellation of a registered site upon notice to the department by a landowner that an apiarist is no longer allowed access to their property or to have bees on their property.

(4)  "Montana Department of Agriculture Inspection" means a health inspection of a business that includes counting hives, checking for proof of ownership, and opening hives.  Minimally, an inspection will include examination of at least one frame of brood for regulated diseases and pests as specified in ARM 4.12.111.

(5)  "Registered Beekeeper" means a beekeeper who has paid and maintained registration of at least one apiary site with the Montana Department of Agriculture.

(6)  "Registered Site" means a site that has been registered with the Montana Department of Agriculture.  A registered site is not a property interest in the land and does not in and of itself allow an apiarist to have bees at a location.  A separate agreement from the landowner or an easement is still required to use and access the location.

(7)  "Site Registration" means the legal ability, as defined by the department, to have and maintain bees on a site.

(8)  "Unregistered Beekeeper" means any beekeeper not registered with the Montana Department of Agriculture, including hobbyist beekeepers, landowners, or general beekeepers.

(9)  "Valid Certificate of Health" means proof of an inspection by either the Montana Department of Agriculture or an apiary inspection or proof of an inspection by an official inspector in another state with an inspection program recognized by the Montana Department of Agriculture.


            AUTH:  80-6-101, MCA

            IMP:  80-6-101, MCA


            REASON:  To provide clarification for terms used within the program for beekeepers, landowners, and inspectors.


            FINANCIAL IMPACT:  There will be no fiscal impact for this rule.



(1)  The application fee for owners or applicants not currently registered in the department's apiary database is $10.  The new application fee is due at the time the owner or applicant submits a registration for an apiary site.  The application fee is in addition to all apiary site registration fees due annually.  Site registration will not be issued until the new application and site registration fees are paid.

            (2)  The registration or reregistration fee for an apiary site is $15 per site.

            (3)  The fee for issuance of a certificate of health (certificate of inspection) is $125.  The fee for a certificate of health must be paid at the time of the request for a certificate of health.


            AUTH:  80-6-102, 80-6-106, 80-6-202, MCA

            IMP:  80-6-102, 80-6-106, 80-6-202, MCA


            REASON:  Registration and certification fee ranges are set by statute and the department sets fees within those ranges by administrative rule.  Fees identified here are based on the recommendation of the Montana State Beekeepers Association, as discussed during the October 2009 association meeting as being reasonable fees to support the work of the program.


            ECONOMIC IMPACT:  The department estimates that there will be 42 new applications that are not already registered in the department's database.  Impact to the individual beekeeper is $10, while the impact of all new applicants is expected to be $420 (42 applications x $10 per application).  The registration/reregistration fee would change from $11 per site to $15 per site.  The department registers 5,192 sites each year.  Impact to individual beekeepers will be $4 per registered site.  The total, however, will vary depending on the number of sites that are registered.  Change in revenue is expected to be $20,768 (5,192 sites x $4/site (difference between $11 and $15) per site registration cost).  The cost of issuing a certificate of health currently is $75 (within the range of $50 to $100).  Legislative changes during the 2009 session changed the range′s upper limit to $150.  This administrative rule will set the fee at $125.  There are approximately 40 certificates of health issued each year.  The changes will generate an additional $50 in revenue for each certificate issued or $2,000.  Total impact of these fee changes is estimated to be $23,188.


            4.  The rules as proposed to be amended provide as follows, new matter underlined, deleted matter interlined:


            4.12.102  APIARY, LOCATED BY PERMISSION  (1)  Persons registering a new location for the first time must have the approval signature of the landowner or manager thereof indicating that the beekeeper has obtained the permission to place an apiary on the landowner′s property.  When a registered site is transferred to another beekeeper, landowner or manager signature must be obtained and filed with the department.

            (2)  Upon notice from a landowner or land manager that a beekeeper is no longer allowed access to their property or allowed to maintain bees on the property, the department will cancel the registration and notify the beekeeper.

            (3)  Once a site registration has been cancelled, any placement of new bees on the site must first be registered with the department.  A new site registration will only be granted if the site registration does not conflict with an existing registered site within a three mile radius.


            AUTH:  80-6-102, 80-6-301, MCA

            IMP:  80-6-102, 80-6-103, MCA


            REASON:  The department finds that landowners have not always been notified of change of apiary ownership and do not, therefore, know whose bees are on their property.  The correct Authorization law is 80-6-102, MCA and needs to be added to fully follow the rule's purpose.  Section 80-6-301, MCA was cited incorrectly in original rule. 


            ECONOMIC IMPACT:  The department estimates there will be 50 transfers of sites per year.  There is no fee associated with obtaining landowner signature approval of apiary sites.  Costs that may be associated with any site registration may include postage costs or travel costs to obtain the signature on the form and mail to the department.  Travel costs cannot be estimated since distance between the beekeeper and landowner will vary and gas mileage is dependent upon the vehicle used.  It is estimated that if the beekeeper uses mail to obtain approval signatures, two stamps and two envelopes will be needed at an approximate cost of $0.98 ($0.44 stamp and $0.05 envelope x 2).  Estimated total cost would be $49 (50 sale/transfers x $0.98/sale or transfer).


            4.12.106  INSPECTION OF APIARY EQUIPMENT  (1) through (5)  remain the same.

            (6)  Intention to bring into Montana used beekeeping equipment, including nucs, and feed honey, also and refuse for rendering, must be registered with the plant industry Agricultural Sciences Division, Department of Agriculture at least ten (10) days prior to the time of movement.  A permit to enter will then be issued by the Department of Agriculture.  This permit, along with a copy of the clean bill of health from the state of origin, must accompany the load of bees or equipment entering Montana.  Each load of used equipment, honey, or nucs, is automatically quarantined until said quarantine is lifted by the Montana state inspector.


            AUTH:  80-6-102, 80-6-202, MCA

            IMP:  80-6-102, 80-6-202, MCA


            REASON:  During a department reorganization in 1994, the Plant Industry Division and Agricultural Biological Sciences Division were combined into one division and named the Agricultural Sciences Division.  This change represents a housekeeping change.  Section 80-6-102, MCA should be added to follow the full extent of the rule.


            ECONOMIC IMPACT:  This is a housekeeping change and does not affect beekeepers.  There is not an economic impact associated with this change.


            4.12.108  HOURLY INSPECTION FEE  (1)  The hourly inspection fee authorized in 80-6-202, MCA shall be $20 42 per hour for actual inspection time.  The fee shall be charged from the time the inspection begins on site until the inspection is completed at the final site.  Travel time shall not be included except for that between apiary sites. 

(2)  The hourly inspection fee for interstate inspections authorized in 80-6-202 (4)(b)(iii), MCA shall be $50 per hour for actual inspection time.  Actual inspection time includes travel to, between, and return from the inspection site.


            AUTH:  80-6-101, 80-6-201, 80-6-202, MCA

            IMP:  80-6-101, 80-6-201, 80-6-202, MCA


REASON:  The hourly inspection fee, as listed in the current administrative rules, were adopted in 1991 and has not been changed since that time (19 years).  The current hourly fee does not cover the actual hourly cost of inspectors conducting inspections.  During the 2009 legislative session, the Apiary Act was revised.  In 80-6-202(4)(b)(iii), MCA, the range for the hourly rate for interstate inspections was established at $50 to $150, with adjustments within the range set by department administrative rule.  The new rule establishes the rate at $50/hr.

            In changing the interstate inspection fee, the 2009 Legislature changes to the Apiary Act are implemented.  Interstate inspections carry more risk, therefore the cost of hourly fees for inspection are higher.

            Sections 80-6-101 and 80-6-201, MCA were removed as they are incorrectly included.

            ECONOMIC IMPACT:  For (1), hourly fee, it should be noted in the current ARM 4.12.108, that the department does not charge for all time associated with an inspection.  The administrative rules state "The fee shall be charged from the time inspection begins on site until inspection is completed at the final site.  Travel time shall not be included except for that between apiary sites."  For the economic impact, only those hours that conform to the administrative rule were used.  In FY09, 87.25 hours were spent conducting apiary inspections.  Average estimated cost to all beekeepers would be $1,919.50 (87.25 hours x $22/hour (difference between $20/hour and $42/hour)).

            For (2), the department anticipates conducting three interstate inspections (those beekeepers without an acceptable inspection from the originating state).  It is estimated that each inspection will take, on average, three hours.  Past charges were at regular inspection hourly fee of $20/hour.  The average estimated cost to each beekeeper would be $90 (3 hours x $30/hour (difference between $20/hour and $50/hour)) or $270 in total.


            4.12.110  CIVIL PENALTIES – MATRIX



Type of Violation







Failure to register an apiary

after notification of requirement.

Each unregistered apiary may be

considered a separate offense.

$300 500

$600 800


Falsifying or misrepresenting

information submitted with apiary

registration application.

$300 500

$600 800


Failure to move an illegally

placed apiary to a registered or

registrable site after due process

notification notice.  Each apiary may be considered a separate offense.

$500 800

$750 1,000


Failure to abate bee diseases

or pests pursuant to 80-6-201, MCA

after legal notification notice.

$500 800

$750 1,000


Failure to meet bee hive

importation requirements

specified in 80-6-202, MCA.

$500 5,000

$750 7,500

$1,000 10,000


AUTH:  80-6-201, 80-6-303, MCA

IMP:  80-6-303, MCA


REASON:  The apiary industry has asked for stronger penalties to deter violations.  During the 2009 legislative session, 80-6-303, MCA was revised, increasing the civil penalty amount from "not more than $1,000" to "not more than $10,000" for violations of 80-6-202, MCA.  Added 80-6-303, MCA because it is the correct authorization and was left out in original rule.


ECONOMIC IMPACT:  It is estimated that there might be two violations for failing to register an apiary site, zero violations for falsifying apiary registration applications, two violations for failure to move an illegally placed yard to a registered/registrable site, zero violations for failure to abate bee diseases or pests, and two violations for failure to meet bee hive importation requirements.  The expected impact to an apiarist for a first offense could be $400 for failure to register a site or falsifying/misrepresenting registration application information (2 x $200), $600 for failure to move an illegally placed yard to a registered or registrable site or failure to abate bee diseases or pests (2 x $300), and $9,000 for failure to meet bee hive importation requirements (2 x $4,500).  Actual civil penalty amounts depend on the number of sites involved, length of time in violation, mitigating factors such as history and cooperation, and gravity of the violation.


4.12.111  REGULATED BEE DISEASES  (1)  Bee diseases and pests regulated under Title 80, chapter 6, parts 1 through 3, MCA, are as follows:

(a)  American Foulbrood (Bacillus larvae).;

(b)  Africanized bees (Apis mellifera scutellata);

(c)  Cape bees (Apis mellifera capensis);

(d)  Tropilaelaps mites (Tropilaelaps clareae, T. koenigerum, T. thaii, and T. mercedesae); and

(e)  Small-hive beetle (Aethina tumida).

(2) remains the same.


AUTH:  80-6-101, 80-6-201, MCA

IMP:  80-6-101, 80-6-201, MCA


REASON:  Changes the language to add pests in addition to diseases so it accurately reflects the threats to the apiary industry.  The proposed rule adds new, regulated bee pests of significance that are important to the health and safety of the apiary industry.  Section 80-6-201, MCA needs to be added to reflect the true extent of the rule.


ECONOMIC IMPACT:  Africanized bees, Cape bees, small-hive beetle, and Tropilaelaps mites represent invasive species that are a significant threat to Montana's beekeeping industry.  We do not yet have these pests.  There is no cost associated with the pests of regulatory significance that the department inspects for.  If detected however, it would require destruction of the hive as there is not a successful treatment option.  Destruction of hives for other diseases and pests costs on average $200 per hive and would be expected to be the same for the proposed new pests.  Actual producer economic impact can't be estimated because the expense would be based on the number of hives that might be affected by the pest.


5.  Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed action either orally or in writing at the hearing.  Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Cort Jensen at the Montana Department of Agriculture, 303 North Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201; telephone (406) 444-3144; fax: (406) 444-5409; or e-mail: agr@mt.gov and must be received no later than October 21, 2010.


            6.  The Department of Agriculture maintains a list of interested persons who wish to receive notices of rulemaking actions proposed by this agency.  Persons who wish to have their name added to the list shall make a written request which includes the name, e-mail, and mailing address of the person and specifies for which program the person wishes to receive notices.  Notices will be sent by e-mail unless a mailing preference is noted in the request.  Such written request may be mailed or delivered to Montana Department of Agriculture, 303 North Roberts, P.O. Box 200201, Helena, MT 59620-0201; fax: (406) 444-5409; or e-mail: agr@mt.gov or may be made by completing a request form at any rules hearing held by the Department of Agriculture.


7.  An electronic copy of this Notice of Proposed Amendment is available through the department's web site at www.agr.mt.gov, under the Administrative Rules section.  The department strives to make the electronic copy of the notice conform to the official version of the notice, as printed in the Montana Administrative Register, but advises all concerned persons that in the event of a discrepancy between the official printed text of the notice and the electronic version of the notice, only the official printed text will be considered.  In addition, although the department strives to keep its web site accessible at all times, concerned persons should be aware that the web site may be unavailable during some periods, due to system maintenance or technical problems.


            8.  The bill sponsor contact requirements of 2-4-302, MCA, apply and have been fulfilled.  The primary bill sponsor was contacted by regular mail, e-mail, and phone on September 13, 2010.  For previous rule projects involving the same bill, the primary sponsor was given appropriate notice.








/s/ Ron de Yong                                                  /s/ Cort Jensen                                       

Ron de Yong, Director                                        Cort Jensen, Rule Reviewer


Certified to the Secretary of State, September 13, 2010.



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