Inspecting the hive beyond looking for the Queen
Learn what the apiary inspectors are looking for when coming to you hive and pick up some tips on what you should be looking for every time you open your own hive. MCBA welcomes PA inspectors Nate Weber and Jeff Eckel to have an open discussion on what we can do to make our own inspections better. Bring your questions! They will also have a brief discussion on hive beetles.
Nate Weber is returning for his sixth year as an Apiary Inspector. He enjoys working his own colonies. As part of his inspector job, he enjoys meeting with beginner and experience beekeepers, talking bees and is happy to be doing his part to keep Pennsylvania's honey bees healthy and happy. He especially enjoys helping to educate people about honey bees.
Jeff Eckel has been a beekeeper for about 10 years and enjoys being an Apiary Inspector. He enjoys meeting and working with beekeepers, answering their questions and helping beekeepers learn to manage healthy bees along with learning more about bees himself. Jeff feel that being able to work outdoors is another great part of his job.
PA Bee Laws and the Inspection Program
"The current Bee Law, passed in 1994, was a collaborative effort between the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers' Association and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Plant Industry. To increase efficiency of the inspection service, the new law required all apiaries in the state to be registered. The cost of registration is $10 for two calendar years.
The Bee Law continues to regulate the movement of honey bees, queens, and equipment into Pennsylvania in order to mitigate bee disease outbreak.
Each year a team of apiary inspectors is hired to inspect colonies throughout Pennsylvania during the active bee season (approximately May-September). The program aims to inspect 50% of all colonies in the Commonwealth once every two years. Inspection efforts are focused on apiaries that had previous outbreaks of American Foulbrood (AFB). When an inspector finds or suspects a case of AFB, the apiary containing the colony is quarantined as samples are processed in Harrisburg to confirm infection. Beekeepers are notified of the diagnosis and, if positive, are provided a treatment order outlining treatment options that must be completed within 14 days of receiving the order.
The Apiary Inspection Program also provides certification inspections for queen producers. The program also attempts to provide migratory beekeeping operations the certification they need to facilitate the safe and timely movement of bees in and out of the Commonwealth. The Bureau of Plant Industry does not have any regulations governing the sale of honey."