Chapter 131 Communications Plan

TBA held its annual meeting and convention November 3-5, 2016, in Belton, Texas.

TBA president Chris Moore gave a quick overview of where the process of updating Chapter 131 of the Texas Agricultural Code stands. He made the following points:

  • 2015 – TBA asked for volunteers to assist in drafting the proposed changes to the existing bee laws. Approximately 60 people at the annual convention responded.
  • March 2016 – TBA held a meeting at the Texas A&M Bee Lab in College Station to discuss the proposed changes and their impact, and to gather input. Approximately 45 people responded.
  • March-September 2016 – These 45 respondents reviewed the proposed changes and communicated via e-mail and conference call to wordsmith the draft.
  • September 2016 – TBA submitted the draft to legislative counsel. Legislative counsel will prepare the final legislation wording; the final wording will then become a bill for the entire Texas legislature to consider during their January to May 2017 legislative session.
  • November 2016 – TBA cannot discuss specifics of the proposed changes at this time since the final legislative wording has not been received from legislative counsel.

Chris introduced Roger Farr to discuss how TBA will keep its members informed of final legislative wording and the legislative process. Roger, via a handout to participants (attached), covered the chapter 131 communications plan which had three main points:

  1. Formation of a team and preparation of draft communication documents while awaiting final legislative counsel wording of the proposed bill.
  2. A plan to communicate to the TBA member clubs/associations, all TBA members, and the Texas beekeeping community at large. This chapter 131 communications plan includes:
    1. materials outlining current bee laws and the proposed changes,
    2. materials outlining the benefits to beekeepers and potential impacts and,
    3. a PowerPoint presentation for clubs/associations to use to communicate the changes.
  3. On-going communication and dialogue with beekeepers via two methods:
    1. an RSS feed on the TBA website which members can subscribe to (by going to texasbeekeeprs.org, clicking on the blog link, and then clicking the subscribe icon to be added to the list to receive updates when they are posted) and,
    2. a dedicated e-mail for questions – “131questions@texasbeekeepers.org”

Chris Moore finished the presentation by asking for patience as we await the final draft from legislative counsel and for support from all Texas beekeepers to enact the needed changes to Chapter 131 of the Texas Agricultural Code.

 

 


4 Replies to "Chapter 131 Communications Plan"

  • Bruce Bonnett
    January 30, 2017 (9:13 am)
    Reply

    Is House Bill 1293 the result of this action?

  • larry roderick
    February 2, 2017 (2:19 pm)
    Reply

    ive been sprayed more than once. one time I got photos of plane lining up to ‘dive bomb’ a single hive. reported to TDA. found out they are as useless as ……….we have suspicion who is behind it. but have to prove it . sam Houston state univ. seems willing to do toxicology work. VERY FRUSTRATED TO SAY THE LEAST. Got any advice

  • Mike Stein
    February 4, 2017 (8:49 am)
    Reply

    There are over 30 states in the US that require mandatory registration for having 1 or more colonies. With the new revision of 131 Texas is still behind in helping bees and beekeepers. I live in Brazoria County and at our last club meeting the question was asked how many colonies reside in the county. No one knew. The guesses went from 400000 to 40000.
    To better control ” diseases and pests” why not regulate ALL colonies and be more progressive.Most states charge 5-10 bucks a year for this registration which is minimal.

    Also, why on the new 130 revision is the permit and inspection fees going into the Texas General Fund?
    Why cannot ” Reportable Diseasee and Reportable pests” be identified and listed on there website or given to all associations?
    What will amounts be for fees and permits? Seems like all beekeepers would be charged the same.
    Why have an exemption on quarantines?
    Why and for what reason is an inspection not needed for 25 queen bee sales, 100 packages,queen cells100 ,
    The contac information sign should be posted at ALL apiaries even ones at a residence.
    I would assume that a beekeeper no matter the number of colonies he/she has would report all diseases and pests and would more than likely comply if they were registered and openly want an inspection from the Inspectors.

    As I read more and more into the new 130 VS the old 130 I have more questions and concerns. Models should also take into account other states laws and regulations. Why is Texas always so far behind in honey bee management?

    • Roger Farr
      February 5, 2017 (7:37 pm)
      Reply

      Response to Mike Stein – 5 Feb 2017
      Mike,
      Thanks for your comments on the pending legislation for HB 1293. Let me respond below.
      Registration is encouraged but not mandatory in Texas today. This leaves the Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS) somewhat blind as to how best protect the beekeeping interests in Texas when they don’t even know who to contact in case of a disease outbreak. The number of colonies managed by hobbyist beekeepers is a small percentage compared to the total hence the exemption from mandatory registration by hobbyists although voluntary registration is highly encouraged.
      All fees collected by TAIS currently go into the Texas general fund. This is simply bringing the law up to the current practice. Individual entities no longer have separate accounts.
      If HB 1293 passes, then the TAIS will post on its website a list of reportable pests, diseases, and unwanted species of bee. Until that time the current law requires us to report all pests and diseases to the TAIS.
      All fees are set to provide a portion of the budget for the TAIS while not being an undue burden on the industry. They are adjusted as needed. You can find the current fees on the TAIS website at txbeeinspection.tamu.edu.
      The exemption on quarantine is in HB 1293 to provide a means of allowing beekeepers in the quarantine zone, who may not be the primary focus of the quarantine, to open a discussion with the TAIS about their particular situation.
      The identification sign is not required at the home address of the beekeeper since the TAIS would already have that information.
      If you have other thoughts, I’d be glad to answer your questions.

      Regards,
      Roger Farr
      TBA Area Director


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