HB 2769 (Terry Meza) Relating to the repeal of the permit requirement for the intrastate shipment of bees.
Why does it matter to TBA?
Section 131.043 of Chapter 131 of the Texas Agriculture Code requires beekeepers to obtain a permit to move bees between counties in Texas. Beekeepers with less than 12 colonies are exempt from the permit fee. The Intrastate Permit was added to the Code in 1983.
Rep. Meza brought the same bill in 2019. TBA raised similar concerns and worked diligently to bring about a resolution. A compromise bill passed the Senate but all bee related bills were left pending in the House Ag Committee. An Interim Charge was issued for the Ag Committee to study the bee bills from the 2019 session. TBA provided a report to the Ag Committee Chair as requested in 2020. However, the Committee never filed a response to the Charge.
There is consensus that this permit is no longer needed and should be repealed. However, there are consequences to the repeal.
Public Bee Remover List. There is a compelling need to maintain the public list of over 200 bee removers who obtain the “Bee Remover Transportation” permit under this section to comply with the beekeeper exemption from structural pest control licensing permitted under Section 1951.056 of the Texas Occupations Code, and who want to be on the published list. This list is highly utilized by the public.
Loss of Revenue. The revenue under this permit for fiscal year 2022 was 22% of the total fee revenue received by TAIS. It does not appear that there are other options available under the current statute for TAIS to maintain an annually updated list and assess a fee.
HB 4538 (Kacal) would provide an avenue to TAIS that would remedy both of these consequences.
- HB 2769 was heard in public hearing on April 5, 2023, and was left pending.
- Passed the House on May 2, 2023. The Senate advanced HB 4538, which would accomplish the same thing as HB 2769.