HB 1480 / SB 472

Bill Information:
HB 1480 (John Cyrier) and https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&Bill=HB1480
SB 472 (Lois Kolkhorst) https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&Bill=SB472
Relating to the protection of animal and crop facilities; creating a criminal offense.

Summary Timeline:
Senator Kolkhorst first introduced this bill in the 2019 legislative session. Just prior to the bill being laid out in committee, vandals did major damage to a Brazoria County Beekeepers Association’s bee yard. [link to Houston article below] This event made national news. [link to nytimes article below] We discussed this situation and prior incidents in Texas with the Senator. She added “managed bee colonies”, specifically, to her bill so they would be included. Honey bees are not identified as “livestock” under the Texas Agriculture Code. The bill advanced, but time ran out in the session before a final vote could be taken.

Senator Kolkhorst and Representative Cyrier have reintroduced the bill this session. Other than a minor issue with one section of the bill, which we believe will be addressed, the bill has been favorably received.

Why it matters to TBA?
Beekeepers have suffered from hive vandalism and theft that negatively impacts the bee colonies as well as the beekeeper’s business. Strengthening penalties could deter the crime altogether or allow for more equitable justice in these situations.

Additional Resources:

News Articles related to Texas beehive vandalism
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/us/brazoria-county-bee-killer.html

https://www.click2houston.com/news/2019/04/28/dozens-of-beehives-burned-destroyed-by-hooligans-in-brazoria-county-officials-say/