Updates to Chapter 131, “The Bee Laws.” Effective September 1st, 2023

HB 4538 passed in our recent legislative session and will take effect September 1st, 2023. Many thanks from Texas beekeepers to Representative Kyle Kacal and State Senator Morgan LaMantia for their work in making this happen.

Apiary Registration Application – was Free – Registration will not be required, but if requested, a $35 fee will be assessed. Registration will be valid through the end of the fiscal year and must be renewed each September 1st. All current REGISTRATIONS WILL BE NULL AND VOID ON SEPTEMBER 1ST, 2023!

Intrastate Application (county to county) – was $35 – Intrastate permitting will be repealed. No longer will there be restrictions on moving bees across county lines. Beekeepers doing live removals will still be required to pay the $35 fee for the annual registration, but it will be a different form as opposed to the Removal Transportation Form.

Import/Export Application – was $100 for each state the beekeeper is bringing bees from & $75 for each state the beekeeper is shipping bees to – Beekeepers moving bees into and out of Texas will no longer have to do separate Importation and Exportation permits. One Interstate permit will replace these. This permit will be an annual fiscal year (September 1st – August 31st) operational permit with a fee of $250. Beekeepers can then come and go with bees.

Apiary Inspection (requested by beekeeper) – was $75 – increases to $100

Registration of Apiary Equipment Brands Application – $10 (no change…!)

Bee Removal Transportation Application – $35 (no change…!)

Queen Breeder Inspection – $300 (no change…!)

Apiary definition will have “six or more” struck.

Beekeeper – means a person who owns, leases, possesses, controls, or manages one or more colonies of bees for any personal or commercial use. In situations involving Ag Valuation/Exemption, the beekeeper and/or landowner can decide who should register.

The law changes the registration to “beekeeper” registration, not “apiary” registration. The focus will still have space to place apiary location(s).