Today, Washington State Beekeepers are exposed to nuisance lawsuits over behavior of honey bees. SB5696 addresses this by limiting a beekeeper’s civil liability as long as they have used best practices.
This bill is beneficial to all beekeepers so I encourage you to support the bill and bring it to your senator’s attention.
An apiarist or broker who is registered under RCW 15.60.021, and who operates his or her apiary or apiaries in a reasonable manner and in conformance with the department’s apiary best management practices rules, is immune from civil liability for any personal injury or property damage that occurs in connection with the keeping and maintaining of bees, bee equipment, queen breeding equipment, apiaries…
SB5696 was introduced by Senators Steve Litzow, (41st District – Mercer Island, Bellevue, Issaquah) and Mark Mullet (5th district — North Bend, Enumclaw, Issaquah).
The bill is scheduled for a public hearing with the Senate Agriculture Committee on Monday, Feb 18, 10 AM.
In addition to contacting your own representative, contact Senator Jim Honeyford . He has been a faithful supporter of honey bees for years BUT he needs to hear it from just a few. That way he gets the message that it is important to the whole industry, which is not very large but every voice counts. Senator Honeyford was instrumental in rewriting the RCW in support of the beekeeping industry in past years.
Senator Honeyford is a member of the ag water and rural economic development and the chairman of the capital budget on the ways and means committees.