Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Registration -- Apis Bees

Apiaries -- Termination Of Rights -- Abandonment

80-6-104. Apiaries -- termination of rights -- abandonment. (1) Except for a hobbyist apiary site, the registration of an apiary site that is not stocked with at least 10 working hives for 10 consecutive days between April 1 and October 1 of each year is considered forfeited. Exceptions may be granted by the department if sites cannot be used because of a natural disaster or other circumstances. When an exception is granted, movement of hives must be to other registered apiary sites.

(2) If an apiary site is not regularly attended in accordance with good beekeeping practice and that lack of attendance comprises a hazard or threat to disease or pest control in the beekeeping industry, if by reason of its physical condition or construction an apiary site cannot be inspected, or if an apiary site is not registered in accordance with 80-6-102, the apiary site may be considered abandoned and the bees and equipment at the site may be seized by the department.

(3) Any pest-infected equipment, diseased equipment, or equipment that by reason of its physical condition or construction cannot be inspected may be burned.

(4) Abandoned equipment and bees may be sold by the department at public auction. Proceeds, after the cost of the sale is deducted, may be returned to the former owner or the former owner's estate, if the owner is known, or placed in the apiary account in 80-6-315 if the owner cannot be determined.

(5) Before burning or selling any equipment, the department shall give the owner or person in charge of the apiary site a written notice at least 5 days before the burning or sale. The notice must be by certified mail or personal service upon the owner or person in charge of the apiary site. If the owner or person in charge of the apiary site cannot be located, a certified letter sent to the owner's most recent address registered with the department is sufficient notice under this section. At least 5 days before the burning or sale, a legal notice must also be published in a newspaper in the county where the equipment was found.

(6) Before burning any equipment pursuant to subsection (3), the department shall notify the owner of the land on which the apiary site is located.

History: En. 3-3105 by Sec. 132, Ch. 218, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 25, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 3-3105; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 198, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 2592, Ch. 56, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 468, L. 2009.