West Virginia has become the first state in the nation to pass a law giving beekeepers immunity from liability for ordinary negligence. This law came about as a result of strong support by the leadership of both the House and Senate. We are fortunate to have a State Senate President, Earl Ray Tomblin, whose father is a beekeeper. Additionally, House Speaker Richard Thompson was raised by a grandfather who was a beekeeper. Finally, it helped that the honeybee is the state insect!
The law requires that beekeepers register their hives. It also mandates the WV Department of Agriculture to promulgate Best Management Practices for beekeepers. All beekeepers who abide by these two provisions will have absolute civil immunity from ordinary negligence. The Department is working on a set of emergency rules they hope will be in effect soon. Governor Joe Manchin signed the bill into law the first of April making this the first state to protect its beekeeping industry
Come on Ohio! West Virginia is getting their act together. Why can't the Ohio legislature get something done? The best they have come up with is to form a Task Force to study what they may want to plan. (Basically they planning to plan. Which means nothing will be done for quite some time, if ever.) -Tim