In 2018 the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) began cooperating on an Apiary Pre-Inspection Pilot Program with the intent of easing stress on bees and beekeepers trying to enter the state of California. Instead of bee colonies being inspected as they entered California and running the risk of delays or denial of entry, California inspectors spent one week in North Dakota with NDDA staff pre-inspecting colonies before they left the state, ensuring quick and easy entry into California for certified colonies. The first year was considered a success with 12 beekeepers certifying nearly 50,000 colonies.
The program is continuing and even taking a step forward in 2019. Inspectors from California will again visit North Dakota, possibly for two separate weeks, to certify as many colonies as possible. In addition, the Idaho State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) is beginning the process of implementing a similar program for bees originating in Idaho as well as bees that travel to Idaho for winter storage. That being said, there are a few changes from the first year:
- This year, the shippers will not need to send a new shipping log with each truck. Instead the number of colonies will be tracked by officials in CA who will track the number of colonies. The master shipping log will be mailed to the CDFA once all colonies have been shipped.
- Last year 20% of the colonies to be certified needed to be present at the time of inspection. This year, ALL COLONIES to be certified must be present at the time of inspection, even though only 20% will be inspected. These colonies can be spread out over multiple holding yards but must be available at the time of inspection or they cannot be included.
Participating Beekeepers shipping directly to California who wish to be inspected in North Dakota should review the Pre-Inspection Protocols and the Pre-Inspection Compliance Agreement. If you are able to abide by the guidelines set forth in these documents, please contact the NDDA to let us know that you would like to participate. The information needed up front is your name, phone number, email address, the counties in California that you plan to visit, the entry station you plan on using, and the dates you expect to stockpile.
Possible 2019 inspection weeks:
October 28-November 1
If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact one of the contacts listed below.
If you ship your bees to Idaho and would like to be inspected while they are in storage, please contact:
Section Manager, Feed and Plant Services
Idaho State Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industries