Bumblebees can be classified as ‘fish’ under California conservation law, court says
California’s Fish and Fish Commission has determined bumblebees are part of the “fish” umbrella term in the state’s general conservation laws.
The Commission’s ruling is the latest in a long history of decisions that have kept the state’s wild bees safe from overharvesting and poaching.
Bees are not considered “wildlife” under California’s general conservation laws, and they cannot legally be removed for sale.
So, as a practical matter, if a beekeeper believes he is about to lose a valuable hive, and can’t sell the bees to pay his debt, there’s little incentive for him to leave his bees to die.
In this case, California Fish and Wildlife Commission members decided in 2018 that bumblebee honey collected by Bumble Bee Almonte, which sells honey for $20 a pound, might fall under state’s general “wildlife” law.
The opinion, from three Commission members, is the latest in a long history of decisions that have protected bees from destruction, including in the Bufo alvarius lab, where Bumble Bees Almonte keeps a honey jar for sale with his bees.
It is based on a provision of California’s Bee-Safe Law, which includes an exception for “wildlife” under the state’s general conservation law.
“In this case, where a beekeeper sells only a portion of the honey harvest to pay a debt, and in another case where a beekeeper is unable to sell the entire honey harvest, it seems clear that it would be difficult for the courts to find that the ‘wildlife’ exception is available to a beekeeper who sells only a fraction of his honey harvest,” the judges wrote in their decision.
“In other words, the