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Bee Law in Germany

Yes, you heard that right: Bees also have very important rights.

Bee law contains the totality of legal provisions that regulate the legal relationships of beekeeping. Bee law can be roughly divided into private bee law (neighbour law, liability issues, swarm law) and public bee law (permissibility of beekeeping under building law, food law, animal disease law).

Here a couple of interesting bees´paragraphs for you:

§ 961 Loss of property in bee swarms If a swarm of bees moves out, it becomes ownerless if the owner does not immediately pursue it or if the owner gives up the pursuit. By swarming, the bees lose the authoritative habit of returning to a particular place under section 960(3). Crucial to the right of ownership is the temporal aspect without delay. In this sense, immediate also means that if we lose sight of the swarm, we can no longer be sure that it is indeed the same (our) swarm. If a swarm is free again in this sense and thus ownerless, another person, a third party, can catch the swarm and thus bring it into his possession.

§ 962 Owner’s right of prosecution If the swarm has entered another person’s unoccupied bee dwelling, the owner of the swarm may open the dwelling for the purpose of capture and remove or break out the combs. He shall compensate for any damage caused. In pursuit of his or her own swarm, the beekeeper may enter other people’s property. You should only make use of this special right after consulting the owner of the property.

§ 964 Mixing of bee swarms Mixing of bee swarms If a bee swarm has moved into another person’s occupied bee dwelling, the ownership and other rights to the bees with which the dwelling was occupied extend to the swarm that has moved in. The ownership and other rights to the confiscated swarm shall expire. In short, the owner of the swarm that has moved in loses his rights. Again, this hardly ever happens in practice. Unless, of course, the swarm has lost its queen.


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Bee Law in Germany

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