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The Bees Act 1980
Long title An Act to make new provision for the control of pests and diseases affecting bees.
Statute book chapter 1980 c.12
Territorial extent England and Wales; Scotland
Royal Assent 20 March 1980
Commencement 20 March 1980
Status: Current legislation
Text of the Bees Act 1980 as in force today (including any amendments) within the United Kingdom, from

The Bees Act 1980 (citation 1980 c.12) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.


If the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (post now replaced by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Secretary of State for Wales all agree and decide jointly that a threat is posed to the health of bees, they may prohibit the transportation into or around the United Kingdom of bees, honeycomb, beehives or anything connected with beekeeping. They may appoint any person (in writing) they choose to seize and examine bees for disease.

Any bees found to be diseased may be destroyed if the inspector sees fit. Bees or related equipment imported into Britain may also be destroyed at the discretion of government officials. No compensation is available for those whose bees are destroyed. Any expenses incurred during this process were to be compensated by Parliament.

Power of forced entry was also given to officials who suspect diseased bees to be on the premises ("any premises or other place, or any vessel, boat, hovercraft, aircraft or other vehicle").


It was made an offence to transport bees into or around Britain while the Act was in force - either by importing them, or by failing to cooperate with government orders. A maximum fine of £1,000 was introduced for committing this offence.

Any person who refused government officials entry to any premises or other place, or any vessel, boat, hovercraft, aircraft or other vehicle which was suspected to harbour diseased bees was to be charged with obstruction of justice and fined up to £200.


The Act does not extend to Northern Ireland.

Powers under this act are now devolved to the Welsh Assembly, under The National Assembly for Wales (Transfer of Functions) Order 2004.

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