Christine D. Tailer, Esq.

DISCLAIMER ... The following information is provided gratuitously and is not intended for legal
advise or for anyone to rely upon.

Animal Liability - depends on whether bees are considered domestic or wild?
     If bees are domestic then the beekeeper must not keep bees in a negligent fashion
          Must do what a reasonably prudent person in same or similar situation would do
     If bees are wild, then there is strict liability if the bee causes injury to another
        Wild bears as pets, pythons, etc……
     It seems that bees are neither wild nor domestic, but in Ohio negligence standard applies

What would the reasonably prudent beekeeper do?
Depends on the status of the person on your property

     Business Invitee - you gain from the person's presence, a plumber, gardener …
                                    - Owe a high standard of care = duty to warn of dangerous condition
                                                                                          = duty to reasonably discover danger

     Social Guest -  you have a duty to warn of dangers you know
                              - If you did not know of danger then there is no liability

     Trespasser - no liability
                           -  unless a bee hive is considered an attractive nuisance
                                       … is a bee hive going to attract folk?
                                       … swimming pools are attractive nuisances thus fencing required
                           - unless … if you know of a repeated trespasser and do nothing to prevent injury
                                                 then you could be liable

        Children - do not know any better under the age of seven
                           You will owe for an injured child under the age of seven
                            Between seven and twelve, presumption that you owe, but can argue the issue
                            Over the age of twelve, the child should know better

Assumption of the Risk
If an adult walks up to your hive it is common knowledge that bees sting and THAT ADULT THUS  
ASSUMES THE RISK OF A BEE STING INJURY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU MUST Register your Apiary ORC 909
Apiculture is considered to be Agriculture ORC 519.01
Sales of Honey - Cottage Food Rules apply - label honey w/address so folk can sue you

Typically not covered under your home policy for bee stings, but if you sell honey at your door you
are covered for honey liability!
Typically not covered under your farm policy for bee stings! But you may be able to get a special
endorsement and under your farm policy you can get an endorsement for farmers market sales off
of your property
Not covered under your car policy!  Typical policies have an exclusion if you are carry property for a
business pursuit (selling?)  Thus is you are in an accident and admit to carrying a jar of honey to
sell - oops!  Pay premiums for a Business policy?

West Virginia has adopted a beekeeper immunity law to encourage beekeeping.
No liability to a beekeeper for personal injury or property damage as a result of beekeeping!
Every state should adopt such a law!

Ohio - There has been only one beekeeper liability case (1925) where a beekeeper was found
liable when his bees attacked and killed a horse.

So fear not and keep on keeping bees!!