Bumblebees can be classified as ‘fish’ under California conservation law, court says
By Rachael Rettner
June 20, 2013
A man and his dog try to hold on to a hive of honeybees that they spotted in the backyard of a Los Angeles home in May. A judge Wednesday approved the city’s first hive removal order after bees were found inside homes and businesses by Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. (Photo courtesy of the City Atty.)
LA City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, who is handling the city’s first hive removal case, announced Wednesday that an L.A. woman who found a “maggot” living in her house had the right to legally remove the swarm.
Trutanich said the woman should be granted the right under state law, not city law, to legally remove the swarm, which according to the city’s website is an animal “likely to be injurious or vicious,” if she finds the animal in the city.
The hive was “likely to be injurious or vicious,” Trutanich said.
But city officials say the bees could not be legally removed because they were “living things,” and therefore they couldn’t be considered “injurious or vicious.”
“These are living things,” Trutanich said of the bees. “They couldn’t be killed. They couldn’t be poisoned. They couldn’t be harmed. They couldn’t be killed with an animal tranquilizer or poisoned with a poison. It’s a living thing.”
The woman has found a hive inside her house and contacted the city, Trutanich said.
“I’m assuming that the swarm is still alive,” Trutanich said. “They are living things. And because they are living things they are subject to the same laws as living