Friday, January 9, 2009

Bees, Trespass, and Tangerine Trees

Carl Christensen of the University of Hawaii Law School has sent along a link to a findlaw story,  "Tangerine growers tell beekeepers to buzz off."  The story begins with a questions:

Is it trespassing when bees do what bees do in California's tangerine groves?

That is the question being weighed by state agriculture officials caught between beekeepers who prize orange blossom honey and citrus growers who blame the bees for causing otherwise seedless mandarin oranges to develop pits.

Carl asks what are the respective rights of:  (1) beekeepers, whose bees visit tangerine flowers; and (2) tangerine growers, whose tangerines develop seeds (rendering them less saleable than seedless tangerines) after being visited by those bees?

Alfred Brophy

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