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Join Nicole and attorney Drake Larson as they discuss his favorite second date location, beekeeping liability and the small hive beetle.
What You’ll Learn
- Not so scientifically speaking, where you should take that special someone for your second date
- Beekeeping liability overview and stings
- Tips to maintaining good neighbor relations
- The small hive beetle
In this episode we are joined by the energetic and fun Drake Larson, a criminal and family attorney in Colorado, who also happens to be the future governor of Mars. He thinks.
Resources & Links Mentioned
- Larson Law Office website
- Email Drake
- Blog post on Bee Stings & Anaphylaxis
- Email us! Ask@HeritageAcresMarket.com
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Announcer: Welcome to the Backyard Bounty podcast from heritageacresmarket.com where we talk about all things backyard poultry, beekeeping, gardening, sustainable living and more. And now here's your host Nicole.
Nicole: Good morning everybody. Thank you for joining us for another episode of Backyard Bounty. Today we are joined by my friend Drake Larson who's an attorney here in Pueblo and he has been gracious enough to answer some of our questions about bees and some laws regarding beekeeping specifically here in Colorado and he will hopefully be a regular member of our show. But I know that people that are new to beekeeping, there's a lot of questions about what if the bees were to sting my neighbors or what if they try to sue me for something. So he has all the answers to all of our questions and he's incredibly entertaining. So let's get started.
Drake: Hi, my name is Drake Larson. I'm an attorney here in Pueblo Colorado. Normally I'd say beautiful Pueblo Colorado, but if you're from here you'd know I'm lying. I have a law practice here. I do family law. But you've conned me into coming here to talk about bees.
Nicole: Pure condiment. Yes.
Drake: Yes. And like we talked about, I feel like you're putting me in this box. This two dimensional box, and you say, you're a lawyer so do lawyer things, talk about lawyer things and I don't want to do that. I'm resisting that. So I'll do a little bit just to placate you but that's not what I'm here for.
Nicole: It's not for me. It's for the listeners.
Drake: Well, they don't want to hear about it either. The law's super boring. No bees are far more interesting. So I'd rather hear you talk about them but I'll do my part. I'll do my part. But like we talked about, I feel when they have a new guest on Sesame Street and there's Elmo and they're, "What are we doing today?" And then they just pan two inches to the right and there's some guy in a suit and they're, "Who are you?" And he's, "I'm an attorney." And then anytime they need an attorney, they're like, "Let's go talk to attorney Drake," and then he's living in a garbage can or something because that's what attorneys do. And so I don't want to be that guy but I realize-
Nicole: But you're something other than a garbage can?
Drake: Yeah. Please. Yeah. But I am a real attorney. I'm really, really licensed to practice law.
Nicole: And you play one on a podcast.
Drake: And I play one on a podcast. But yeah, for those of you that don't believe me I really do. Do you want me to go into my life history?
Drake: Okay. So I'm from the actually beautiful city of Saint Paul, Minnesota which I actually really like and you should go to it. And I lived there my whole life until I met my wife who is in law school, was in law school and she brought me here to Colorado in Colorado Springs. That's my story. I'm not a native. Please don't hate me. Well, so we have our lukewarm coffee that is stronger than anything, than anything. I don't have a completion to that.
Nicole: It's borderline espresso.
Drake: It really is. It's like a-
Nicole: It's perfect.
Drake: What would we say? A Quinta shot? Penta shot.
Nicole: Penta shot.
Drake: Penta shot. Yeah. It's basically that. And so we're ready to go. We're jazzed. We've got all of five minutes to do this. So let's just jump on in.
Drake: Okay. So my favorite second date, and this is real. I've really put thought into this and it's far more interesting than bees. So hear me out. So there's this little mall in Minnesota and it's called the Mall of America.
Nicole: It's quite small.
Drake: It's the largest mall in North America I think. I think is its claim to fame. And it was in my backyard. It was 20 minutes from where I lived and so I went there occasionally and it wasn't that big of a deal. It really isn't. But people go from across the country to see there. Literally, and it's not... there's Saudi princes that visit and stuff and it's not worth it. But anyway, it's a big mall. And inside the mall is a theme park. It used to be called Camp Snoopy which was the shit because Snoopy was from Minnesota. But now it's Nickelodeon Park. I don't know it's dumb. We all still call it Camp Snoopy. But anyway, my favorite second date, and I have a 50% success rate with this date, I've married one woman of two that I took on this date, which is pretty good. Pretty good odds.
Drake: It's to take somebody to Camp Snoopy in Mall of America and there's a science to it. I'm not a scientist but I am a doctor. There's a science to it. And the idea is... so on your first day you need a fast getaway. You go on a first date and sometimes you're not connecting and so you just got to run. So you don't go to Camp Snoopy on a second date. That's weird. Unless you want to kidnap somebody, you don't do that. But on a second date presumably you like the person to some degree and they like you to some degree otherwise they would've said no. And so the idea is, is Camp Snoopy is surrounded by the largest mall in the world and so you can literally do anything. If you want to get coffee you can do that.
Drake: They have movies... I think they maybe have two movie theaters. They have a movie theater in there. They have laser tag, they have mini golf, they also have rollercoasters and stuff. And so I've decided generally speaking going to a theme park is the best date possible because you have these moments of sitting in line being bored and talking and then... but you're close and you're compressed and you can idly touch the person in... I don't know an awkward way depending on how charismatic you are. I am not. So it's always in an awkward way. But then right when the awkwardness is like reaching critical mass you then go on a ride and you flush your system with endorphins and stuff and then you go back to waiting. And so I think it's the perfect formula.
Nicole: I feel like you've put a lot of thought into this.
Drake: I put a lot of thought into everything that I do and that is one of them. And actually if Jessica is listening, she probably is, she'll correct me. I think it was actually our third date that we went to Camp Snoopy.
Nicole: So you're flawed.
Drake: Well, okay, so it's the perfect third date then we can. We can edit this. It's fine. We'll make it work. I don't know. She knows these things better than I do. It's either the second or third day, but it worked. It worked. I've taken two women there and I married one. It's a perfect... those are really good odds. If you want to get married go to Camp Snoopy with a woman is my advice. That's it. That's my advice.
Nicole: Duly noted.
Drake: Now if you're living in Colorado or somewhere further from Minnesota, it may not be cost effective to do that.
Nicole: I mean unless you're super interested in the person.
Drake: Yeah. But you shouldn't be that interested on a second date because then you're a stalker or a serial killer.
Nicole: That's valid.
Drake: No one should be interested enough to travel across the country for a second date. That's weird.
Nicole: I'm going to lock you in my truck and take you to Camp Snoopy.
Drake: Yeah, that's weird and unhealthy and I don't believe in that. I mean if that's your thing go for it. But it's not mine. But yeah. So go visit Camp Snoopy, brought to you by Camp Snoopy, which no longer exists. Yeah. So what... all right.
Drake: So Drake tell me about the liability of owning bees on your property. What if they sting a child in the eyeball? Great question Nicole. I'm really glad you asked that question. See you need me to be your cohost. I need to just put your ass on my back and carry you to a successful podcast.
Nicole: Yes. Evidently that is the case.
Drake: All right, I got you. Well, great question Nicole. Let me answer that with a litany of boring legal terms.
Nicole: I'm sure it'll be less than boring.
Drake: Well, all right. Thank you. You're so sweet. So we're going to talk about torts really quick. I'm going to break it down. So torts are when people sue other people. Citizens sue citizens and a citizen can sue another citizen at any time if they cause any damage at all. If your dog bites somebody they can sue you, period. And if you own bees... all right, actually strike that. I'm going to reverse it. Every legal answer from every lawyer ever is exactly the same and I'm going to give you that same answer. The answer to your question about the bees stinging the toddler's eyeballs is, it depends. It always depends. There's no black and white answer. But technically if you own bees and they sting somebody you may be liable for the damage. I'll give you... I guess I'll give you the short answer. The short answer is that you may be liable for the damage if they can prove that your negligence caused your animal to harm them. And the issue there is whether or not it's your animal that harmed them.
Drake: If you're in a place that has bees, presumably there's native bees and wild bees and other bees and Nicole, you can speak to the wildness of bees. I don't know. But if somebody gets stung by a bee, just because you own bees nearby does not make you liable for their stinger unless they check the bee and see that you painted the stinger pink because that's your favorite color.
Nicole: So proof that the bee belongs to you.
Drake: Yes, they need to link the damage to you. And so they need to prove that it's your bee which is-
Drake: ... basically next to impossible. I guess if they could testify that they literally saw this particular bee fly from the hive. Here's a question. Do you own the bees or do you own the hive? If a wild bee comes into your hive is it your bee? Is this question for me? Do you know the answer to this question?
Nicole: Well, a wild bee is not just going to be invited into a hive. They will kill it.
Drake: Okay. All right. So then if somebody were to see a bee come out of your hive, not being chased by every other bee in the hive but just floating out lazily, and then this bead floats over and stings the toddler in the eyeball and they watched the entire trip and it came from your hive, then the-
Nicole: Have you ever seen a bee fly? It'd be very hard to track.
Drake: I mean, I'm just saying it's technically possible if they track this thing. I mean if it makes a beeline... that's why it's named and they watch it then presumably they could say, "I saw it come out of your hive therefore it's your bee therefore it's your damage." So there is a way to be sued. However, interestingly... oh actually here let's take a sidestep. I'm only licensed to practice law in Colorado. If you're in any state outside of Colorado and you're raising bees, this advice may or may not apply to you. Rather, I can't legally give you advice. Almost every state has very, very, very, very similar and nearly identical laws and so it probably would apply, but I don't know. So don't quote me please.
Nicole: But anybody that lives in Colorado that has a question.
Drake: But anybody that lives in Colorado that has a question about bee law or any other law please give me a call. I promise I'm more well informed than I sound.
Nicole: And we'll put links to your contact information in the description.
Drake: Let's put links in my contact description in the... yeah, what you said. Let's do that. Yeah, please. And if you're anywhere in Colorado call me and we'll talk and it's free and I'll be entertaining or something. I'm trying to think. Oh, anyway, so this is only applying to Colorado but interestingly in the state of Colorado, as far as I can tell, there has not been a single lawsuit about bees or about bees stinging somebody or at least not the one that's been appealed. And so there's no case law and there's no statute. There's no statute that says it's illegal for a bee to sting somebody because that wouldn't be in a statute to be in case law and there's no case law. So if your bee stings a child and they sue you, let's make history. Let's do it.
Nicole: And contact Drake Larson.
Drake: And contact Drake Larson. Yeah, thank you. But it's not super likely. It's not something you should be really worried about.
Nicole: Which is... I almost find that surprising the way that people can be sometimes that they have not pursued a bee sting. I mean somebody sued McDonald's for hot coffee.
Drake: Yeah, but the real problem is, is that part of the... you don't sue anybody unless you have real damage. If a bee stings you and you go "Ow", for an hour, you didn't have any real damage. Even if you took that to a judge. Even if you could prove all the liability, you'd get 50 bucks or less and you'd pay a whole lot more than that to your attorney. So people don't do those lawsuits. Now, if somebody died because they were allergic to a bee sting and there was a death involved, wrongful death, then that would be money. Which I am a little surprised that there hasn't been something like that.
Nicole: Well, I just did a post on anaphylaxis and bee stings and it's three to five percent of Americans I guess is where they did the study, are anaphylactically allergic to bees. So it's a very small number. The chances of anaphylaxis are minimal.
Drake: And if you get stung by a bee and you experience anaphylaxis how... I mean are you going to die unless you get one of those EpiPens or what's the... what happens there?
Nicole: Anaphylaxis can be fatal, yes. You need, generally speaking, an ambulance and a doctor in an emergency room because we need to give you Epinephrin and Benadryl and things that more than an EpiPen and a Benadryl pill meet.
Drake: Isn't an EpiPen mean Epinephrin?
Nicole: Yes, synthetic adrenaline.
Drake: Are you saying that my EpiPen is not the same as your EpiPen?
Nicole: We don't carry EpiPens. We carry concentrate Epinephrin.
Drake: Epi needles?
Drake: Oh vials.
Nicole: We have one to 10,000 and one to 1000 concentration depending on... one's for cardiac arrest and one's for anaphylaxis.
Drake: Okay, there you... you heard it here first folks. So anyway, but it's not like if you're... even if you have this issue, if you get stung, you're not guaranteed to die anyway?
Drake: So it's 3% of Americans would have to get... it would have to be near your property, get stung, not be able to get help and then die. Statistically it's unlikely. Also, the other thing to consider, and this isn't the best news your listeners want to hear, but the other issue is that lots and lots and lots of lawsuits get settled before they get to hearing. And so if somebody ever... I'm not saying that nobody's ever sued anybody over bees because they probably did and they probably just had a settlement. And so there's just no case law about it that I can read.
Nicole: I didn't think about that.
Drake: Basically it means that both attorneys were too chicken to go to trial and see what happens so they just decided to settle outside of court. So it means it hasn't really been proven or tested. So there is some concern for liability, but it's pretty minimal and pretty isolated and frankly anything you do in your life has some concern for liability. Like when you drive a two ton car down the highway at 85 miles an hour or 110 if you're me, which is incredibly stupid. So yeah, life gives you liability. So just enjoy it and have bees. I guess in this... Nicole you can speak to, but you can put bees... your beehive in the center of your property. What kind of range does a bee have from a beehive?
Nicole: It depends on the literature you read but two-
Drake: What about the literature the bees read?
Nicole: Well they don't read.
Drake: Oh, okay. Well I'm just wondering why the literature you read changes how far a bee can travel?
Nicole: Well, I think it's hard to put little GPS's on them and figure out how far they go.
Drake: Again the beeline issue.
Nicole: Yes. So they will forage between two and five miles from the hive.
Drake: Oh, okay.
Nicole: But queens when they go to mate, they've tracked them as far as nine miles.
Drake: So unless you have a five mile property, your bees are likely to go into somebody else's yard?
Nicole: Yes. But again, prove it's mine.
Drake: Right, well yeah. I'm just... okay. So there's really not a great way to keep your bees out of somebody else's yard unless you're a millionaire?
Nicole: Yes. There's certain things that you can do to maintain neighbor relations.
Drake: For example, what can you do Nicole? What are some steps you can take?
Nicole: Well, I was placing a hoster hive on a client's property and the neighbor whom she had not met before came out and was very upset and said, "Is that a beehive and why are you putting it there," because it was on kind of the fence line between her place and the property and granted it was more open, they had more land. I think there were maybe five acre lots so they... it wasn't super close, but the neighbor nonetheless was apprehensive at best. So we just moved the beehive to the other side of the property so as to not aggravate said neighbor. So you know, you could just be a decent human and move the hive so it's not so close. Again, face the entrance so that it's not facing the neighbor's house. So when they come out of the hive they don't buzz your neighbor's front door. You can put up a screen to keep the bees so that they come out and they have to fly straight up to keep their beeline from interfering with the neighbor's property. But you can't keep them from visiting your neighbors flowers or their swimming pool or-
Drake: Hot tub.
Nicole: ... hot tub or bird bath or things of that nature.
Drake: But there's steps you can take to minimize the amount of bee harassment?
Drake: Okay. Well, and that actually ties really well into my general advice that I give literally all of my clients. And the idea is, is that if you are a mature grown ass person and you know how to communicate and be decent, you don't need attorneys, you won't have liability. You can get through life without ever needing an attorney, probably. And what I mean is, so many, so many people come in and talk to me and they say, "Hey, this jerk down the street did A, B, and C, what do I do?" And they always want to hear, "Oh, you can sue them and get a million dollars." And maybe you can, usually you can't, but maybe you can. But almost every time the better answer is, just go talk to them about whatever they're doing. Be a decent human being.
Drake: They'll respect you and also be a decent human being and you don't need to pay an attorney. As much as I like getting paid, if you're decent people you can usually solve your problems. Now there's some issues like divorce that even if you're decent people, you may need an attorney and if you're a criminal you may need an attorney. There's other things, but generally if you're a mature, intelligent person, you can get away with it, which is what you were talking about where if you just talk to your neighbors and try to facilitate their needs in some way or another, it's probably a good move.
Nicole: Well, just because you're mature, it doesn't necessarily mean that your neighbor's going to be.
Drake: Well, that's true and yeah, actually I have good... thank you for pointing that out. Lots and lots of my clients are mature, responsible, nice people. They're not all jerks. In fact, most of them are responsible, nice people because they end up interacting with jerks and you can't choose your neighbors and that happens. There's... God there's lots of awful stories about neighbor disputes. People get real crappy to each other.
Nicole: They do unfortunately.
Drake: So that's true. But either way you can minimize your need for an attorney by just being a decent human being and being thoughtful. And like you were saying, don't put the beehive right on the property line. That's better. In fact, if you can shroud it in trees so they don't even know you have a beehive, that could be even better. Do bees like trees?
Nicole: They do. However, the hive needs to be exposed to as much sun as possible to minimize the likelihood of the small hive beetle.
Drake: Wow. Okay. I was going to ask if they needed photosynthesis, but the small hive beetle.
Drake: Now is small describing the beetle or the hive?
Nicole: The beetle.
Drake: Okay, so it's a small... okay. It's a hive small beetle.
Nicole: Small hive beetle.
Drake: Okay, got it.
Nicole: Yes. SHB.
Drake: And how large is this beetle?
Nicole: Well, it is small. Hence the small hive beetle.
Drake: Good. I couldn't have answered it better myself. Thank you. Have you already done a podcast on bees? Am I encroaching on-
Nicole: I have not-
Drake: Overdone territory-
Nicole: I have not spoken on bees yet.
Drake: Okay, so this is the tester. People are going to be like, "I'm really interested in the SHB. Tell me more." And then you'll have a whole episode on SHB and I will just get the hell out of here because I really, really don't want to talk about SHB.
Nicole: Well we can talk about it another time.
Drake: But okay, cool. That's the thing I didn't know. I did not know you needed sunlight. Interesting. Okay. So you can't fully enshroud your apiary with trees?
Drake: Okay. Good, good. Well, hey, we learned a little tiny bit about law. So I'm not totally wrapping, but we should start wrapping. So I really, really, really... I'm sure you do too, but I really encourage people to email me with random questions. Hit me up. I'll try to do my very best to answer anything you have. Literally anything. And if there's ever an interesting email we can turn it into a podcast.
Nicole: That would be cool.
Drake: That would be cool. So yeah, my email will be on the link and please don't spam me but email me.
Nicole: Well we can put your email for lawyerly related questions and then if anybody has suggestions for topics or things for us to talk about they can send it to our podcast email.
Drake: Oh is it our podcast?
Drake: Yes. Hot damn, I'm in. All right.
Drake: All right. Yeah, no that makes sense.
Nicole: And we can talk about more legalities in another time.
Drake: Yeah. I'm really good at talking about that. No, I'm just really afraid that legalities are boring as hell and if people are genuinely interested, I can... I do have a really, really cursory overview. I can teach people about whatever. I like teaching so we can do that.
Nicole: I think there's a lot of interest. I see a lot of it online. People worried about neighbor disputes and liability insurance and just the what if's and the trying to cover all their bases before they get a hive and or place it on property and or something like our hoster hive where we put it on other people's property.
Drake: Yeah, and like I was saying, the unfortunate thing about the law is that there is no answer. I can't tell you if what you're doing is going to cause a liability or not. I can say it's more likely than not, or less likely than not. My answer will always, always be, it depends. And so I can help take steps to avoid or minimize liability. But basically if you own bees there will be some liability. Just like if you own a dog or a small toddler that's prone to walking into things, there's going to be liability. So yeah, even... having anything, having anything, will give you a liability. Unless you sit in a cabin in the woods all alone, you're going to have liability. So just get over it and have bees. That's my legal advice. It's good.
Nicole: I like it.
Announcer: Thank you for listening to Backyard Bounty, a podcast by heritageacresmarket.com. Don't forget to subscribe and leave us a review. If you have a question you'd like us to answer on the show, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also find us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube at Heritage Acres Market. All the links mentioned in this podcast will be included in the description. See you again next week.
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