View Full Version : Laws regulating beek keeping activities?

03-04-2011, 11:35 AM
I read in the "Bee Tree" forum in the pictures section today that at least in Ohio there are some laws regarding keeping bees. Is this normal across the country? Do I need to be inspected, regulated and or licensed somehow if I decide to officially keep bees?

Does this mean it's only necessary if going commercial for example?

Insight, links experience is appreciated.

03-04-2011, 11:57 AM
It's a state by state thing. I am in Kansas and beekeeping is unregulated as far as I can tell.

I am sure someone will post here about Arizona

Solomon Parker
03-04-2011, 12:35 PM
There are in Arkansas.

Many laws codify the beekeeping standards of decades ago. Sometimes it can be better to keep it on the down low. There usually aren't any penalties, search online for your state's standards.

03-04-2011, 04:59 PM
Laws on Beekeeping primarily pertain to the regulation of diseases and pests of honeybees and the keeping of certain species of honeybees, such as AHB.

Most of the regulations came about from the epidemic levels of AFB which desimated the beekeeping Industry back in the 1930s or there abouts. Varroa may have killed more bees than AFB has since even way back 80 years ago and up until now.

In NY Apiary Registration is manditory for anyone keeping one hive or more, hobby, sideliner or commercial. The Honey itself is not regulated, except if there should be a Public Health problem.

03-04-2011, 05:44 PM
If no one from your state chimes in with the information you need, you can try contacting the state assiociaation which, almost unbelievably, doesn't seem to have a web site.

Arizona State Beekeepers Association
Rick Smith - Association Contact
5620 W. 8th St
Yuma, AZ, 85364

I could tell you about Maine's regulations but that would be pretty useless for you.


03-04-2011, 08:49 PM
While I still hope someone chimes in, as far as I can tell through searching, it appears that bee keeping in AZ is unregulated. I did find mention of regulations concerning being an exterminator and charging for services, but that was about it.

03-04-2011, 09:11 PM
In Oregon, registration is only required if you keep more than 4 hives per person (ORS 602.090). There is a $10 fee, but there is no statutory requirement for inspections.

Various cities have regulations regarding where and how many hives can be kept and some cities consider them "livestock" thus banning them. Apparently to them, a beehive is akin to raising swine or beef...

Ted Kretschmann
03-04-2011, 11:47 PM
Beekeeping in Alabama is highly regulated. If you own one hive you must register it with the department of AG. Sadly the borders are closed. We have only 4000 registered colonies of honey bees left and THREE bee inspectors. Go figure that one out. Samples of honey and wax are taken and tested for chemical contamination on a yearly basis if you sell to the general public. Bee yards are located by the state inspectors and marked by GPS. You can go out of state to pollenate crops but by strict compliance only. In otherwords, your queens have to be marked and every hive of bees has to bee inspected on their return to the state. Samples are taken and run through the state lab for AHB, Nosema, AFB and whatever whim and pest they decide. It is just a matter of time and honey house laws will be enforced, with Homeland security taking the lead in these inspections. The definition to OVERKILL--good government gone bad. We were once a proud commercial beekeeping state but overregulation and antiquated laws has made Alabama nonconducive for commercial beekeeping TK

03-05-2011, 09:12 AM
Does Arizona still have all the highway Agriculture Port of Entry laws;

No Plants, No seeds, No fruit, No This No That, yeah they did search vehicles !


:lookout: PCM

Ted Kretschmann
03-05-2011, 09:52 AM
Yes, I think arizona does. I was once held up in limbo with a load of bees between Kingman Arizona and Needles California because of one fireant. I could not go into California and Arizona would not let me recross the state. I thought I was going to have to set up a new operation in the desert;). Just one more example of good government gone amuck. TK

Desert Viking Ranch
03-05-2011, 10:28 AM
Does Arizona still have all the highway Agriculture Port of Entry laws;

Yes we do.

I am also new to beekeeping in Arizona (southern) and would like some clarification as well on our laws. I run a goat ranch so I am familiar with the structure of our Dept of Agriculture website - figured I would be able to quickly find information regarding beekeeping or apiaries.

I cannot find anything regarding bees other than this (which speaks to them as a nuisance rather than an asset)


If anyone is being stung, call 911.
If no one is being stung, but there is a swarm (a ball of bees in a bush, tree, side of house, water-meter box, etc.) of bees, go to the yellow pages. look under Beekeepers or Bee Removal Services and call one of the parties listed that advertises swarm pick-up or removal.
If there is not a swarm of bees but only a few bees "foraging" on flowers, this is a natural thing and you should not be concerned. "Foraging" bees are not defensive and generally do not sting unless provoked (squished, swatted at, etc.). ... really? please tell me this isn't a serious statement :doh:
Otherwise, look in the yellow pages under Beekeepers, Bee Removal Services, Bee Supplies or Pest Control Services. Swarming bees or beehives should only be handled by a professional pest exterminator or beekeeper.
The Arizona Department of Agriculture does not handle any bee-related issues.
For more information on bee extermination or control, contact a local pest exterminator or your local county cooperative extension office.
For news media or researchers, call the Carl Hayden Bee Research Laboratory in Tucson, (520) 670-6380.

Unfortunately I realize this probably doesn't help address any of the questions here ... maybe we are more unregulated than I thought :D :thumbsup:

03-05-2011, 10:57 AM
There are several Arizona Beekeepers posting on the different Forums.
Maybe one of them will speak up on this one !

If it's just a hobby with a couple of hives, I wouldn't worry about it, well maybe a little if I was in the 30 mile downtown Phoenix area.

These days life is just too complicated. :ws

:lookout: PCM