Registering your beehives is the law. California law requires beekeepers to annually register bees with their local County Agricultural Commissioners and notify the county of any relocation movement. This registration enables communication efforts between beekeepers, pesticide applicators, and county agricultural commissioners to reduce pesticide incidents with bees. AB 2468, which goes into effect January 1, 2019, reinforces and updates the current registration and notification requirements. The law states:
Every California and out-of-state beekeeper who moves bees into the state or comes into possession of an apiary must register with the appropriate County Agricultural Commissioner.
Hives must be identified by a prominently displayed sign and are stenciled with the owner’s name, address, and phone number.
Any apiary operator, or his or her designated representative, must notify the County Agricultural Commissioner if a colony of bees is relocated within the county.
The County Agricultural Commissioner must be notified within 72 hours if a beekeeper relocates a colony of bees from one county to another county.