Apiary Programs & Information

Apiary Registration & BeeWhere Beekeepers are required to register with the County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office where bees are located or relocated to. Registrations assist in alerting beekeepers when a planned pesticide application toxic to bees occurs within a mile of the colony locations, allowing measures to be taken to prevent apiary loss incidents. The annual registration fee is $10. Cash, Check, or Money Order (Payable to Stanislaus County) Sorry, NO CREDIT CARDS can be accepted at this time. Colonies relocated must be reported to the agriculture commissioner within 72 hours.

Beekeepers are encouraged to register online through BeeWhere. This program works in conjunction with Cal Ag Permits, Field Watch and the Bee Safe Program, allowing quicker notifications.

Traditional registration packets are also available.

In addition to registering with the county(ies) where beehives are located or relocated to, beekeepers are required to identify their hives, or those they are responsible for, according to Food and Agriculture Code 29046(a). Identification must include:

  • The owner or responsible party’s name
  • City & state
  • Phone number
  • Text must be in dark letters not less than one inch in height on a background of contrasting color
  • This information may be:
  • Prominently displayed on the entrance side of the apiary, and/or
  • Stenciled on the hive. When placed for pollination, one sign per pallet of hives is acceptable

California apiary laws pertaining to registration and hive identification can be found in the California Food & Agricultural Code.

Additional services and assistance provided include:

Apiary Certified Producers Beekeepers wishing to sell honey at Certified Farmers’ Markets may request a Certified Producer’s Certificate from the County. The apiary is inspected to confirm honey production. The Certified Producer program assures consumers that the producer is selling products of their own production. See the Produce Sales page for more information on the Certified Producer program.

Apiary Loss Investigation County Pesticide Use Enforcement inspectors investigate apiary losses due to suspected pesticide exposure. Report a loss.

BeeSafe Working with stakeholders, the BeeSafe program assists with preventing apiary theft, registration of colonies moving throughout California, improvement of colony health & survival through increased foraging opportunities and reducing pesticide exposure.

Bee Swarm Removal The County Agricultural Commissioner maintains a voluntary list of beekeepers that provide swarm removal. The County does not perform removals or recommend beekeepers. Contact us for more information.

Colony Strength Inspections Acting as an independent third party, the County may perform colony strength inspections during pollination by grower or beekeeper request. This program assists with market fairness in pollination contracts. See our fee schedule for rates. Request forms can be found here. Contact us for more information.

Honey Grading & Labeling Honey grading & labeling requirements are set under Fruit, Nut & Vegetable Standardization, in addition to labeling requirements under Weights and Measures. In general, honey sold to the public will have identity, responsibility, quantity and grade on the label. More information on standardization can be found on the Produce Sales and Weights and Measures pages.

Quarantine Enforcement Bee colonies coming into Stanislaus County from other counties or states may be inspected for various quarantine compliances including Red Imported Fire Ant, Hive Beetle, & American Foulbrood. Abatement actions are also performed through quarantine enforcement. Visit the Nuisance Agricultural Pests & Abatement page for more information. Beekeepers with hives leaving the state may also request hive certifications as well. More information on imports and exports can be found on the Exports and Imports page (coming soon).

Helpful links:

CLICK HERE - Ag Advisory Board