Maintaining healthy honey bee colonies is very important to Maryland agriculture. Crops valued in excess of $40 million require or benefit from honey bee pollination in the State. Managed colonies are increasingly important since most wild honey bees have died due to parasitic mites.
Apiary inspectors work with beekeepers to help them maintain healthy colonies. Inspectors visit about two-thirds of Maryland's apiaries (sites where bee colonies are kept) each year and examine colonies for diseases and pests. Beekeepers are advised on how to treat problems found. To request an inspection of your honey bee colonies e-mail Jerry Fischer.
Maryland Law requires everyone who keeps bees to register their colonies within 30 days of first obtaining a honey bee colony and then annually thereafter.
Click here to download the application for Registration of Honey Bee Colonies.
Beekeeping is a popular hobby and source of income for beekeepers. There are about 900 beekeepers that keep 9,000 colonies scattered throughout Maryland. Beekeeping clubs work to promote the hobby and assist in educating their members and the community about bee culture. Meetings are free and open to the public. Some of these clubs conduct beekeeping short courses, usually starting in February or March each year. These courses provide potential and new beekeepers with the basics for keeping a colony of honey bees. Most are four to six sessions courses are held during the evening and include a hands on session on a Saturday.
To find out more, call the Plant Protection and Weed Management Section at 410-841-5920.