North Dakota is the No. 1 honey-producing state in the nation. In 2022, North Dakota bees produced 31.2 million pounds of honey valued at over $82 million.
The Apiary Program licenses beekeepers and registers hive locations annually. Hives are inspected when requested by the beekeeper. In these inspections we look for pests and diseases such as Varroa mites, American foulbrood, European foulbrood, chalk brood and small hive beetles.
Licensing and Registration
Every person who manages or owns honey bees in North Dakota is required by state law to obtain a license, register the location(s) of their hives, and have signs with contact information posted. This applies to beekeepers of all sizes from 1 colony and up. All licenses expire on December 31. If bees leave the state for a portion of the year, the license must be renewed before hives are brought back into the state, if hives are here year-round, the license should be renewed prior to January 1st.
NDDA staff routinely travel the state to check hives for pests, diseases and compliance with state law. Inspections fall into the following categories:
Health Inspection-for hives traveling to states that require a health certificate prior to entry. These inspections are done by the request of the beekeeper.
Mite Checks-checking the levels of Varroa mites in an operation, these are typically done in August-September
External inspections-checking that the hives are registered and have signs posted. These can be done randomly or due to a complaint from the public or another beekeeper.
California Pre-Inspection Program- For beekeepers who take hives directly from North Dakota to California. This inspection is similar to the inspection typically done at the border stations but the load would be certified prior to leaving ND. Click here for more information.
For more information on hive or apiary inspections click here.
If you are looking to find a beekeeper near you or are having difficulty with hives, please contact the beekeeper directly. If you are unable to reach them or have additional concerns, please call Samantha Brunner at 701-328-4765. To find a beekeeper using our online map please follow this link. You can also view a list of licensed beekeepers, or a list of registered yards under Related Resources below.
If you are spraying a pesticide and need to find hives near the application area we encourage you to create an account through our online portal, this program is specifically designed to assist in locating hives within 2 miles of the application area you identify.
- North Dakota Bee Map - for locating hives, beekeepers, managing beekeeper accounts (licensing and apiary registration) and pesticide applicator accounts.