Do you want to start a bee farm and you are wondering where to get a license and the kind of licenses you will need? If YES, here is everything you need to know. To keep healthy and productive beehives you are expected to follow some rules and regulations. These regulations are in compliance with state-specific requirements. A Beekeeper License is one of those requirements. There are several sources to help you regarding this.

Beekeeping is gradually becoming a popular hobby and career for people who want to produce their own honey while supporting the decreasing honeybee population. Indeed there are dangers and hazards to avoid, and each state has requirements that beekeepers must meet in order to have healthy and productive hives.

Note that these rules and regulations for beekeeping vary between states, but there are several sources that can help you comply with your state’s specific requirements and become a registered or licensed beekeeper. Nonetheless, here are simple processes to take when looking to acquire a beekeeping license in the United States.

Where and How to Get a Beekeeping License

Step 1

The processing of the License starts from visiting the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) website. But have it in mind that not all states require beekeepers to be licensed. Instead, they require a registration and inspection process similar to licensing. Note that to find information regarding this, just type “apiary license or beekeeper license” into the search feature on the USDA website. Apiary is a very common and professional term recognized everywhere including government. It indicates how the bees are kept commercially

Step 2

At this point, you must have found out if you are required to register beehives or obtain a beekeeper license through USDA, and all information should be available in the above search result. Also note that the Application Forms will be available in PDF, usually one or two pages. They need to know where you intend to keep the bees and how many hives you plan to keep. Fees for registering or licensing are usually nominal and based on the number of colonies or beehives you own. Fill the PDF form and mail it to the States Department of Agriculture with a check include for fees.

Step 3

Some states do not provide the registration or licensing forms on their websites, but instead require you to request an apiary inspection by email or phone. Note that contact information for the inspection office will be provided on the Department of Agriculture’s website. Once your inspector has passed your apiary, he will provide you with the required form and you will fill it out and give it back to him with the required fee.

Step 4

If the state’s department of agriculture is unable to provide information regarding compliance with the state’s regulation, the best source of state regulation is the Apiary Inspectors of America. Their website has a state by state listing of all The Apiary Inspectors of America with contact information. Therefore, contact them directly to get any information you need regarding beekeeping in general, such as – registering, licensing, inspection, beekeeping guidance, etc.

Step 5

If you have trouble finding the necessary information on your state’s department of agriculture website, there are some other organizations that are happy to help you comply with your state’s regulations. American Beekeeping Federation and The National Honey Board are additional sources of information and assistance. These are the greatest national organizations to assist beekeepers in everything from compliance with regulation to apiary health and marketing. They also will help to connect your local beekeepers near to you as they have the entire beekeepers list.

Types of Licenses Needed to Start a Beekeeping Business

Beekeeping is a popular hobby as well as a favorite career for people who like to establish their own business. There are several dangers to avoid and each state has some requirements to meet, and these rules and regulations for beekeeping vary between states. Aside from the customary beekeeping license, here are other licenses you will need to keep Bees in the United States.

  1. Zoning Permit

You will be expected to obtain zoning and homeowners’ association approval. Visit your local zoning office to make sure that there are no restrictions on beekeeping within your municipal limits and get whatever written permissions that are required. If your residence is served by a homeowners’ association, confirm that beekeeping is permitted within your development.

  1. Business License

Note that you will need to register and structure your beekeeping business. You will have to select a business structure with the help of a Certified Public Accountant experienced with agricultural businesses. Consult with a commercial insurance agent with a strong liability background. Acquire a business license from your city or county clerk’s office, and inquire about other permits. Contact your state Department of Revenue regarding a sales tax license for the sale of your bee-related products and consult an agriculture attorney about state beekeeping laws. In the state of Texas, for example, the Texas Agriculture Code outlines regulations and statutes for beekeeping operations.

  1. Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Have it in mind that an EIN is like a social security number for a business. It is free and can be obtained online. Sole proprietorships don’t need one, but it is recommended so you don’t have to use your social security number for business purposes. LLCs and other business structures, especially if you have employees, require an EIN.

  1. Permits For Your Commercial Sign

Ideally, a well placed commercial sign may help to direct your customers or market your beekeeping business to the public. However, before spending any money on a sign, determine what permits and rules apply to commercial signs in your neighborhood. In many communities, you may need to apply for and obtain an applicable permit before posting a commercial sign. Note that this permit may also spell out further limitations, such as the sign’s size, placement, wording, materials, and lighting on your property. Get in touch with your local zoning board or commission for rules and restrictions on signage.

Conclusion

The need to obtain a license to keep bees will depend on the regulations in your local area. It is always advisable you check with your local primary industries and agriculture authorities, or link up with your nearest beekeepers’ association to find out what is required in your jurisdiction before you set up a new hive.

Joy Nwokoro