For many of us this is the time of the year when beekeeping is really starting to get going. Either we’re assembling our equipment and anxiously awaiting the arrival of our package of bees or we’re starting to peek into our existing hives, wondering if they’ve made it through the winter. Either way it’s easy to forget one important aspect of beekeeping… registering your hives in your state or local area.
Not all areas will have a program for registering apiaries but many do and for many this is the time of year when you’re required to register. But why would I want to do this you might ask? There are a couple of good reasons to register your hives.
First, in most places the money you send in is quite small. Here in Washington State it’s a whopping $5 for anything up to 5 hives and goes up to $10 for up to 25 so it’s not a lot of money. More importantly though this money often goes to research into bee issues in your area and funding that with a few bucks is a pretty good idea for all of us. It also helps to show that there are beekeepers in different areas in the state, something that hopefully is taken into consideration when it comes to laws on agriculture that might affect our right or ability to keep bees. Think pesticide laws for example.
So how do you find out if you need to register your bees? Well, first try doing a Google search for “registering beehives” and put in your state. If that doesn’t turn up anything we’d suggest contacting your local beekeeping organization or your local cooperative extension branch. Still having trouble? Post your location in a response to this blog below and we’ll help you look it up!
If you’ve been keeping bees there’s another interesting thing you can do this year, participate in the Bee Informed National Management Survey. “The Bee Informed Partnership is an extension project that endeavors to decrease the number of managed honey bee colonies that die over the winter.” The survey will ask you about winter losses and also gather information about how you managed your hives to see if information can be gleaned on what works best for preventing hive loss in different areas. If they get enough people in each state to join they’ll actually segment the information into your area so the information is customized to you. Pretty cool eh? You can sign up to participate here.