Bee Keeping & Apiaries in Tennessee
–What you need to know
You’ve heard about the dangers of the world loosing it’s bee population and want to help in some way, maybe even start your own.
But Where do you begin?
You could jump right in and do things the hard way, and face HUGE fines, OR start with the basics.
Here is what you need to know.
The honey bee is the official state agricultural insect.
Honey bees perform a pollination function that is essential to the propagation of many species of plants in Tennessee.
The mission of the Apiary program is to protect this valuable resource.
The Tennessee Department of Agriculture maintains beekeeper registration files, works through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program to offer cost share opportunities and performs collaborative research and educational seminars with the University of Tennessee.
- The University of Tennessee *UT* offers Beekeeping classes.
Here is their link if you would like more information on what they do & the specifics on their classes: http://bees.tennessee.edu/
The Tennessee Beekeepers Association Has information & PDF files and documents that you will need to look through as well.
A good site to save for further reference on Tennessee Beekeeping!
Healthy productive colonies of bees not only produce more honey, they also provide better pollination for our nations food supply. Proper pollination yields larger, more uniform shaped, marketable fruits and vegetables.
The Department provides a list of local honey producers for consumers and retail outlets looking for sources of local honey.
Contact TDA Marketing Division for more information.
To receive apiary applications or a pollination list by mail, or for more in-depth information, call Michael Studer, State Apiarist, at 615-837-5342.
***Important Important Important!!***
If you are in Tennessee, ALL NEW Apiaries MUST be registered with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture!!!
The Apiary Act of 1995 includes a section on registration of apiaries. In the Apiary Act, new apiaries are required to be registered with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. These apiaries are required to be re-registered every 3 years.
The list of registered beekeepers and apiaries is maintained by the State Apiarist and upon registration, the beekeeper receives a unique registration number. This number is the beekeeper’s personal registration number and can be used to brand hives and equipment.
There are a number of benefits to registering your apiary:
- E-mail notification of disease outbreaks and updates from the State Apiarist.
- E-mail and postal notification of aerial spraying of pesticides in your area when we are notified of the spraying projects.
- Free inspection of your colonies if you are selling them, moving them or you feel you may have a bee health problem.
- Registering your bees helps to protect your bees and your neighbor’s bees in the case of an American Foulbrood (AFB) outbreak or other regulatory pest.
- If your colonies have to be destroyed due to American Foulbrood or other regulated pest or disease you will be compensated if they are registered. There is no indemnity paid for the loss of unregistered bee colonies.
What can happen if you do not register your bees or your apiary?
- Failure to register you bees or comply with the provisions of “The Apiary Act of 1995” may result in the confiscation your bees, beekeeping equipment and a $500.00 fine.
- If your colonies have to be destroyed due to American Foulbrood or other regulated pest or disease you will not be compensated if they are not registered.
Please remember that by law all honey bee colonies in the state of Tennessee are required to be registered with this office.
All honey bees and used equipment transported into, out of, within or through the state of Tennessee are required by law to be inspected.
Here is a list/links for the DOWNLOADABLE Apiary Forms, Applications and Permits you will need:
- Apiary Inspection Request
- Apiary Registration Form
- Application to Move Honeybees or Used Equipment into TN
- Application to Establish an Experimental Apiary in TN
- Honeybee Best Management Practices Policy
- Honeybee Best Management Practices Agreement
- Reporting Movement of Honeybee Colonies for Pollination within TN
- Request for Apiary Information
- Request to be Placed on Pollinator List for Growers
- Request to be Placed on Swarm Removal Services List
- Request to be Placed on Structural Honeybee Removal List
- Request to be Placed on List to Sell Local Honey and Other Products
- Request to be Removed From Any/All Above Lists
- Apiary Section Complaint Form
- World of Beekeeping from WA has a FREE Basic Bee Keeping Kit (your first email will be an interview or whatever they are offering at the time)
just fill in your name & email.
They also have a Step-By-Step DVD you can purchase. Here’s the link: http://www.worldofbeekeeping.com/get-started/
These websites all recommend JOINING a Beekeepers Club, or organization of some type, and is probably the single most useful thing you can do.
It provides an invaluable source of information, instruction, advice and assistance, as well as having some of the equipment
– such as an extractor – which can be borrowed or rented when necessary.
Even if the club itself doesn’t own any equipment, there is often a member who is prepared to lend you something.
Often there will be talks and demonstrations which will help clarify some of the confusing things one reads about.
If there are no Tennessee beekeeping associations in your area I strongly advise you to consider starting one.
It’s surprising how many people are interested once the word gets around.
For convenience I am including a list of known Beekeepers for the State of Tennessee.
- Columbia Area Beekeeperrs Association
Contact: Jack Wohlfarth, President
Web Site: http://www.columbiaareabeekeepers.com
Culleoka Tennessee 38451
We typically meet on the first Sunday of each month at 2pm in the Conference Building at the Tennessee Agriculture Experiment Station in Spring Hill. The general public is invited to attend.
- Clinch Valley Beekeepers Association
Sneedville TN 37869
We have 149 very active members.
- Aaron Burns
Knoxvile TN 37917
Free removal of swarms in and around the Knoxville area
- Montgomery County Beekeepers Association
Tel Number: 931-645-3110
Web Site: http://www.mcbaonline.ning.com
305 Pageant lane
Clarksville TN 37040
The Montgomery County Beekeepers Association meets the first Saturday of every month (excluding January)in the public library at 10:00 am and is open to the public.
- WASHINGTON CO BKPRS ASSN
247 Cain Dr
Blountville, TN 37617
- MEMPHIS AREA BKPRS ASSOC
250 Leonard Lane
Brighton, TN 38011
- JACKSON AREA BKPRS
7030 Shaw Chapel Rd
Brownsville, TN 38012
- RUTHERFORD COUNTY BKPRS ASSOC
7119 Hutson Rd
Christiana, TN 37037
- ANDERSON CO BKPRS ASSN
632 Pine Ride Rd
Clinton, TN 37716
- CUMBERLAND COUNTY BKPRS ASSOC
711 Genesis Rd.
Crossville, TN 38555
- NW GEORGIA BKPRS ASSOC
6807 Cedar Wood Court
East Ridge, TN 37412
- BEEKEEPERS OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE
509 Ellington Dr
Franklin, TN 37064-5013
- SUMNER COUNTY BKPRS ASSOC
285 Vantrease Rd.
Gallatin, TN 37066
- DAVY CROCKETT BKPRfS ASSOC
3785 Kelley Gap Rd.
Greeneville, TN 37743
- KNOX CO BKPRS ASSOC
6729 Ottinger Dr
Knoxville, TN 37920
- CAMPBELL CO BKPRS ASSOC
1064 Davis Chapel Rd
LaFollette, TN 37766
- LOUDON CO BKPRS ASSN
8633 Hwy 11 E
Lenoir City, TN 37772
- TN BKPRS ASSN
771 Dyer Rd.
Luttrell, TN 37779
- BLOUNT CO BKPRS ASSN
875 Bert Garner Lane
Maryville, TN 37803
- NASHVILLE AREA BKPRS ASSN
David A Young
902 Kingfisher Point
Nashville, TN 37221
- ROANE-MORGAN BKPRS ASSOC
919 Snow Hill Rd
Oakdale, TN 37829
- CHEATHAM COUNTY BKPRS ASSOC
1241 Substation Rd.
Pleasant View, TN 37146
- CHEROKEE BKPRS ASSN
1211 Mayflower Rd
Sale Creek, TN 37373
- SEVIER CO BKPRS ASSN
John R Kelley
613 Sandy Point Lane
Sevierville, TN 37876
- DUCK RIVER BKPRS ASSN
PO Box 303
Shelbyville, TN 37162
- WILSON CO BKPRS ASSN
3900 Rock Springs Rd
Watertwon, TN 37184
- ELK VALLEY BKPRS ASSOC
406 Joyce Lane
Winchester, TN 37388
There are pages upon pages of videos on YOUTUBE about beekeeping, but after talking with a friend & doing some research, I would not recommend jumping into Bees until you have the basics & done the other research from the links provided on this blog and talked to someone in your area that already has an Avery. This really may NOT be for you!
Rossman Apiaries in GA, also has some very valuable information worth checking out, as well as the ability to purchase your Bees & the Queens!
Hope this has helped some…. Enjoy your Apiary & Thank you for helping Save our Bees!