Bees

Bee Keeping & Apiaries in Tennessee–What you need to know

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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.

Registration cards are available from this office, County Extension Agent offices, your local beekeeper association or this website.

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:

  • 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
    Tel: 931-215-5389
    E-mail: jack.do@charter.net
    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
    Steve Parks
    Email: clinchvalley_beekeepers@yahoo.com
    URL: http://clinchvalleybeeclub.org
    Phone: 865-661-7079
    Sneedville TN 37869
    We have 149 very active members.
  • Aaron Burns
    E-mail: The_Lorax@animail.net
    Knoxvile TN 37917
    Phone: 865-235-8553
    Free removal of swarms in and around the Knoxville area
  • Montgomery County Beekeepers Association
    Keal Madsen
    Tel Number: 931-645-3110
    E-mail: newgfarms@gmail.com
    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
    Wallace Putnam
    247 Cain Dr
    Blountville, TN 37617
    Phone 423-323-1629
  • MEMPHIS AREA BKPRS ASSOC
    Bill Hughes
    250 Leonard Lane
    Brighton, TN 38011
    Phone 901-475-1918
    Fax 901-767-9350
    Email bhfarms@prodigy.net
  • JACKSON AREA BKPRS
    Freddy Smith
    7030 Shaw Chapel Rd
    Brownsville, TN 38012
  • RUTHERFORD COUNTY BKPRS ASSOC
    Keith Elrod
    7119 Hutson Rd
    Christiana, TN 37037
    Phone 615-274-3725
    Email selrod@bellsouth.net
  • ANDERSON CO BKPRS ASSN
    Carl Barnett
    632 Pine Ride Rd
    Clinton, TN 37716
    Phone 865-435-6591
  • CUMBERLAND COUNTY BKPRS ASSOC
    Kenneth Bryson
    711 Genesis Rd.
    Crossville, TN 38555
    Phone 931-484-6646
  • NW GEORGIA BKPRS ASSOC
    Dave Reed
    6807 Cedar Wood Court
    East Ridge, TN 37412
  • BEEKEEPERS OF MIDDLE TENNESSEE
    Dwight Tew
    509 Ellington Dr
    Franklin, TN 37064-5013
    Phone 615-406-5164
    Fax 615-791-1578
    Email dwighttew@comcast.net
    www.bomtn.org
  • SUMNER COUNTY BKPRS ASSOC
    Wayne Vantrease
    285 Vantrease Rd.
    Gallatin, TN 37066
    Phone 615-452-6675
  • DAVY CROCKETT BKPRfS ASSOC
    John Flanagan
    3785 Kelley Gap Rd.
    Greeneville, TN 37743
    Email flanmail@earthlink.net
  • KNOX CO BKPRS ASSOC
    Earl Seay
    6729 Ottinger Dr
    Knoxville, TN 37920
    Phone 865-577-2811
  • CAMPBELL CO BKPRS ASSOC
    Adrion Baird
    1064 Davis Chapel Rd
    LaFollette, TN 37766
    Phone 423-562-6963
    Fax 423-562-2232
    Email adrionb@aol.com
  • LOUDON CO BKPRS ASSN
    Jim Goodman
    8633 Hwy 11 E
    Lenoir City, TN 37772
    Phone 865-986-8360
  • CHEATHAM COUNTY BKPRS ASSOC
    Paul Carter
    1241 Substation Rd.
    Pleasant View, TN 37146
    Phone 615-746-5398
    Email plcj3@aol.com
  • CHEROKEE BKPRS ASSN
    Steve Postell
    1211 Mayflower Rd
    Sale Creek, TN 37373
    Phone 423-332-4266
  • SEVIER CO BKPRS ASSN
    John R Kelley
    613 Sandy Point Lane
    Sevierville, TN 37876
    Phone 865-428-1272
    Email kelleyjohn@bellsouth.net
  • DUCK RIVER BKPRS ASSN
    Elaine Holcombe
    PO Box 303
    Shelbyville, TN 37162
    Phone 931-684-0826
  • WILSON CO BKPRS ASSN
    Carey Mitchell
    3900 Rock Springs Rd
    Watertwon, TN 37184
    Phone 615-286-2529
    Fax 615-286-4388
    Email petrabee@hotmail.com
  • ELK VALLEY BKPRS ASSOC
    John Ferrell
    406 Joyce Lane
    Winchester, TN 37388
    Phone 931-967-2741
    Fax 931-962-2536
    Email jferrell@ext1.ag.utk.edu

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! Smile

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