Bee on a flower
MDAR’s Apiary Program has been established to promote and sustain apiculture in the Commonwealth by providing support to honey beekeepers, pesticide applicators, farmers, land managers, educators, regulators and government officials. The Program is comprised of a team of highly trained and knowledgeable staff consisting of a Chief Inspector and full-time seasonal inspectors located throughout the state. Inspectors perform the following services upon request:
  • Inspect, sample and monitor honey bees (Apis mellifera) and hive equipment for pest, parasites and pathogens. Apiary Inspection form here pdf format of Apiary Inspection Request form
  • Prevent establishment of new pests, parasites, pathogens, and Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) through imported bees and hive equipment.
  • Investigate suspected honey bee kills from pesticides and pathogen spillover from American Foul Brood (Paenibacillus larvae).
  • Provide technical assistance, continuing education, and outreach to all audiences on topics related to honey bee biology, hive management, and pollination.
  • Issue permits for interstate movement of honey bees and hive equipment.
  • Promote honey beekeepers and the local beekeeping industry through marketing of Massachusetts-produced hive products. Survey here. doc format of Massachusetts Farm Marketing Survey
  • Communicate with local, regional and national audiences to stay current on trends in honey bee health, management techniques and treatment options.

Honey Bee Hive Education Day at State Apiary

Are you interested in honey bees, their health and honey production? Join bee experts from the Department of Agricultural Resources and UMass Amherst at the state’s first working apiary. This event is opened to the public and will provide education on the basics of honey bee biology, hive management and disease/parasite prevention.  State Apiary Inspectors will be present to give attendees a tour of a live working honey bee hive and answer any questions on topics related to honey bee health and hive husbandry. Participants must bring protective clothing (i.e. bee suit and/or bee veil/long pants) as it will not be provided and is necessary before entering the apiary and are also asked to wear closed toe shoes.

Date: September 24 (beekeeper focused on fall management/winter prep)
Time: 10 am-noon
Location: 911 North Pleasant St, Amherst, MA


State Apiary 

The MDAR has collaborated with the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture to create a state apiary at the UMass Agricultural Learning Center, 911 North Pleasant St., Amherst. The apiary consists of twelve honey bee hives located within an 80 foot by 30 foot plot situated adjacent to the UMass Pollinator Conservation Project. The apiary is surrounded by a solar powered electric fence (to deter animals and serve as a safety barrier for visitors). It consists of six wooden stands (capable of holding five hives each) partitioned into two horizontal rows. The apiary will also be used by the UMass Beekeeping Club and for hives maintained for UMass beekeeping courses.

The purpose of the apiary is to serve as a vessel for education, outreach demonstrations and research related to agricultural sustainability, pollination, honey bee health and hive management. This apiary is also considered to be a critical component of the Stockbridge School’s student farm pollinator habitat conservation project. The apiary will provide valuable pollination services to the farms cultivated acreage of crops, trees and wildflowers. Given the ability to do live, in-hive demonstrations onsite, this apiary will also be an important tool for providing outreach education to farmers, land managers, beekeepers and the public on topics related to honey bees and agriculture. The apiary will be maintained through a collaborative effort of the MDAR Apiary Program inspectors, students and faculty members on campus.

 Massachusetts Honey Bee Hive Survey - 2015

This survey was created by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) to serve as a tool for Massachusetts honey beekeepers to share data on hive losses that occurred during the 2015 season. Participation in this survey is voluntary. Responses will be analyzed by MDAR Apiary Program staff, who will then provide a summary of results to the beekeeping community this winter.

Contact Information

Kim Skyrm, Ph.D.
Chief Apiary Inspector/Apiary Program Coordinator
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
251 Causeway Street, Suite 500
Boston, MA  02114

Office: Amherst 413-548-1905; Boston 617-626-1801
Fax: Amherst 413-548-1901; Boston 617-626-1850

Address for bee samples:

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
Attention: Kim Skyrm
101 University Dr
Suite C-4
Amherst, MA  01002