Can I bring my bees into Massachusetts?
Yes, but 48 hours advance notification is required. Honey bee colonies, nucleus colonies (nucs), packages, used or second-hand equipment, honeycombs, frames and other used beekeeping equipment can be shipped or transported into the Massachusetts but must be accompanied with a health certificate indicating the material was inspected from the state of origin within 60 days prior to shipment and that it is free of infectious or contagious disease. If you are bringing in queen bees only, then notification and documentation is not required. Health certificate documents must be submitted to the Chief Apiary Inspector.
Do I need a permit to keep bees in Massachusetts?
At this time, a permit is not required by the state, but could be required by your local town/city. Contact your local Board of Health and Town/City Offices to get more information about local requirements.
How do I register my hives in Massachusetts?
Voluntary hive registration can be requested by completing the MDAR Apiary and Colony Registration Form.
Can I move my bees to another state?
Yes, but most states require a health inspection and certificate for incoming colonies, hive boxes and/or any other used equipment ensuring the material is free of infectious or contagious disease agents and certain pests. Please note that you can request an inspection by completing the MDAR Apiary Inspection Request Form.
How far in advance should I schedule an inspection?
Inspections can be requested at any time, but advance notice of at least 30 days is preferred. Given the volume of inspection requests received by the MDAR Apiary Program each year, requests will be limited to two (2) per season/per apiary/colony(ies) unless emergency circumstances arise (i.e. suspected American Foulbrood, Pesticide Related Bee Kill or sudden colony death).