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Apiary Program (honey bees)

MDAR’s Apiary Program mission is to promote and sustain apiculture and honey bee health in the Commonwealth by providing support to honey beekeepers, pesticide applicators, farmers, educators, students, regulators, government officials, and the public.

The Apiary Program serves in the role of both the regulatory authority for the enforcement of laws and regulations pertaining to honey bees and beekeeping in the Commonwealth as well as an outreach education service. The Apiary Program is responsible for the performance of the following duties:

• Inspect, sample and monitor for honey bee pests, pathogens, parasites and invasive species
• Prevent establishment of new honey bee pests, pathogens, parasites, and invasive species
• Investigate incidences of health issues or colony death
• Issue Health Certificates, as needed, for interstate movement of honey bee colonies
• Issue Administrative orders, as needed, for mitigating honey bee health issues
• Provide technical assistance, continuing education and outreach to stakeholders
• Communicate with local, regional, national and international stakeholders with a focus on beekeeping associations and organizations
• Conduct state-wide annual health surveys of apiculture and honey bee health
• Manage State Apiaries
• Monitor honey bee apiaries during state aerial mosquito control applications
• Participate in the national USDA-APHIS Honey Bee Survey or facilitate state participation through university collaboration
• Promote the beekeeping industry through marketing of honey producers

To perform these duties, the Apiary Program is comprised of a team of highly trained and knowledgeable staff consisting of a Chief Inspector, full-time inspector and seasonal inspectors located throughout the state. When possible, the program also takes on student interns to assist the team. To obtain additional information and support, please contact the Apiary Program via email: bees@mass.gov or by phone: 508-281-6784.

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