Beekeeping & Apiary

Apiary Registration

State law requires all apiaries to register with their County Agricultural Commissioner during the month of January of each year. This regulation is meant to be beneficial to beekeepers as well as people who live and work near bee yards. It helps us know where hives are located, resolving bee-related complaints, and addressing issues concerning bees in our county. 

On July 28, 1993, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved Resolution Number 93-393 waiving the Registration Fee for hobbyist beekeepers. A hobbyist beekeeper is defined as having less than 10 hives in the apiary. If you have 10 or more hives, a $10 registration fee is required with the registration form, the fee is currently waived while changes in state law take effect.

On May 14, 2019, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved Resolution Number 19-2466, establishing commercial apiary seasonal stocking limits, protection from encroachment by other commercial apiaries, and requiring a water supply to be provided. The full text may be found in the Nevada County Code

Apiary Registration Form

Both hobbyist and non-hobbyist beekeepers must complete and return the Apiary Registration Form (PDF) each year. Please fill out the Apiary Registration Form and return to the Nevada County Department of Agriculture. Please be specific. If you relocate your bees at any time during the year, you must notify this office as to the new location. If you no longer have bees in Nevada County, please indicate on the form and return the form to this office.

  1. Honeybee Swarm Hotline
  2. Do Not Spray Signs

The Nevada County Beekeepers Association operate the "Honeybee Hotline" where the public can report incidents of honeybee swarms. People may call the hotline at 530-675-2924 and a qualified beekeeper will retrieve and remove the swarm. Note this service is only for honeybees and does not include yellow jackets, bumblebees, hornets, or wasps.

Swarms of honeybees are a natural phenomenon and should not cause alarm. Swarms are normally docile and not inclined to sting nearby people, but they should not be molested or disturbed. Above all, they should not be sprayed with pesticide or water. The hotline should be called immediately after a swarm settles or is discovered.

The hotline will also respond to questions or problems involving honeybees. If you leave a voice mail message, please be sure to leave a name and phone number so it can later be determined if the swarm is still in the original location. They can sometimes move on quickly. To call the Honeybee Hotline, dial 530-675-2924 and leave a message if necessary. If there is no response within four hours please call the alternate number, 530-265-3756.