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Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Beekeeper Registration

The honey bee industry of Florida is of major importance in the pollination of various agricultural crops and in the production of high quality honey and honey bee products. Honey bee pests and unwanted types of honey bees that threaten this important industry must be regulated.

To accomplish this, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) registers and inspects honey bee colonies to certify them as meeting the requirements of:

  • Freedom or substantial freedom from honey bee pests of regulatory significance and
  • Freedom from unwanted types of honey bees.

Registration is required by law,  Chapter 586, Florida Statutes, and  Rule 5B-54, Florida Administrative Code, to assist in the protection of the apiary industry.

Registration

Each beekeeper having honey bee colonies within the state must register with FDACS using the Application for Beekeeping Registration (FDACS-08176) [ Adobe PDF Document ]. 

Fees

Each application for registration or renewal of registration must be accompanied by the proper registration fee based on the total number of colonies operated by the registrant.

Fees based on number of colonies

Number of Colonies

Fee 

 1-5

 $10

 6-40

 $20

 41-200

 $40

 201-500

 $70

 501 +

 $100

Late Fee

The penalty fee for late payments is $10. The law makes no provision for exemption from payment of this fee due to a person's disability or age. The Certificate of Registration must be renewed before the expiration date. 

How to Pay

Pay Online

To renew your registration, enter your registration number: #480_____.

For a new registration, enter: #00000000.

When asked if you have documents to attach, please upload a completed  Application for Beekeeping Registration (FDACS-08176) [ Adobe PDF Document ].

Pay by Mail

Submit completed  Application for Beekeeping Registration (FDACS-08176) [ Adobe PDF Document ] with a check or money order payable to FDACS (please put “Bee Registration” in the notes section of your check) and remit to:

FDACS
P.O. Box 6720
Tallahassee, FL 32314-6720

Inspection

To schedule an inspection, please contact your local  Apiary Inspector.

Each apiary shall be inspected by the department at such intervals as the department deems best for the detection of honey bee pests and unwanted types of honey bees.

Each apiary site shall be maintained in such a manner as to allow reasonable access for inspection. All apiaries maintained on properties not classified as agricultural, pursuant to  Section 193.461, Florida Statutes, must follow  Best Management Requirements for Maintaining European Honey Bee Colonies on Non-Agricultural Lands [ Adobe PDF Document 509.38 KB ]. All hives must have movable frames.

Fees for special inspection services may vary depending on the service requested. For further information, call (352) 395-4633.

Certificate of Registration

Once your application is received in the Gainesville office, a registration number will be assigned and you should receive your Certificate of Registration within a few weeks. Certificates are processed every Friday.

Renewals

Certificates must be renewed annually on or prior to the anniversary date of the certificate.

Identification of Honey Bee Hives

All honey bee hives must be permanently imprinted on the upper left-hand corner in letters at least ½ inch in height with the beekeeper's registration number issued by the department.

Beekeepers with honey bee hives branded with a numerical or alphabetical code before Nov. 22, 1988, shall not be required to rebrand with the registration number, provided the existing brand is registered with the department. This number may be applied with paint, permanent ink marker or legible permanent marking method.

Certificate of Inspection

A certificate is required:

  • On each sale or movement of honey bees within the state unless the hives are branded with the beekeeper's registration number
  • On all out-of-state movements there will be a $25 fee per certificate issued, or special inspection made plus mileage.
  • On all shipments moving into Florida from outside the state. This certificate is to be issued by the state of origin.

Quarantine and Destruction or Treatment of Infested Hives

All hives found infested with American Foulbrood disease shall be destroyed by burning. Other hives in the bee yard shall be quarantined for a minimum of 30 days. Compensation shall be paid at half the estimated equipment value, not to exceed $30 for the first 10 hives, after which payment will be discounted. If the disease rate exceeds 50 percent of the total colony inventory, payment will be discounted 50 percent.

Hives infested with other related honey bee pests and any unwanted types of honey bees shall be quarantined and treated as prescribed by the department. No compensation will be awarded for such action.

Abandoned Apiaries

Any apiary found without proper identification or registration information shall be considered abandoned. Following a reasonable effort to contact the owner, the department shall dispose of such equipment following guidelines detailed in Rule 5B-54, Florida Administrative Code.

Penalties

Any person who violates the provisions of Chapter 586, Florida Statutes, or rules adopted thereunder shall for the first offense be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, and upon a second or subsequent conviction thereof shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree. The department may, after notice and hearing, impose a fine not exceeding $5,000 for the violation of any of the provisions of this law or rules thereunder.

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