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 designed to be beneficial to beekeepers as well as people who live and work near bee yards. It helps us know where hives are located and helps resolve certain complaints and issues concerning bees in our county. The possibility of Africanized Honeybees entering our county makes it especially important that we know where colonies are being kept.

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.

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.

"Do Not Spray" Signs

The County Department of Public Works is responsible for roadside spraying. If you want to get "Do Not Spray" signs for your frontage, you'll need to complete an agreement with the Road Maintenance Division.

Honeybee Hotline

The Nevada County Beekeepers Association will man the "Honeybee Hotline" where the public can report incidents of honeybee swarms. People sighting a swarm of honeybees may call the hotline at 530-675-2924 for a qualified beekeeper to 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 be no cause for 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.