Tidewater Beekeepers Association



Since their introduction in the early 1600s, honey bees have been an essential part of agriculture in North America. Production of honey is the most widely viewed benefit of honey bees. However, their value as pollinators far exceeds honey production.

The Virginia Bee Law authorizes an apiary inspection program which promotes the science of beekeeping, as well as regulates the movement of honey bees into the state and the sale of bees, queens and used bee equipment. The Virginia Bee Law requires that honey bees on combs, hives and equipment with combs must be accompanied by a certificate of health issued by the Office of Plant Industry Services prior to being sold in Virginia. In addition, any person who brings honey bees on combs or used equipment with comb into the Commonwealth must first obtain an Entry Permit from Virginia’s State Apiarist. Queens and packaged honey bees brought into the Commonwealth must be accompanied by a certificate of health issued by the state of origin.

To facilitate communication between beekeepers and agricultural producers and pesticides applicators VDACS has acquired BeeCheck™, Apiary Registry by FieldWatch®. The program is an on-line system for mapping apiary locations and providing beekeeper contact information. Participation is free and voluntary.

For interstate movement of hives, Virginia uses a uniform inspection certificate. Virginia also participates in the Mid-Atlantic States Agreement, which specifies inspection requirements for bee diseases and pests.

Office of Plant Industry Services staff members frequently give presentations, participate in demonstrations and conduct programs to educate the public about the importance of honey bees, beekeeping practices and pollination.

Services & Resources

Keith Tignor 
State Apiarist

Click here for Office of Plant Industry Services contact information.

Beekeeping Ordinance by City

if you cannot find an ordinance on beekeeping for your city please also check the nuisance laws which often covers keeping bees and other livestock

Beekeeping Best Management Practice

LINK: Best Management Practices

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Office of Plant and Pest Services

P.O. Box 1163

Richmond, VA 23218

Telephone: 804.786.3515

FAX: 804.371.7793

Email: VABees@vdacs.virginia.gov

Website: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov

State Apiarist Keith Tignor

email: keith.tignor@vdacs.virginia.gov

Limited Liability Virginia

Labeling Laws

Image result for honey labeling
  • Selling Honey Legally....
    Now that it's almost time to extract honey....how can we sell it?
    If you produce under 250 gallons a year (3000 lbs), and sell directly to the consumer, you are exempt from inspection by VDACS (Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services).
    However, the are a few label requirements that you must meet.
    1. The word "Honey" must be displayed prominently on the front of the jar. Words like Pure, All Natural, Local, etc.....are up to you.
    I do prefer to put some type of description such as "Wildflower" on mine.
    2. Net weight must be displayed in pounds/ounces and metric on the bottom third of the jar. Example...Net Wt. 16oz. (454 g).
    3. Contact info...This is your name or the name of your apiary, address...(Bealeton, Va for example) and phone number. Email address is optional.
    4. Our state requires all labels to have these words....exactly as written here. "Warning: Do Not Feed to Infants Under One Year Of Age", and "Processed and Prepared Without State Inspection".

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