Licensing and registration
Any person who acts as a beekeeper in the state of North Dakota, with 1 or more colonies, is required to obtain a beekeeper’s license every year they have honey bee colonies, register all hive locations and place a sign with their name, phone number and beekeeper ID number in each yard.
Beekeeping License Applications are due before entry into the state. We attempt to issue licenses quickly however you should plan on submitting your application at least 2 weeks prior to your estimated arrival in the state. All licenses expire on December 31st, if you overwinter in state you will need to renew your license prior to January 1st.
For returning beekeepers, we do keep your yard registrations attached to your account until May 15th, if you do not renew your license by that date you may need to re-apply for all apiary locations.
To apply for a Beekeeper’s License you can print and mail the following forms along with your license fees. Or you can complete the whole license process online at https://ole.ndda.nd.gov/.
- Application for Beekeeper's License
- Application for Registration of Apiary Locations
If you already have a beekeeper’s license and would like to go online to manage your locations or renew your locations please contact us to obtain a claim code, or to let us know what your username is so we can connect you to your beekeeper account. Additional instructions for the online licensing and registration program may be found in this document.
Additional apiary locations can be added at any time. Beekeepers are required to obtain landowner permission but while it is recommended for your records, in most cases you do not need to submit signed landowner forms. If the location is currently registered to another beekeeper you will need to get a form signed by the landowner before you can register and use that location. NDDA may request landowner forms at other times such as when a violation has been issued for an unregistered yard.
Signs- Beekeepers are required to post their name and phone number in letters at least 1.5” high and their beekeeper ID number in letters at least 3” high and 0.5” thick. Signs can be attached directly on one of the hives or they can be attached to a post near the apiary. Signs must be visible when approaching the yard (so they cannot be hidden in the yard). If grass covers the sign, it gets blown off by wind or is otherwise not visible the yard is in violation and a penalty may be assessed.
Inspections- All inspections and certificates are free.
Health Certificate Inspection- This inspection is only intended for beekeepers who need a certificate of inspection to move their hives into certain states where inspections are required. If you take your bees out of North Dakota check the import requirements for the destination state before requesting an inspection. If the hives will be going to a different beekeeper at the destination please notify the department. If you need to request this inspection after your license has been issued, please call Samantha. We do make every attempt to fit in late inspections but can run into issues if the temperatures start to drop.
Varroa Mite Check- This inspection is for anyone interested. We will collect samples from some of your hives and report the mite levels and any other visually identifiable disease, pest or pathogen back to you. We will take multiple samples in large yards to get an estimate for the yard. We fit these inspections in as our schedules allow but try to do most of them in August and September. If you are concerned and would like an earlier mite check please call our office.
California Pre-Inspection- for more details visit the California Pre-Inspection page.
External Inspections- As inspectors travel around the state they will often stop in all apiaries to check for signs and to make sure the yard is registered. If no sign is visible inspectors may need to look closer for any identifying marks or brands that would help in identifying the beekeeper. A majority of external inspections conducted are random and not due to any complaints or problems. If a complaint is received about a particular location, the beekeeper will be notified.
Pest and disease diagnostics
In state testing options:
- Our office can check Nosema levels in our Bismarck office, please contact Samantha or Adam
- National Agricultural Genotyping Center located in Fargo, ND- 15 pathogens including: Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (ABPV), American Foulbrood (AFB), Black Queen Cell Virus (BQCV), Chronic Bee Paralysis Virus (CBPV), Deformed Wing Virus (DWV), European Foulbrood (EFB), Israeli Acute Bee Paralysis Virus (IABPV), Kashmir Bee Virus (KBV), Lake Sinai Virus 1 (LSV1), Lake Sinai Virus 2 (LSV2), Nosema apis (Napis), Nosema ceranae (Ncern), Slow Bee Paralysis Virus (SBPV), Sacbrood Virus (SBV), and Varroa Destructor Virus (VDV1). For more information please visit their website (https://www.genotypingcenter.com/honey-bee-pathogen-panel/) or call 701.239.1451
Additional labs and test options please see a list of labs available here: https://apiaryinspectors.org/resources/testing-resources/
At times NDDA may be able to assist with the cost of testing services or collection. Please contact Samantha for more information.
North Dakota Dept of Agriculture
600 E Boulevard Ave Dept 602
Bismarck ND 58505-0020
Physical Address for the Apiary Program:
North Dakota Dept of Agriculture
Northbrook Business Center
1929 N. Washington St. Suite SS
Bismarck, ND 58501