Registering your hive

Apiary Act Of 1995 Requires all Apiaries to be Registered


The Tennessee Apiary Act of 1995 (found at TCA Sections 44-15-101 et seq.) requires all new apiaries to be registered with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. They are then required to be re-registered every three years. The list of beekeepers is maintained by the State Apiarist and upon registration the beekeeper receives a unique registration number. This number is the beekeeper’s personal registration number and can be used to brand hives and equipment.

Registering your apiary allows you to receive e-mail notifications of disease outbreaks and updates from the State Apiarist. Also, you will receive notification of aerial spraying of pesticides in your area if the state is notified, free inspection of your colonies if needed, and compensation for colonies destroyed due to American Foulbrood or other regulated pests or diseases. No indemnity is paid for loss of unregistered hives.

A benefit of registration is found at TCA Section 44-15-125, which provides that as long as you maintain the registration of your apiary and otherwise comply with the Apiary Act, and operate your apiary in a reasonable manner, you “shall not be liable for any personal injury or property damage that is caused by the keeping and maintaining of…bees that nest in a beehive that is located on such apiary” (other than for intentional tortious conduct or gross negligence).

Failure to register your bees or comply with the Apiary Act may result in confiscation of your bees, equipment, and a $500 fine. Moving bees and used equipment into, out of, within, or through the state are required by law to be inspected.

Click here to register your apiary, or renew the registration of an apiary previously registered.
You will also need the longitude and latitude of the apiary. This can be obtained on most phone GPS apps.