An Apiary is any location where bees are kept and may refer to the beehives themselves or beekeeping in general. Therefore, the terms, Apiary and beekeeping, are interchangeable.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries supports and endorses agricultural activities across the state that promote and encourage agricultural production. Since nearly one-third of our food is the direct result of pollination by insects, honeybees are very important. In fact, more than 100 agricultural crops in the U. S. are pollinated by bees.
The Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries recognizes the importance of beekeeping, but it is up to each individual beekeeper to promote a positive image of beekeeping. Beekeepers are encouraged to be “good neighbors”. This includes providing adequate water sources for your bees, placing hives in a manner to lessen the likelihood of a neighbor getting stung, responding to neighbors’ concerns, and maintaining only the number of hives your land can support.
Before purchasing beehives, check with your local zoning office or HOA to see if beekeeping is permitted where you intend to place your hives and if there is a maximum number of hives that can be maintained in your neighborhood.
Beekeepers are reminded of the No Comb Law. It is unlawful to import honeybees on comb, such as established colonies or Nucs (nucleus colony), into Alabama. However, it is lawful to import packages or queens, as long as they are accompanied with a health certificate from the originating state.
The Food Safety Division of the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries regulates the processing and selling of honey for food sales. The honey law ( 2-11-20 Honey Law) is provided for clarity, however, beekeepers who intend to collect, process, and or sell honey or honey byproducts should contact the Food Safety division of the Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries for a complete list of rules and regulations regarding the selling of honey.