Log in

kentucky State beekeepers association


Log in


Managing honey bees and processing honey are regulated by the USDA, FDA and Kentucky Law. Here are the main resources to learn more about these regulations.

Regulation of Honey Bees and Management - Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) Chapter 252

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Guidance for Industry: Proper Labeling of Honey and Honey Products

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Honey Source Declaration for Honey Labels

Commercial Food Manufacturing in Kentucky: A Starter Guide

Frequently Asked Questions about Regulations and Laws

What are the honey labelling requirements?

Honey is a food product consumed by humans. Therefore, honey processing and labeling is regulated. Here are several resources that provide guidance on safe and proper methods for processing and labeling your honey. 

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Food Safety Branch Food Manufacturing Program

Honey Labels Guidance and Compliance Policy for Honey Labels at the FDA Website

Honey Source Declaration for Honey Labels at the FDA Website

Can I keep a beehive on my property in Kentucky?

Although KRS 252 does not define honey bees as livestock, anyone interested in becoming a beekeeper should check with the local county clerk to see if there are ordinances in place restricting beehive placement. If there is no nuisance ordinance, homeowners have a right to maintain a beehive on their property. Precautions should be considered for elderly people, tethered animals, or small children in the vicinity of hives.

Beekeepers also should proactively anticipate and avoid problems, such as honey bees collecting water and salt from swimming pools, or swarms that may alarm neighbors.

Can I move hives across the Kentucky state line?

If beekeepers are bringing hives into Kentucky, they can email the health certificate to the Kentucky State Apiarist. If beekeepers are taking hives out of state, they need to email Kentucky State Apiarist to arrange an inspection date. If beekeepers are simply moving bees across county lines within Kentucky state boundaries, no inspection is needed.

Do I have to register my hives in Kentucky?

No. There is no beehive registration required in Kentucky. However, you can register to be notified when agricultural pesticide or mosquito control spraying occurs in your area. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture Pollinator Protection Stakeholder Plan has a registry that is free with a handout on how to register. To be placed on a mosquito no spray list contact Tammy Robinson

Who can remove a swarm or hive of honey bees from my property?

There are beekeepers who will remove a swarm or unwanted colony from your property. Consult our Buy Local page for a list of beekeepers who perform this service or contact your local bee club to find a beekeeper who provides this service.

Do I need product liability insurance?

Please refer to the Kentucky Farmers’ Market Manual & Resource Guide by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Office Of Agricultural Marketing. The guide is located on the right hand side, about half way down the list.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software