Information & Resources
State Beekeeping & Honey Laws
Transporting Bees Across State Lines
Before you transport bees across state lines you must be inspected by the state you plan to enter and the state of origin. You should acquire an entry permit from the state. Always check with the state's apiarist before you transport bees to or from another state.
Local Beekeeping Laws
Your local government may also have concerns about how beekeeping affects your community, on a neighbor-to-neighbor basis. The more people are in your area, the more your community may be affected. Bees can sting and swarm and they naturally roam, meaning there’s a chance they can hurt people off your property.
Not all communities have ordinances that specifically address beekeeping. Take the Hampton Roads, Va., metropolitan area as a sample. In Newport News and Hampton, there is no specific mention of beekeeping, but there are general ordinances regarding livestock and wild animals. Poquoson has an ordinance regarding farm animals in general but not bees in particular. Norfolk has an ordinance regarding nuisance animals and “wild, exotic or poisonous animals.” York, Virginia Beach and Suffolk specifically regulate beekeeping under their residential zoning ordinances. In cases where the ordinances are unclear, ask advice from your city or county administrators about how the locality would view your hobby.
How do I find the beekeeping laws for my city or county?
Check your county or city ordinances. Some cities or counties have beekeeping specific ordinances while others have beekeeping as a part of the nuisance laws.
Find Virginia Ordinances here: https://library.municode.com/va