Alabama Agriculture and Industries
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Apiary Protection Unit

The honey bee industry is very important to Alabama. Alabama is among the leaders in the U.S. for commercial queen and package bee production. The importance of honey bee pollination to fruit, nut, and vegetable crops, in particular, make the Apiary Protection Unit a natural fit into the Plant Industry Section.

The Apiary Protection Unit is responsible for inspecting bee colonies to ensure that all queen bees, package bees, and individual colonies are free of pest and in good health. This unit also provides much needed technical support to the beekeeping industry including diagnosis, research, and pest control activities.

With the continual encroachment of Africanized Honeybees into the surrounding region, we are highly involved in both trapping and surveying for these pests and educating the public. In November 2005, we named Dennis Barclift our new State Apiarist. Dennis has worked with Alabama’s beekeepers as an apiary inspector for two decades.  Dennis supervises the work of our other two apiary inspectors.

There are over 600 Registered Beekeepers in the State of Alabama. Estimates from previous lists of registered beekeepers show the actual number of beekeepers in the state was once as high as 1,700.  Continued emphasis on the Apiary Protection Unit and outreach by our field staff will help ensure all beekeepers in the state will be registered and in compliance with our rules and regulations.

Should you need honey bee testing services, please refer to Tests and Specimens at http://labs.alabama.gov.