The Delaware Department of Agriculture reminded residents keeping bees to register their hives with the state.

The Department of Agriculture unveiled its Managed Pollinator Protection Plan to protect and enhance populations of bees and other pollinators in the state. The plan includes best management practices that beekeepers, fruit and vegetable growers, and pesticide applicators can use to help pollinators thrive. The plan also includes strategies to increase the quantity and quality of pollinator forage on private and public lands. The plan can be reviewed at dda.delaware.gov/pdfs/DelawarePollinatorPlan2016.pdf.

Apiary and beekeeper registration requirements are listed in Delaware’s Beekeeping Law (Title 3, Chapter 75). People keeping bees in Delaware are required by law to register annually with the state apiarist.

“All persons keeping bees in this state shall notify the state apiarist within 10 days of the time the bees are acquired, of the number and location of colonies they own, or rent, or which they keep for anyone else, whether the bees are located on their own or someone else’s property,” according to Section 7504 of the law.

All persons keeping bees must register annually with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, on or before Jan. 30 of each year. The beekeeping law specifies penalties for violations. Anyone who violates the beekeeping law, is subject to a civil penalty of no less than $100 and no more than $1,000 per count. Delaware’s beekeeping law can be found at: delcode.delaware.gov/title3/c075.

The beekeeper registration form can be found at the Delaware Department of Agriculture’s website, on the forms tab: dda.delaware.gov/plantind/forms.shtml.

For assistance, email meghan.mcconnell@state.de.us or call 698-4500.