Hive Registration

Laws/City Permits/Hive Registrations

Hive Registration, Permits, Branding, Tracking


Registration varies between states. Contact your state apiarist for the regulations in your state. Click here for the State Apiarist Directory See below for some details on hive branding.

For California: State Inspector & Department Office Contact: Courtney Albrecht, Assoc. Agriculture State Biologist, Tel: 916-654-0317, Fax: 916-654-0986. On the web at:  

State offices: California Department of Food and Agriculture, 1220 N Street, Rm A-370, Sacramento, CA 95814.

Visit (“Pollinator Protection”) on the internet for more details on pollinators and beekeeping regulations.

Anyone who keeps bees in California should register with their local County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC) on a yearly basis.


Humboldt County Beekeeping Registration and Support

David Juliano, Senior Agriculture Inspector, Tel (707) 441 5270, email: – based at the Humboldt County Department of Agriculture, 5630 South Broadway, Eureka, CA.

Hive Registration Form -click here to download pdf: Humboldt Co Hive Registration Form

There are many reasons to make sure your bees are registered with the local county agency.  Your County Agricultural Commissioner can be of assistance in:

Coping with neighbors and local regulatory agencies

Notifications about local pesticide/herbicide applications that may impact your colonies

Referrals for swarm captures

Consultation/reporting for disease-related issues in your area or in colonies

Permits and information for obtaining certain chemical and non-chemical treatments for disease and parasite issues in your colony.

Apiary registration forms, application forms for apiary brand numbers, and bill of sale forms are also available at county agricultural commissioners’ offices. Humboldt County Agriculture Department, 5630 So. Broadway, Eureka, CA., Tel (general info): (707) 441-5260


Check with the Municipality/City you live in to determine necessary permits and to review the Ordinance


As provided in California Food and Agricultural Code Sections 29049-29056, the owner of any apiary equipment may apply to the director for a serial number brand for use on apiary equipment which he or she owns. The application shall be accompanied by a fee, as established and periodically updated, by the director by regulation.

Beekeepers may obtain a transferable apiary brand number (fee $25.00) by sending a completed Apiary Brand Number Application with the required fee to:

Cashier/Financial Services
Californria Department of Food and Agriculture
P.O. Box 942871
Sacramento, CA 94271-2871
This fee does not include the cost of the branding iron, which may be purchased directly from a manufacturer or obtained via transfer from the original owner.

Brands may not be altered in any way. It is unlawful for any person to have apiary equipment branded with any serial number brand other than that which is registered and owned by them without a lbill of sale.

Brand number and iron may be transferred (fee $25) by submitting a Bill of Sale with the required fee to the address below. If the new owner already has a brand, s/he may have additional brand numbers transferred to his/her name without charge.

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Apiary Unit – IPC Branch
1220 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814


The Apiary Brand Program provides protection for registered owners of apiary brands from unlawful possession of branded equipment. FAC Section 29056 makes it unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any apiary equipment which is branded with any serial number brand other than his or her own unless he or she has a bill of sale which he or she obtained from the registered owner of the serial brand number.