Register Your Hives (2018)

Honey bee hives and smoker

Photo: Leslie Newman

Please register your hives with the Washington State Department of Agriculture by April 1st to take advantage of state tax exemptions. Link to the WSDA site: WSDA Apiary site



This is an excerpt from the Honey Bee Work Group report dated December 12, 2014 convened by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA).


When beekeepers or bee brokers (in-state or out-of-state) fail to register their hives, it:

  • Limits the already scarce resources available for research opportunities dedicated to the industry as part of agriculture in Washington. In 2014, apiary registration fees paid totaled less than $14,000.
  • Allows non-registering beekeepers to reduce their costs—especially if they are not registering to avoid taxation—and thus offer lower pollination prices than firms that register, and growers do consider cost. In addition, beekeepers that deliberately avoid fees and taxes may also be cutting other corners in managing their bees, making them more of a health risk to other beekeepers’ bees.
  • Prevents us from getting an accurate picture of the size of the beekeeping industry, how agribusiness needs are met, or the economic interactions with other states.



  • The lack of registration needs to be addressed in a way that does not prompt other states to place new restrictions on Washington-based beekeepers when they are operating in those other states.
  • Raise awareness of registration requirements, benefits and consequences.
  • The number of beekeepers registering their hives could be increased through outreach and education. The Washington State Beekeepers Association is made up of a number of local/regional associations that meet on a regular basis. Members can be educated about the benefits of hive registration (money going to bee research). Outreach to growers could both inform them about the requirement and encourage them to remind their providers of pollination services to register.


  1. Papa Nii says:

    I am in Ghana, Africa, how can I join your association?

  2. Mike Lovelace says:

    How can I find the rules and regulations for beekeeping in Marysville, WA. I see many other cities listed but not mine. I am concerned that the neighborhood that I’m considering to set up in is too close to neighbors on both sides of the property. Also, both neighbors on either side have children and animals. I am interested in honey bees.

  3. I registered my hive with the WASBA and my check was cashed. Not sure why that is the only contact I received. I registered with the state to and never received my registration notice.
    Would think both orgs would communicate with the individual better. My opinion.

  4. I am a home beekeeper in Kitsap. The colony registration form asks for Apiarist ID number and UBI. I am not a business and do not have an apiarist ID number. May I still register without? Thanks.

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