Register Your Hives

Honey bee hives and smoker

Photo: Leslie Newman

Please register your hives with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to take advantage of state tax exemptions. Link to the registration form: Apiary Registration form



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. Matthew Liere says:

    The Apiary Registration form linked in the message is for 2013, not 2014. To my knowledge, there is no 2014 form available anywhere. Any ideas when it will be available?

    • Good question, I’ll ask. Here is WSDA’s update:
      The 2014 registration form should be available by the end of this week. We have had several employees out sick the last two weeks and we are running a little behind schedule. If you would like to use the 2013 form and replace the 13 with 14 that would be an acceptable form to submit. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me anytime.


      Jenny Miller
      Administrative Assistant
      Department of Agriculture
      Plant Protection Division
      Phone: 360-902-1901
      Fax: 360-902-2094

  2. The 2014 registration form has been updated and is now on WSDA’s website here:

  3. At West Sound Beekeepers in Kitsap I have urged our membership to register but virtually no one does. Here are our barriers: 1. a window to register that closes in April and printing out and 2. mailing in a paper form. These can be solved by not closing registration and putting up a web form that accepts credit cards or Paypal. If the state and WSBA are serious about tracking not just large commercial migratory beekeepers, but all beekeepers in state, this is how to do it.

  4. Doug PEnning says:

    Where is the 2015 form..? Can we use the 2014 form..? Or should we keep checking back to see if it ever gets updated..?

  5. We are planing our move to Seattle, and are in the process of buying acreage. Reading this forum has been helpful. I saw that members at the West Puget Sound club are having trouble with registering? Why not make it a condition of new membership? Surely you get a receipt or proof of registration, so give new members 30 days to show proof of registration. In any case, thanks for the info here!

  6. Is there another format the hive registration can be sent in. I can not download or print the current one.

  7. Cathy Ader says:

    I think I am reading conflicting direction above… “Please register your hives with the Washington State Department of Agriculture to take advantage of state tax exemptions.” Then, failure to register your hives “◾Allows non-registering beekeepers to reduce their costs—especially if they are not registering to avoid taxation…” Which is it? Register to take advantage of state tax exemptions, or don’t register to avoid taxation? I was thinking about moving to Washington state and beekeeping there, but it appears I’m not getting any accurate picture of what’s really going on with your taxation laws. Please provide some clarification.

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