State Bee Apiarist & Regional Bee Inspector


State Apiarist:
Keith Tignor
(804) 786-3515


Regional Apiary Inspector:
Amanda Bly
(434) 394-4261
261 Mount Clinton Pike
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802


Since their introduction in the early 1600s, honey bees have been an essential part of agriculture in North America. Production of honey is the most widely viewed benefit of honey bees. However, their value as pollinators far exceeds honey production.

The Virginia Bee Law authorizes an apiary inspection program which promotes the science of beekeeping, as well as regulates the movement of honey bees into the state and the sale of bees, queens and used bee equipment. The Virginia Bee Law requires that honey bees on combs, hives and equipment with combs must be accompanied by a certificate of health issued by the Office of Plant Industry Services prior to being sold in Virginia. In addition, any person who brings honey bees on combs or used equipment with comb into the Commonwealth must first obtain an Entry Permit from Virginia’s State Apiarist. Queens and packaged honey bees brought into the Commonwealth must be accompanied by a certificate of health issued by the state of origin.

Services & Resources

Beekeeping Code of Virginia

Chapter 44. Beekeeping  - (Read Chapter )

§ 3.2-4400  Definitions
§ 3.2-4401  Powers and Duties of the Board
§ 3.2-4402  State Apiarist
§ 3.2-4403  Duties of Beekeepers
§ 3.2-4404  Duty to Notify the State Apiarist of Diseased Bees
§ 3.2-4405  Entry Permit Required to Bring Bees and Used Bee Equipment into Commonwealth; Inspection  
§ 3.2-4406  Certificate of Health to Accompany Bees in Combless Packages Brought into Commonwealth
§ 3.2-4407  Certificate of Health to Accompany Bill of Sale
§ 3.2-4408  Rearing Package Bees and Queens for Sale
§ 3.2-4409  Right of Entry for Inspection and Enforcement
§ 3.2-4410  Measures to Eradicate and Control Bee Diseases; Appeal
§ 3.2-4411  Abandoned Apiaries
§ 3.2-4411.1  Apiaries; Limitation on Liability
§ 3.2-4412  Reserved
§ 3.2-4413  Costs of Administering Chapter
§ 3.2-4414  Violation of Chapter
§ 3.2-4415  Beehive Grant Fund
§ 3.2-4416  Beehive Distribution Program

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Apiary" means any place where one or more colonies of bees are kept.

"Appliance" means any apparatus, tool, machine, or other device used in the handling and manipulating of bees, honey, wax, hives, and hive parts and shall include containers used in transporting, processing, storing, or merchandising bees and bee products.

"Bee" means the honeybee, Apis mellifera and genetic variations thereof, at any living stage; and may include other hymenopterous insects that depend on pollen and nectar for food.

"Bee diseases" means departures from a sound state of health of bees characterized by visible symptoms including American foulbrood and any other diseases, insects, mites, or bee pests.

"Bee equipment" means hives and hive parts including frames, supers, covers, bottom boards, and beekeeping apparel.

"Brood comb" means the assemblage of cells containing any living stage of bees at any time prior to their emergence as adults.

"Certificate of health" means a state-of-origin document prepared and signed by the State Apiarist or other authorized person declaring the bees, bee equipment, appliances, apiaries, and honey houses to be free of bee diseases.

"Colony" means a queenright assemblage of social bees capable of reproducing.

"Combless package" means a shipping container for transporting bees or queens.

"Entry permit" means a state-of-destination document prepared by the State Apiarist or other authorized person authorizing the entry of bee equipment, appliances, and bees on combs into the Commonwealth.

"Hive" means a box, skep, barrel, log gum, or other container used as a domicile for bees.

"Honey house" means any building where honey for commercial use is extracted, graded, processed, packed, or stored.

"Person" means the term as defined in § 1-230. The term also means any society.