California law requires all beekeepers to register their honey bee hive locations with their local Agricultural Commissioner's office within 30 days of establishing the apiary. Registrations are being processed through the BeeWhere program: https://beewhere.calagpermits.org (click here for the Step by Step Registration Guide).
All colony locations are kept strictly confidential and accessible only to the San Mateo County's Agricultural Commissioner's office. Currently we are waiving the $10 registration fee for Apiary Registrations. Registrations must be renewed before January 1st for the following year.
Updating your Registration
You must UPDATE your registration information on BeeWhere within 72 hours if you:
- change the number of colonies at one of your apiary locations
- relocate your colony to a DIFFERENT area in the SAME county
- relocate your colony to a DIFFERENT county
- relocate your colony to a DIFFERENT state
Unless your apiary is at your residence, apiaries are required to be marked.
1) Name of the owner or person responsible for the apiary
2) Address (city and state)
3) Phone number
Markings can be placed on a sign at the entrance of the apiary or mark one hive per pallet. The markings must be in a dark color on a contrasting color background with letters no less than one inch in height.
Grower/Pesticide Applicator Responsibilites - BeeChecks
If pesticides toxic to bees are applied to blossoming plants, it is the grower/pesticide applicator's responsibility to notify beekeepers with hives within a 1 mile radius of the application site, with 2 days notice. Contact information for beekeepers with nearby hives can be found using the BeeWhere program by doing a BeeCheck. There is a BeeCheck Quick Start Guide for more information. Please note that colony locations are not revealed during this process, only contact information for the beekeeper with colonies within one mile of the application site is provided.
Notifications must include the date, time, application site, crop agreage, method of application, pesticide, and pesticide dosage.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources - Bees in the Neighborhood: Best Practices for Urban Beekeepers - Best Practices
Our department does not remove bee swarms. If you have a swarm of HONEY BEES in your yard that you would like removed, please check this list of local beekeepers put together by the Beekeepers' Guild of San Mateo County - swarm removal list. If they are ground nesting yellowjackets, please contact San Mateo County Mosquito & Vector Control District and Request Service.
American Foulbrood (AFB)
American Foulbrood was confirmed in San Mateo County in 2019. This highly contagious and destructive honey bee brood disease has no cure and is easily spread. Click here for more information.