No matter where you are looking for beekeeping supplies in California, we’ve got you covered.
California has been rated the Best State for Beekeeping in the US. It is also ranked number 3 for honey production in the US.
In California, there are about 500,000 honey bee colonies, which represents 10% of bees in the US, producing approximately 9.6 million pounds of honey each year.
Honey production has risen by more than 30% in the past few years in California.
Pollination services enable the California honey industry to thrive, attracting beekeepers from Florida and New York.
Two of the most popular honeys in California include buckwheat and orange blossom.
Typical beekeeper supplies needed in California include:
The most popular bee hive in the US is the 10-frame Langstroth hive, originally patented in 1852. This hive, for over 170 years, has been the industry standard.
The hive components include:
- Hive body
- Bottom board
- Honey super
- Inner cover
- Hive cover
Beekeeper Protective Clothing
The most common protective gear for beekeepers include:
Canvas bee jackets and ventilated bee jackets are available.
Many times, you can purchase a combo pack of a bee suit and bee gloves at a discount.
Please note: Your beekeeping suit or beekeeping jacket should come with a veil included.
Beekeeping Equipment and Tools
Here is a list of some common beekeeping tools:
- Hive tool
- Hive smoker
- Queen marker
- Bee Brush
- Hive feeder
- Entrance reducer
The state association is the California State Beekeepers Association.
Where to buy bees and nucs in California?
One of the best places to purchase queen bees, packaged bees and nucleus hives (nucs) is your local bee club.
Here is a list of local bee clubs in California:
|Alameda County Beekeepers Association|
|Beekeepers Association of Southern CaliforniaBeekeepers of Napa Valley|
|Beekeepers’ Guild of San Mateo County|
|Central Valley Beekeepers|
|Delta Bee Club|
|Gilroy Beekeepers Association|
|Honey Love Urban Beekeepers|
|Humboldt County Beekeepers Association|
|Klamath Basin Beekeepers AssociationLompoc Valley Beekeepers Association|
|Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association|
|Marin County Beekeepers Club|
|Mount Diablo Beekeepers Association|
|Nevada County Beekeepers AssociationOjai Valley Bee ClubOrange County Beekeepers Association|
|Sacramento Area Beekeepers AssociationSan Diego Beekeeping Society|
|San Francisco Beekeepers Association Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association|
|Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers GuildShasta Beekeepers Association|
|Sierra Foothill Beekeepers Association|
|Sonoma County Beekeepers AssociationSouth Valley Bee Club|
Beekeeping in California
The California Food and Agricultural Code regulates the apiary industry.
California Beekeeping Laws
Every person that is the owner or is in possession of an apiary which is located within the state, on the first day of January of each year, shall register the number of colonies in each apiary which is owned by the person and the location of each apiary.
The beekeeping laws in California can vary, depending on which city or county you reside or keep bees.
Why are there so many beehives in California?
California is a top 5 honey-producing state. The diverse climate in California is ideal for honey bees.
What kind of honey is produced in California?
There are a variety of flower sources for honey bees in California. Two of the most popular kinds of honey include wildflower and orange blossom.
Are bees considered livestock in California?
Under California law, bees are considered livestock.
Do you need a license to sell honey in California?
A Class A permit is required if you sell direct to consumers only.
Selling Honey in California
Cottage Food Operators in California must specifically meet the following requirements:
- Register with the local Environmental Health Agency
- Only market cottage foods on the approved food list through either indirect and/or direct sales to consumers
- Complete a food processor training course
- Implement sanitary food preparation operations
- Create compliant labels
- Operate within established annual gross sales limit
- Cottage Food Operators will also have to obtain approval from their local planning department, which might have other requirements.
Allowable products under the Cottage Food Law include:
- Honey: plain, pure, and simple in all its varieties, liquid, comb, whipped, flavored
- Baked goods with honey
- Fruit preserves, jams, and jellies with honey
- Nuts, dried fruit, and fruit leathers made with honey
- All Cottage Food Operations must be registered or permitted by the local environmental health agency before starting business.
- Class A Cottage Food Operators may sell honey goods at farmers markets, roadside stands, and Community Supported Agriculture programs directly to customers.
- Class B Cottage Food Operators may also sell to retailers.
- A Class A Cottage Food Operators will get a higher price for each product, but will also incur higher marketing costs than when selling wholesale.
All food made by a Cottage Food Operator must be labeled properly with an approved label which states “made in a home kitchen” in 12 point type, along with a descriptive name of the product, the contact information and location of the Cottage Food Operator, the permit/registration number, an ingredient list in descending order of weight, the net quantity in English units and metric units, and a declaration of food allergens.
In addition, honey must meet the California Food and Agriculture Code covering quality, packaging and labeling.
Is beekeeping legal in Los Angeles?
Yes. In 2015, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to allow residents to keep beehives in their backyards.
Buzz Beekeeping Supplies is proud to offer quality beekeeping supplies to beekeepers in California and throughout the 50 states.