No matter where you are looking for beekeeping supplies in Montana, we’ve got you covered.
Currently, there are approximately 650 registered beekeepers in Montana, producing almost 15 million pounds of honey each year.
The state’s honey production has doubled in the past 40 years, making Montana the nation’s number 2 honey producer.
Some beekeeping operations in Montana may have as many as 30,000 colonies of bees.
Pollination fees alone bring in more than $6 million a year to the state. This does not include the income from honey production.
Two of the most popular honeys in Montana include buckwheat and orange blossom.
Typical beekeeper supplies needed in Montana 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 Montana State Beekeepers Association.
Where to buy bees and nucs in Montana?
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 Montana:
- Beekeepers of the Bitterroot
- Big Sky Beekeepers
- Bozeman Natural Beekeepers
- Gallatin Valley Bee Keepers
- Helena MT Area Beekeepers
Beekeeping in Montana
The Montana Department of Agriculture regulates the apiary industry.
Montana Beekeeping Laws
The types of beekeeping registrations in Montana are:
- Commercial: Commercial yards must be at least 3 miles from another commercial apiary site operated by a different beekeeper. Commercial yards must also have at least 10 hives present from April 15 – October 15 for 10 consecutive days.
- Landowner: Landowner yards are able to register any number of hives at the location. However, the apiary must be managed by the landowner.
- Hobbyist: A hobbyist yard is defined by a beekeeper who has ten or less hives and may have no more than two apiary locations.
- Pollination: Pollination yards are provisional locations registered for pollination of a specific commercial seed, fruit, or other commercial agricultural product. They are only valid for the specified amount of time that a crop is in peak bloom.
Here is a link for online application forms to register bee hives or apiaries.
The beekeeping laws in Montana can vary, depending on which city or county you reside or keep bees.
Why are there so many beehives in Montana?
As one of the top honey-producing states, Montana has an ideal habitat for beekeeping.
With a diverse landscape of wildflowers, flowering crops and weeds, coupled with warm summer days and cool nights, Montana is an excellent place to raise bees.
Can you raise bees in Montana?
There are many beekeeping resources available from the Montana Department of Agriculture. Montana is a leading state for honey production and honeybees are regulated.
Beekeeper registration must be paid to the Department of Agriculture by April 1 annually.
What Are the Main Kinds of Honey Produced in Montana?
A diverse range of flowers sources are available to honeybees in Montana.
The main types of honey produced in Montana include:
- Sweet Clover Honey
- White Clover Honey
- Alfalfa Honey
Are there killer bees in Montana?
No, Montana does not have a habitat that is suitable for Africanized honey bees.