The honey bee is the official state agricultural insect. Honey bees perform a pollination function that is essential to the propagation of many species of plants in Tennessee. The mission of the Apiary program is to protect this valuable resource. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture maintains beekeeper registration files, works through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program to offer cost share opportunities and performs collaborative research and educational seminars with the University of Tennessee.
Healthy productive colonies of bees not only produce more honey, they also provide better pollination for our nations food supply. Proper pollination yields larger, more uniform shaped, marketable fruits and vegetables.
To receive apiary applications or a pollination list by mail, or for more in-depth information, call Michael Studer, State Apiarist, at 615-837-5342.
Imported Fire Ant Movement in Tennessee
The Beekeepers, who have registered their apiaries with TDA, in Tennessee counties that were quarantined for imported fire ants or adjacent to quarantined counties were sent a letter. The letter stated that beehives should be inspected for imported fire ants prior to movement and no ants should be moved with the hives (or any other items in contact with the ground) from quarantined areas to non-quarantined areas. A USDA booklet “Beekeepers: Don’t Transport Imported Fire Ants” was included with the letter. Copies of the booklet can be obtained from this office.