Honey bees have always played a vital role in agriculture and as such the department
has overseen their inspection since House Bill 28 was approved on April 21, 1904.
This 111 year history has evolved as agriculture has evolved and changed across the
state. Honey bees not only provide honey but are a vital source of pollination for
many of the fruit and vegetable crops grown in Ohio such as apples, melons, cucumbers,
and pumpkins. They are also used to pollinate seed crops such as sunflower and canola.
The Apiary Program coordinates the state and county inspection services that help to ensure
a healthy beekeeping industry. In 2015, 4,838 beekeepers registered in accordance with Ohio
Revised Code section 909.02 which represents 6,571 apiaries, and an estimated 36,235 colonies.
The Apiary Program works with several national groups and the USDA in providing samples for
the study of Colony Collapse Disorder which caused massive colony deaths in various parts of
the nation, including Ohio.