State Beekeeping Facts

There are over 200,000 beekeepers in the United States. Every state has honeybees... and beekeepers! 







Scroll down to find out more about honey, bees, and beekeeping in your state. They are listed alphabetically.




  • ALABAMA: A common varietal of honey in Alabama is cotton honey. Cotton honey is a light colored honey with a light, delicate flavor. Honey bees also pollinate cotton plants, helping to produce the material necessary to make many articles of clothing. Next time you pull on your favorite t-shirt, you can thank the bees!
  • ALASKA: It is common in Alaska for beekeepers to raise a new colony of honey bees each spring instead of trying to keep their colony alive over winter. 
  • ARIZONA: Although the climate can be very desert-like, Arizona contains several flowering plants that provide excellent nectar sources for honey including acacia, mesquite, and catsclaw. In the fall, bees also gather nectar from sources such as daisies, poppies, Indian buckwheat, and burrow weed.
  • ARKANSAS: Arkansas’ state flower is the apple blossom which needs the honey bee, Arkansas’ state insect, for pollination.
  • CALIFORNIA: California is the world’s largest almond producer. Every year, migratory beekeepers truck thousands of colonies of honey bees to California to pollinate the almond crop. The crop requires more than twice as many colonies as are already in California to be shipped in just for pollination! California also has the standing record for honey production. In 1976, Ormond R. Aebi of Santa Cruz extracted 404 lbs. from a single hive, setting a Guinness World Record.
  • COLORADO: In Aurora, Colorado you must have a 6 foot high fence around your honey bees if they are within 25 feet of a house. 
  • CONNECTICUT: Connecticut produces many different natural varietals of honey such as blueberry, raspberry, wildflower, and buckwheat. There are over 300 varieties of honey in the US and over 3,000 varieties in the world. The nectar source that the honey was made from affects the color, flavor, and aroma of the honey. With so many different varieties, there is one for every occasion!
  • DELAWARE: The Delaware State Beekeepers Association was founded in 1936. 
  • FLORIDA: In 2012, Florida was the 3rd highest honey producing state at 12,736,000 pounds of honey.
  • GEORGIA: There is a long standing state regulation that it is illegal to make beekeeping illegal in Georgia! One of Georgia’s most important crops, peaches, is pollinated by honey bees!
  • HAWAII: Honey bees have been in the state of Hawaii for over 150 years. Two of Hawaii’s biggest beekeeping specialties are honey production and queen breeding. Queen breeders are people who raise queen bees that are then sold to beekeepers to put in their hives. They play an important role in the beekeeping industry. Hawaii also produces some very unique varietals of honey including Lehua, Macadamia, Hawaiian Christmas Berry, and Wileaiki Blossom.
  • IDAHO: 
    The most important honey plant in Idaho is Alfalfa. Alfalfa honey is white or extra light amber in color with a fine flavor. 
  • ILLINOIS: Illinois has had honey bees since at least 1820. Honey bees are not native to America but were brought by early settlers in the 1600s. In 1863, the Charles Dadant family began selling honey and beeswax in local Illinois towns. Dadant and Sons is now a premier beekeeping company serving thousands of beekeepers across the nation.
  • INDIANA: In Indiana alone, honey bees produce over 609,000 pounds of honey per year. 
  • IOWA: The primary fruit produced in Iowa is the apple. Honey bees play a vital role in pollinating apples. A fully pollinated apple has ten fully developed seeds. Honey bees also collect nectar from apple blossoms along with the pollen. Apple blossom honey is a light amber color with a delicate, fruity flavor. 
  • KANSAS: The honey bee has been the state insect since 1976, and the Northeastern Kansas Beekeepers Association has been around since 1948. 
  • KENTUCKY: Kentucky is home to the famous horserace, the Kentucky Derby. What do horses have to do with honey bees? Honey bees collect pollen from flowers. They eat this pollen as a source of protein. It turns out that horses are sometimes fed this pollen as well, also as a source of protein. While it is important to consult a vet before feeding your horse pollen, it can help with conditioning, maintaining healthy blood cell count, and building up muscle.
  • LOUSIANA: You can buy a “save the honey bee” license plate in Louisiana to fund honey bee health research, and the honey bee is Louisiana’s state insect. 
  • MAINE: Across Maine, wild blueberries are grown on roughly 60,000 acres. Migratory beekeepers ship around 55,000 hives to Maine every year to pollinate the blueberry crop. Field studies indicate that one beehive could increase a single acre’s production by 1,000 pounds!
  • MARYLAND: Maryland now has a honey standard. If you buy honey in Maryland, it is pure and packaged to state standards.
  • MASSACHUSETTS: There are several unique varieties of honey in Massachusetts including alfalfa, apple blossom, blackberry, blueberry, buckwheat, goldenrod, and raspberry. The colors range from light golden to dark brown and the flavors range from delicate and light to robust and rich. Be sure to try them all!
  • MICHIGAN: Honey bees are important for pollination of blueberries in Michigan due to blueberries being one of Michigan’s top 10 cash crops.
  • MINNESOTA: The Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota has established a bee lab to help discover more about honey bees and their care. A honey bee’s most important job is pollination – passing pollen from flower to flower to fertilize them and help them produce fruits and vegetables. Honey bees pollinate nearly 1/3 of our diet and pollination is worth $19.2 billion annually to our national economy.
  • MISSISSIPPI: On average, one honey bee hive in Mississippi produces 98-105 pounds of honey per year, and the state produces about 1-1.5 million pounds of honey each year. 
  • MISSOURI: One of Missouri’s major crops is soybeans. In 2010, soybean crops were worth over $2.2 billion in Missouri alone. Honey bees are pollinators of soybeans. These small insects’ vital work makes an enormous impact on the state and the economy. 
  • MONTANA: White clover honey can be found in Montana, and the state ranks in the top ten states for honey production in the United States. 
  • NEBRASKA: There are around 40,000 beehives in the state of Nebraska. Beekeeping is an all-inclusive industry. Everyone from young children to seniors can play an active role in helping the honey bees. A great way to help the honey bees is by planting bee friendly plants such as herbs or clover. Another great way to help is to support local beekeepers by buying local honey. Finally, consider beekeeping yourself! Beekeeping can be done on any level, whether for fun or as a career.
  • NEVADA: Honey bee pollination allows Nevada’s leading cash crop, Alfalfa, to grow.  
  • NEW HAMPSHIRE: There are many varieties of honey available in New Hampshire such as alfalfa, apple blossom, blackberry buckwheat, goldenrod, raspberry, and wildflower. This honey is extremely valuable. It takes a worker bee her entire lifetime to produce just 1/12 teaspoon of honey. Next time you enjoy one of the many varietals of honey, thank a honey bee!  
  • NEW JERSEY: Black locust honey is one type of unique honey that honey bees produce in New Jersey.
  • NEW MEXICO: Although much of New Mexico’s climate is desert-like, there are many plants that are pollinated by honey bees. Whether visiting New Mexico olive, golden crownbeard, firewheel, or Emory’s baccharis, honey bees play a vital role in the fertilization of plants through pollination.
  • NEW YORK: In New York, beehives are often kept on the rooftops of restaurants and other buildings. 
  • NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina is a vibrant place for beekeeping. With roughly 13,000 beekeepers and around 100,000 hives, the states crops such as cucumbers, strawberries, watermelons, squash, and peppers will have the pollination help they need!
  • NORTH DAKOTA: In 2012, North Dakota was the top honey producing state with 34,115,000 pounds of honey produced worth $64,553,000. 
  • OHIO: Ohio is home to the Lithopolis Honeyfest  - an annual honey festival established to help further education about the beekeeping industry, increase the consumption of honey, and to raise awareness about the importance of honey bees for crop pollination. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by - it is always a “sweet” event!
  • OKLAHOMA: Wildflower is a popular flavor of honey in Oklahoma. The flavor of the honey depends on the nectar of the flower the honey bee foraged. 
  • OREGON: If you own more than 5 honey bee colonies in Oregon, they must be registered with the state.
  • PENNSYLVANIA: The 2011 and 2012 American Honey Queens were both from Pennsylvania. The American Honey Queen Program was started in 1959 with the intent to promote beekeeping and the use of honey. We have that same intent today and have a goal to travel to all 50 states this year!
  • RHODE ISLAND:  Apples, one of the main crops produced in Rhode Island, are dependent on honey bee pollination. 
  • SOUTH CAROLINA: Tobacco is a large crop produced in South Carolina. Tobacco has been used for smoking for centuries. Beekeepers also use smoke to help calm the bees and prevent them from getting stung while taking care of their hives. 
  • SOUTH DAKOTA: South Dakota ranked second in honey production in 2012, and the honey bee is their state insect.
  • TENNESSEE: There are 37 local beekeeping organizations in Tennessee. Joining a local beekeeping organization is a great way to start learning about beekeeping and if it is right for you.
  • TEXAS: Mesquite honey, a distinctive yet delicately sweet honey, is commonly found in Texas. 
  • UTAH: Utah is the beehive state! Did you know that bees naturally form the hexagonal shaped cells inside of their hive? It is one of the strongest shapes in nature and the bees always build it diagonally at a 9-13 degree angle!
  • VERMONT: Clover honey is popular in Vermont, and clover blossoms need honey bee pollination.
  • VIRGINIA: A big crop that bees pollinate in Virginia is watermelon. Did you know it takes 12 bees their entire lifetime to make just 1 teaspoon of honey? That’s a lot of work!
     
  • WASHINGTON: Carrot honey is an uncommon honey that can be found in Washington State.

  • WASHINGTON D.C.: In 2009, beehives were introduced at the White House. Today, the bees are kept on top of a large stand to make sure the President’s dog doesn’t get into them.
  • WEST VIRGINIA: West Virginia produces several varities of honey including basswood, tulip poplar, autumn olive, and goldenrod. There are many different forms of honey available including liquid honey, cut comb honey, chunk honey, and creamed honey. These many forms and flavors make honey an extremely versatile product!
  • WISCONSIN: In Wisconsin, beekeepers can apply to have their honey certified as pure and use “Wisconsin certified honey” on their packaging.
  • WYOMING: There are roughly 48,000 colonies of bees in Wyoming, with each colony producing an average of 66 pounds of honey. Beekeepers within this state often work throughout the nation, serving the beekeeping industry at large by providing pollination services across the US.