Beekeeping in CO info

There are a ton of beekeeping resources available on the internet, social media, and books. Like you, we are avid readers and love to learn as much as we can about beekeeping and all the different activities associated. We have compiled a short list of resources that we think will be beneficial.

Colorado Parks & Wildlife Resources:

Game Damage Program:

Fencing with Wildlife in Mind:

Apiary 8X8 Manual:

Colorado State University Publications:

Integrated Hive Management for Colorado Beekeepers

Dr. Arathi Seshadri and Thia Walker

Strategies for Identifying and Mitigating Pests and Diseases Affecting Colorado’s Honey Bees

 Colorado State University Fact Sheets:

Creating Pollinator Habitat – 5.616:

Attracting Native Bees to Your Landscape – 5.615:

Feeding Honey Bees In Colorado – 5.622:

 Colorado Cottage food safety training:

In 2012, the Colorado legislature enacted the Colorado Cottage Foods Act, allowing limited types of food products that are non-potentially hazardous (do not require refrigeration for safety) to be sold directly to consumers without licensing or inspections.

Fact sheet:

Colorado-Cottage-Foods-Act-Fact-Sheet-PDF (

An unofficial copy of the entire Act is available, with recent changes indicated with CAPITALIZED LETTERS.

CTF_REG_FinalAct DistCopy_2016_EN - Google Drive

 The Colorado Bee and Bee Products Act

The Colorado Bee and Bee Products Act was originally adopted in 1963. Between 1963 and 1987, the purpose of the Bee Act and its associated Rules was to inspect beehives statewide for bee diseases and to prevent the spread of bee diseases* from one apiary to another. CDA required destruction of diseased beehives. Prior to 1985, inspections were made randomly, except for those beekeepers requesting an inspection in order to get certification for out-of-state shipment of their bees.

In the mid-1980s the Bee Inspection program switched from State funding (taxpayer/General fund) to self-funding via registration/licensing fees. Legislative mandates required that this program, along with several other state regulatory programs, become self-funded. In 1987 the Bee Advisory committee began advocating for the decrease in registration fees, and the beekeeper inspection program began operating on a very limited basis. Routine inspections were discontinued in 1987. The number of licensed beekeepers decreased from 380 in 1987 to 12 in 1988. Finally, in 1990 the registration fees were eliminated and the program has been unfunded ever since.

The Colorado Pollinator Workgroup

The Colorado Pollinator Workgroup consists of representation from commercial pesticide applicators, beekeepers, county land managers, Colorado State University, pesticide registrants, EPA, CDA and other interested stakeholders.

The Colorado Pollinator Workgroup's mission is to:

Establish open communication between the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Beekeeping Associations, Pesticide Applicators and other identified stakeholders to clarify and communicate: existing practices being used by all stakeholders to prevent pollinator decline, updates on research, updates in new equipment and practices, identify existing communication paths between all stakeholders, identify areas for improved communication and identify new ways for communication.

The following document, Operational Guidelines to Avoid Pesticide Related Bee Kills for Aerial Applicators and Beekeepers, was originally developed by Aerial applicators and beekeeping associations in the 90's. The Colorado Pollinator Workgroup, which was established in May 2011, updated this document in 2012. Many of the application and communication guidelines recommended here, although directed toward aerial applicators and beekeepers in this document, can be applied to all pesticide application situations. The CDA encourages all pesticide applicators and beekeepers to communicate and work together when pesticide applications need to occur in close proximity to known apiary sites.

Pollinator Protection Bees

There are hundreds of species of native bees in Colorado as well as several thousand hives of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) managed commercially and by hobby beekeepers across the state. All of these species, as well as butterflies, moths, flies, hummingbirds and others, are very important pollinators of native and non-native crop and landscape plants.

All pollinators are facing threats from complex interacting factors. Managed honey bees (Apis mellifera) are facing threats from increased disease and mite parasites, lack of genetic diversity, habitat loss due to the expansion of urban landscapes and crop monoculture, stress due to the transport of commercial hives to California to pollinate almonds and environmental toxins including pesticides.

The Colorado Departmentof Agriculture supports the use of integrated hive management to promote proper hive hygiene, mite and disease management, regulates the proper use of pesticides and promotes improved habitat for all pollinators (formerly called DriftWatch) Pesticide Sensitive View for Applicators

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has recently entered into a cooperative agreement with Purdue University to implement the DriftWatch Pesticide Sensitive Viewer program in the State of Colorado. What is DriftWatch you may ask?

DriftWatch was designed in 2008 by staff from the Purdue University Agricultural and Biological Engineering and Agricultural Communications departments with input and support from Purdue University Cooperative Extension Specialists. This year, with the help of EPA funding, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has now implemented DriftWatch in the State of Colorado.

DriftWatch was developed to help pesticide applicators, specialty crop growers and stewards of at-risk habitats to communicate more effectively to protect pesticide-sensitive areas. DriftWatch is not intended to be a registry for homeowners or sites less than half an acre of agriculture production.

The site features an easy-to-use Google Map interface that clearly shows applicators the locations of registered areas so they can take the appropriate precautions and if need be communicate with a DriftWatch participant before they spray.

Some of the sensitive crop areas, or data layers, that CDA intends to register in Colorado include beehives, certified organic crops, fruits, grapes, nursery crops, pumpkins, melons, tomatoes and vegetables. The Department will review and consider adding additional sensitive sites upon request by growers or applicators.

Registration is voluntary and simple. For agricultural producers, it involves going to the Colorado DriftWatch site, which will be accessible through the Driftwatch organization or through CDA's website, where they will be directed how to register their field sites, commodity and contact information. When commercial applicators register they will designate the area within the state they perform work, which will allow them to see DriftWatch participants located within that area. Applicators can also receive an e-mail notifying them of newly registered growers in their designated area.

The Colorado Driftwatch program is up and running! The Department would be happy to speak to your Association members to provide an overview of the Driftwatch program and answer any questions you may have. You may contact John Scott at 303-869-9056if you have any questions or to request a formal presentation of Driftwatch.

Recommended Trade Journals

American Bee Journal

Bee Culture

Regional Organizations:

Colorado State Beekeepers Association (CSBA): Colorado State Beekeepers Association organized in 1880 (

National Organizations:

American Association of Professional Apiculturists (AAPA)

American Beekeeping Federation (ABF)

American Honey Producers Association (AHPA)

American Honey Show Training Council

Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA)

Bee Informed Partnership (BIP)

Eastern Apiculture Society

Heartland Apicultural Society

Honey Bee Health Coalition

National Honey Board

Pollinator Partnership

Project Apis m

Western Apicultural Society


National Master Beekeeper Programs

Alabama Master Beekeepers Program

California Master Beekeeper Program

Cornell University Master Beekeeper Program

Eastern Apiculture Society Master Beekeeper Program

UF/IFAS Master Beekeeper Program

Georgia Master Beekeeper Program

Great Plains Master Beekeeping Program

North Carolina State University Advanced Courses

Oregon Master Beekeeper Program

Tennessee Master Beekeeping Program

Texas Master Beekeeper Program

University of Montana Master Beekeeper Program

Washington Master Beekeepers Program


Online Recommended Resources:

Scientific Beekeeping:

University of Nebraska – Lincoln Entomology Department:

Bees and Honey: Creating Pollinator Gardens:

Bee Informed - Rob Snyder:

School Research Project - Olivia: