Beekeeping (Apiary) Inspection Program
Throughout history, honey bees have played a vital role in agriculture. Along with producing honey, bees pollinate many of our fruit and vegetable crops. In Ohio, these include apples, melons, cucumbers and pumpkins. Nearly one-third of our diet benefits directly or indirectly from honey bee pollination.
Over 4,000 beekeepers were licensed throughout Ohio in 2011. This represents nearly 15,000 honey bee colonies. Most newer beekeepers are hobbyists - approximately 90% of Ohio beekeepeers have five hives or less. Although Ohio Revised Code requires that all active bee colonies be registered, countless beekeepers choose not to. This can pose a wide variety of issues and can jeopardize the health of our local bee population.
County Apiary Inspectors play a valuable role in protecting our local beekeeping industry. Along with identifying issues related to bee hive design and colony location, a trained inspector can help in identifying potential disease that could negatively impact, or even wipe out a honey bee colony. Currently, at least 19 viruses that negatively impact honey bees have been identified in the U.S. Mites and beetles can also harm a bee colony. Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a phenomenon in which worker bees seem to simply disappear, is also a major concern around the world.
Apiary Inspectors are the first line of defense against honey bee colony pests and diseases. They can also provide a great deal of information and guidance to beekeepers, whether they are novices or well versed in apiary management.
Anyone who owns or possesses bees in the State of Ohio is required to complete an annual registration application by July 1st. The application fee is only $5.00 - a small price to pay considering all of the benefits an Apiary Inspector can provide during an annual inspection.
To obtain additional program information or to schedule an appointment or inspection, please contact the Cuyahoga County Apiary Inspector, Richard A. Manley, directly at the phone numbers or e-mail address listed below. Please remember that apiary inspectors do not serve in the role of Commercial Pesticide Applicators. You should contact a USDA licensed pest control operator in response to a pest nuisance situation.
If you are interested in learning more about beekeeping, whether you're a beginner or advanced beekeeper, you can attend the Greater Cleveland Beekeepers Association's 3rd annual conference on May 11, 2013 being held at the Case Western Reserve University Farm. The link to an informational fact sheet that includes a list of speakers, agenda topics and conference details is provided below.
Beekeeping Links & Resources
Richard A. Manley
Cuyahoga County Apiary Inspector
Rick Novickis, RS, MPH
(216)201-2000 ext 1208