Apiary (Beekeeping) Inspections

​​​In Wisconsin, beekeepers are not required to register their honey bee colonies. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has an apiary program coordinator and two seasonal apiary inspectors available during the beekeeping season to provide inspections.

The Apiary Program offers free, voluntary colony inspections to all Wisconsin beekeepers from approximately May through October. An inspection can help diagnose pest and disease issues (including sending samples to external laboratories for molecular diagnostics, as needed, if resources allow), test for varroa mites, provide management advice, and more. Please note that inspection dates/times are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.

To schedule an apiary inspection, consult the apiary inspector territory map below and contact the apiary inspector of the county where your honey bee colonies are located. The apiary inspector will work with you to schedule a time to visit your apiary. You can also email DATCPapiary@wisconsin.gov or call the State Apiarist at (608) 807- 6589 and they will connect you with an apiary inspector. 

Beekeepers should be present at the inspection to discuss hive history and to potentially assist with lifting hive bodies. If you have more than one colony, a percentage of colonies ​within the apiary will be inspected for varroa mites, virus and disease symptoms, and exotic pests.​

Apiary inspector

Are you a beekeeper with eight or more colonies and interested in expanding the dataset for honey bee health surveillance? Consider participating in the National Honey Bee Survey (NHBS). Wisconsin's apiary program has been voluntarily participating in the NHBS since 2011. This survey, which yields important scientific baseline data, is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in collaboration with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS). It is primarily geared at establishing the absence of Apis cerana and the parasitic mite Tropilaelaps in the U.S., in order to safeguard crop pollination. Participating beekeepers volunteer to have their apiary inspected, and to have samples collected and processed by the University of Maryland. Participants later receive diagnostic data related to those samples. Contact DATCPapiary@wisconsin.gov to see if we can include your apiary in the NHBS.

​ ​

Migratory Beekeepers

If you need a Certificate of Apiary Inspection required to move your honey bees from Wisconsin to another state, schedule a colony inspection with one of our apiary inspectors. After the inspection, the State Apiarist will provide you with an invoice (if applicable) and issue your Certificate(s) of Apiary Inspection once all fees are paid and data are evaluated. A DATCP apiary inspection is free, but each apiary certificate costs $50. Most states require certification to import honey bee colonies. If you are moving honey bees or regulated honey bee materials (e.g., beekeeping byproducts or beekeeping equipment) into another state, verify the destination state's requirements with their local apiary inspection service. For migratory inspections, colonies must be accessible in the yard and not yet loaded on the truck.​​​


Brooke Nikkila-Sommerfeldt, Wisconsin State Apiarist / Apiary Program Coordinator
(608) 807-6589 (cell)
(608) 224-4656 (fax)

<< Back to main apiary page