Kentucky Proud

Honey Bees

2017 Fall Updates:

Morehead State University associate professor Jen O’Keefe, Ph.D., will speak on honey analysis as headline speaker of the Kentucky State Beekeepers Association (KSBA) Fall Meeting Nov. 4 at the Christian County Cooperative Extension Office, 2850 Pembroke Road, Hopkinsville, 42240.

Her topic will be “Honey Typing: How does it work, and what are our bees eating?” A Black Jar honey contest will be judged by Tana Peers. Participants are asked to bring a jar of their honey, painted black with no identifiers whatsoever. The jar can be very small - a baby jar or two-ounce jar is fine. The black-jar requirement ensures the honey will be judged without bias.

Also at the meeting, the 2017 Kentucky Beekeeper of the Year will be announced (nominations remain open through Oct. 15), and 2018 KSBA officers will be elected. Comfort Suites in Hopkinsville has made a block of rooms at a discounted rate of $79 plus tax if booked by Oct. 27. The rooms would be available beginning Friday, Nov. 3. When booking, specify you are with the KSBA group.

Comfort Suites, 210 Harvey Way, Hopkinsville, 42240. (270) 985-1101, extension 0.

USDA Resumes Honey Bee Diagnostic Services

Kentucky Honey

A joint collaboration between the Bee Informed Partnership, the USDA-ARS Bee Research Laboratory and USDA-APHIS has been established in the short term to primarily provide for the diagnostics of honey bee brood for American foulbrood (and other brood) disease. We will also offer other pest and disease diagnostics for a nominal fee. Please see below for additional details including cost and shipping. As before, diagnostic reports will be transmitted to the individual submitting the samples and to the appropriate apiary inspectors.

Thank you for your patience and we are very happy to provide this service while we await full staffing of the USDA-ARS Disease Diagnostic Service. For more information click here.

Standard Operating Procedures for Reporting a Pesticide Kill to Division of Environmental Services

    If you suspect a hive has been impacted by pesticide applications, please adhere to the following standard operating procedures that KY Dept. of AGR maintains when collecting samples:

  • First, after beginning a routine inspection, if you suspect that a hive has been impacted by chemicals, go no further and put the hive back together. Leave the area alone and immediately contact KY Dept. of AGR inspectors to arrange a meeting at the following numbers: 1.502.573.0282 or 1.866.289.0001.
  • Do not take samples. The KY Dept. of AGR inspectors cannot accept samples of bees collected prior to their investigation.
  • The investigator will take a statement from the beekeeper about the possible hive-contamination event. It would assist in the process if the beekeeper has supporting evidence such as photographs of the impacted hive before the chemical spray, video footage, pictures of actual spraying, etc. These items are not mandatory, but highly recommended.
  • As part of preparing a statement, the beekeeper should have the contact information of their neighbors and suspected sources of contamination, the types of plants in bloom in neighboring fields, where potential water sources may be, date of alleged chemical sprays, as well as any information that can help the inspector assess the situation. Being able to brief the KY Dept. of AGR inspector with this information expedites the process of recording a statement.
  • Since inspectors may not be beekeepers, beekeepers should have an extra jacket, a smoker, and be willing to collect samples if the inspectors are either allergic or apprehensive about working a beehive.

KSBA Officers

Hive and Apiary Inspections

The State Apiarist's Office provides free hive and apiary inspections for Kentucky beekeepers. The State Apiarist will inspect apiaries and hives for the presence of honeybee diseases and pests. Specimens for laboratory examination will be collected if needed. After the inspection the beekeeper will be provided a written report listing any diseases, pests or other problems found and a listing of remedies for correcting these problems. (See The Importance of Late Summer/Early Fall Inspections).

General Policy for Apiary and Hive Inspections:

  • Beekeeper must be present during requested inspections.
  • Beekeeper will open hives and remove frames for inspections.
  • Attempt will be made to conduct inspections as soon as possible after request but inspection dates and times subject to State Apiarist's schedule.

To schedule an apiary and hive inspection, or for more information about this service contact our office.

Grant opportunities

Start here to find grants that will help you get your beekeeping operation off the ground or take it to the next level.

Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund investment area guidelines

Kentucky Proud programs


Bee-friendly wildflowers

Here's a sample plan to show you how affordable it is to raise a bee-friendly wildflower garden.

From Shannon Trimboli, the KSBA Webmaster:

Our KSBA webpage webmaster suggests that an officer of each local beekeeping association check their clubs local listing. If the listing is correct, it should be correct on the Kentucky local association map. These links may also be reached by going to

If the local association listing needs to be updated, please send an email to Shannon Trimboli, the webmaster at, with the updated information. All requests MUST come from a local association officer.  If your association is not listed, please send Shannon the needed information, and she will create a listing for your group.  Shannon suggests you look at other association listings to see what in-formation is needed.

Kentucky Beekeeping Association Listing and Contacts

Kentucky's beekeeping associations are a great source of beekeeping information and assistance for Kentucky beekeepers. Beekeeping associations hold regularly scheduled meetings and other activities. Contact the individual beekeeping associations for more information (see individual listings below). Please check this page often for more information as we will update regularly.

Statewide Beekeeping Association Kentucky State Beekeeping Association (KSBA)
KSBA is a statewide organization dedicated to the promotion of honeybees and beekeeping and to providing a forum for training in the art of beekeeping and the production of honey. The association publishes a bimonthly newsletter, and holds three beekeeping conferences each year.

List of Major Beekeeper Suppliers*

This is a listing of beekeeping equipment suppliers that Kentucky beekeepers often do business with*. If you know of a beekeeing supply company that you think should be added to this list, please contact the State Apiarist with the name and contact information for the company. Kentucky locations in italics!
Beekeeper Suppliers
From the Kentucky State University Honey bee Lab
The Kentucky Master Beekeeping Program

Developed and directed by Thomas C. Webster, Kentucky State University
The Master Beekeeping program is designed toward two objectives: to help experienced beekeepers become more successful, and to serve Kentucky beekeeping.

This is a listing of beekeeping equipment suppliers that Kentucky beekeepers often do business with*. If you know of a beekeeing supply company that you think should be added to this list, please contact the State Apiarist with the name and contact information for the company. Kentucky locations in italics!
Betterbee, Inc.
8 Meader Road
Greenwich, NY 12834
Phone: 1-800-632-3379 (toll free)
Brushy Mountain Bee Farm
610 Bethany Church Rd.
Moravian Falls, NC 28654
Phone: 1-800-233-7929 (toll free)
Clearbranch Bee Supply
9390 Old Ky. 15
Pine Ridge, Ky. 41360
Owner: Michael Tyra
Phone: 606-663-4129)
Website: We make wooden ware in 8 and 10 frame sizes including shallow, medium., and deep frames, we also supply foundation. Will ship any where in the U.S.A.
Dadant & Sons, Inc. - Frankfort, KY Branch
Branch Manager: Clay Guthrie
955 Chenault Road, Building D
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: 1-888-922-3268 (toll free)
Jack and James Apiaries
1678 Sycamore Drive
Union, Kentucky 41091
(859) 620-3174
Web Site:
Mann Lake Supply
501 s. 1st Street
Hackensack, MN 56452
Phone: 1-800-233-6663 (toll free)
Miller Bee Supply Inc.
496 Yellow Banks Road
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
Phone: 888-848-5184 (toll free)
Simpson's Bee Supply
15642 Tiger Valley RD
Danville, Ohio  43014
Phone: (740) 599-7914 or (740) 393-2111
The Honey & Bee Connection
80 Emory Branch Rd.
Morehead, KY40351
Owners Jim & Greg Coss
Phone: 606-784-3108
Cell: 606- 207-7785
Web Site:
Rossman Apiaries Inc.
GA Hwy 33 North   P. O. Box 909
Moultrie, Georgia 31776-0909
Phone: 1-800-333-7677 (toll free)
Walter T. Kelley Co., Inc.
807 West Main Street
Clarkson, KY 42726-0240
Phone: 1-800- 233-2899 (toll free)
*(The Kentucky Department of Agriculture does not endorse or guarantee any product or producer listed on this site.  External links are provided as a service to consumers seeking information about beekeeping equipment.  Efforts are made to promote news and consumer choices about beekeeping equipment, but the Kentucky Department of Agriculture makes no representation or guarantee as to the company or products.)

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