Resources for Tennessee beekeepers

The Tennessee Beekeepers Association’s objectives include the promotion of modern, scientific beekeeping throughout Tennessee, encouragement of youth in the art of beekeeping, and informing the public of the importance of the honey bee.

Beekeeper of the Year and Life Membership awards. Since its inception, the TBA has annually recognized two beekeepers for their outstanding contributions to beekeeping in Tennessee.  The Beekeeper of the Year award is given in recognition of a member’s service and participation in their local association(s) and the TBA during the previous year.  The Life Membership award is given in recognition of a member’s service and participation in their local association(s) and the TBA over the course of their lifetime. Nominations are evaluated and voted on by the TBA board of directors during their fall meeting.

Nomination forms can be downloaded here (.doc format):
Beekeeper of the Year
Life Membership

Michael Studer

Michael Studer
is Tennessee’s state apiarist. Contact Michael for colony inspection, entry permits, moving colonies, pollination list, apiary registration, County or Area Beekeeping Associations Apiary Inspection Grants and other regulatory issues.

Visit the TDA website to register your apiaries and to request apiary inspections.

Jennifer Tsuruda

Jennifer Tsuruda is Assistant Professor of Entomology and Plant Pathology with the University Of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture. She serves as our state apiculturist and is responsible for the Tennessee Master Beekeeping program.

Several free publications are available online from the University of Tennessee:

  • Beekeeping in Tennessee
    Comprehensive beekeeping pub covers everything from getting started to managing for pests.
  • Preparing for Honey Bee Emergencies in Tennessee
    Guidelines for Emergency Personnel to Subdue Honey Bees
  • The Small Hive Beetle – A New Pest of Honey Bees
  • Tracheal Mites in Tennessee: Parasites of the Honey Bee
  • Using Terramycin for the Prevention of American Foulbrood

The Tennessee Beekeepers Association is a state-chartered non-profit organization.

We are governed by a set of bylaws which you can review here (PDF file).

Tennessee laws affecting beekeepers are collected under the title “Tennessee Apiary Act of 1995” which can be found under “Title 44 Animals And Animal Husbandry” of the Tennessee Code Unannotated. These laws can be viewed online thanks to LexisNexis

One of the most commonly referenced pieces of Tennessee law is referred to as the Honey House Bill. In short, a beekeeper who produces less than 150 gallons of honey per year can package and sell his/her product in retail stores without the requirement of an inspected food kitchen. You can review details here (PDF file).  

While most beekeepers in Tennessee legally bottle honey under the Tennessee Apiary Act, some may wish to build a “honey house” to process their honey harvest. The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has prepared a document detailing what is required for constructing a honey house under the state’s regulations.  You can download it here: HONEY SANITATION REQUIREMENTS, 6-11-08 (pdf file)

The 2024 Local Association Flex Funding form is available as a fillable pdf. Click here to download it now. Please remember that the form and receipts should be returned to your regional Vice Presidents who will submit them to the TBA treasurer for reimbursement.