The State of Illinois regulates beekeeping in the ways described below.
Regulation of bees and beekeeping is primarily done by the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s Bees and Apiaries Program.
Illinois has is a very large state so the state is divided into districts and each district is assigned a part time inspector.
Bees and Apiaries Act – This act requires beekeepers to register their colonies with the state. There is no cost of registration. The registration is used to keep track of the number of beehives in the state and each county. It also allows each inspector for each district to know where the colonies are in his or her area so they can easily respond to disease related issues.
Illinois has some rules with regard to the registration, inspection, and containment of diseases within the state.
Illinois also has a honey house exemption law under SB2959. Passed in 2010, this bill Amends the Illinois Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Criminal Code of 1961 to include in the definition of “raw agricultural commodity”, honey that is in the comb or that is removed from the comb and in an unadulterated condition. This allows unadulterated honey to be extracted in a “honey house” of the beekeepers choosing so long as standard practices of cleanliness are followed. These rules apply to beekeepers harvesting less than 500 gallons of honey per year.
Illinois beekeepers are very fortunate to have knowledgeable inspectors and a state the welcomes beekeeping operations in all sizes.