BISMARCK, N.D. (NewsDakota.com) – Beekeepers have started moving beehives into the state and are reminded to get landowner permission and register their hive locations with the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

Anyone keeping bees, even just one colony, needs to be licensed by the state and register their apiary locations, including those on their own property. Each location should also be identified with the beekeeper’s name, phone number and beekeeper ID number.

“North Dakota is the top honey-producing state in the nation, with more than 670,000 hives in the state,” Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said. “With 90 percent of the acreage in the state used for agriculture, there is a lot of room to place hives but spacing can sometimes be problematic.”

Managed bees and wild pollinators are important to U.S. agriculture, accounting for up to 30 percent of the food we eat. Although not completely dependent on insect pollination, crops such as canola, dry edible beans, buckwheat and sunflowers have been shown to greatly benefit from bee pollination.

Landowners that have concerns about beehive placement should contact Samantha Brunner at 701-328-4765 or sbrunner@nd.gov.

Those wanting to view a map of registered locations, create a beekeeper account, register apiary locations or apply for a license should go to https://ole.ndda.nd.gov/.