Oregon Department of Agriculture
By: Jessica Rendon
Some of Oregon’s major pollination crops include seed crops (vegetable, cover
crop and clover), blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, cranberry, cherry and pear.
While Oregon does not have an official state apiary program or apiary inspector, several organizations are actively involved with the State’s honey bees. All owners of five or more colonies of honey bees within the State must register their hives with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. In 2019, 201 beekeepers registered a total of 75,918 hives. Hive Registration fees are transferred to Oregon State University’s Honey Bee Lab which focuses on honey bee health, nutrition and pollination with the goal of servicing commercial beekeepers, backyard beekeepers, producers and all interested citizens. The lab also provides beekeepers with diagnostic services, including parasite and pathogen levels, colony nutritional status assessments and pesticide analyses. In addition, the lab hosts the Bee Informed Partnership’s PNW Tech Transfer Team that serves commercial beekeepers in the Pacific Northwest by inspecting/sampling their colonies at specified intervals and providing timely test results.
The Oregon Master Beekeeper program (a collaborative effort between OSU and Oregon State Beekeepers Association) provides education and training to new beekeepers and all interested stakeholders in the State.
The APHIS National Honey Bee Survey has historically been conducted as a joint effort between OSU and ODA.
“The Oregon Bee Project” is Oregon’s Pollinator Protection Plan, consisting of ODA, Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and the OSU Extension working together to: 1) decrease pesticide exposure, 2) increase pollinator habitat, 3) reduce honey bee losses to pests and diseases and 4) expand our understanding of the State’s native bee biodiversity. The Oregon Bee Project has a number of initiatives to promote these goals including: training through pesticide recertification, outreach to the public through OSU Master certificate programs (Oregon Master Gardeners, Master Beekeepers and Master Melittologist programs), showcasing land managers who exemplify pollinator protection and a statewide native bee survey (Oregon Bee Atlas).