Pollinator Protection Program

Program Purpose

We depend on managed bees and other pollinators to help produce many of our agricultural products and maintain a healthy environment. More than 2.5 million honeybee colonies in the U.S. today pollinate an estimated $15 billion of crops each year, ranging from almonds to zucchini. Of these, approximately 1.8 million colonies are used each year in California to pollinate the state’s almond crop alone.

The Fresno County Department of Agriculture recognizes the importance of commercial honeybees as well as other pollinators. It supports pollinator protection by promoting increased communication between beekeepers, growers, pest control advisers, applicators, and regulators when making pest management decisions. Effective communication, collaboration, and cooperation help eliminate or lessen the impacts to managed bees and other pollinators while protecting crops from harmful pests.

Registering Online

To register your hives in Fresno County Beekeepers can go to beewhere.calagpermits.org to fulfill their obligation to register annually in their home county, notify other counties when they first move bees into those counties, report colony locations and notify the Agricultural Commissioner when they move bees to new locations within the county.

All information provided by beekeepers through this site is carefully protected.

Tips on using the website:

Apiary Registration and Identification

Unidentified hivesEvery apiary owner located in the state, on January 1 of each year, shall register the number of colonies in each apiary and each apiary’s location. Every apiary owner required to register must do so on January 1 of each year.

The registration of an apiary shall be filed with the county’s commissioner in which the apiary is located.

No person shall maintain an apiary on premises other than that of his or her residence unless the apiary is identified by a prominently displayed sign on the entrance side of the apiary or stenciled on the hive. The stenciling must be in dark letters not less than one inch in height on a contrasting color background and include the name of the owner or person responsible for the apiary, his or her address, and telephone number.

Citrus Bee Protection Area

In Fresno County, the area within one mile of any citrus planting of one acre or more is designated as a citrus/bee protection area.

Citrus bloom refers to a period when citrus trees have at least 10 percent of their flowers blooming. The citrus bloom lasts between 10 and 30 days on average. During this time, insecticides are greatly restricted in and around citrus groves. Once 75 percent of the blossoms have fallen (on the north side of the tree), the citrus bloom period ends, and petal fall is declared. The county commissioner provides a declaration for citrus bloom and petal fall for each growing district through public notice and our website.

During citrus bloom and through to petal fall, specific requirements and use of bee safe materials are in place to protect honeybees. Some requirements include pesticide application made during the middle of the night, several hours after dusk, or a couple of hours before sunrise. The declaration of petal fall releases the restrictions of honeybee toxic materials to the citrus groves allowing the application of necessary pesticides to protect crops from damaging insects.

Timing of Pesticide Applications

Pesticide applications may be made 48 hours or more after the official end of citrus bloom without advance notification to beekeepers until March 15 of the following year.

Growers/pesticide applicators wishing to make pesticide applications prior to 48 hours after the official end of bloom shall follow the inquiry and notification procedures specified below;

  • If the pesticide is toxic to bees, contact Fresno County Department of Agriculture, or a notification service designated by the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner, whether any beekeeper with apiaries within one mile of the application site has requested notification.
  • If a request for notification is in place, the pest control applicator must notify the beekeeper at least 48 hours before the application. Time can be increased or decreased by the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner or by an agreement between the beekeeper and applicator,

Notification must include:

  • Time and place of the application.
  • Crop and acreage to be treated
  • Application method
  • Pesticide identity and dosage rate
  • Contact information of person performing pest control

Written notice of apiary locations in a citrus/ bee protection area from March 15 through May 31, must be filed by owners/operators to the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner. Owners/operators should update the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner of location changes, including departure from citrus/bee protection areas.

District Citrus Bloom and Petal Fall information

Fresno County citrus bloom mapSee Declarations below.