Recently I've seen more and more people in Montana within social media posts starting with Apiary or Beeyards, and I think its wonderful. Not only are they great for the environment, but they are good for agricultural production in Montana.

Beekeeping in MT
by u/CustardHistorical1 in Montana

Other people had questions and comments on how to start their own beeyards and after doing some research, I found a lot of information and sources that one could look over before putting it all together.


There are many classifications for different beekeeper setups. The Montana Department of Agriculture have lots of information on commercial purposes right down to a hobbyist and where they can be kept in their bee program.

  1. Commercial: Commercial yards must be at least 3 miles from another commercial apiary site operated by a different beekeeper. Commercial yards must also have at least 10 hives present from April 15 - October 15 for 10 consecutive days.
  2. Landowner: Landowner yards are able to register any number of hives at the location. However, the apiary must be managed by the landowner.
  3. Hobbyist: A hobbyist yard is defined by a beekeeper who has ten or less hives and may have no more than two apiary locations.
  4. Pollination: Pollination yards are provisional locations registered for pollination of a specific commercial seed, fruit, or other commercial agricultural product. They are only valid for the specified amount of time that a crop is in peak bloom.

The Missoula area has programs in place to educate and train new beekeepers with open courses at The University of Montana and with Big Sky Beekeepers having demonstrations in the summer and speakers on the science of Apiaries during the winter or as they say "when the bees are sleeping".

If you've ever been interested in Beekeeping, now is the best time to get a new and fulfilling hobby.

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