2023’s Best States for Beekeeping

Where can the location of your colony sweeten or sour your beekeeping journey?

To mark World Bee Day on May 20, Lawn Love ranked 2023’s Best States for Beekeeping.

To come up with our ranking, we compared 39 of the 50 states (with available data) based on four categories. We looked at honey production, colony loss, and apiculture classes, among 15 total metrics.

See the five best (and five worst) states for beekeeping below, followed by key stats from our report.

Best States for Beekeeping
Rank State
1 California
2 New York
3 North Dakota
4 Texas
5 Ohio
Worst States for Beekeeping
Rank State
1 Wyoming
2 Arizona
3 Utah
4 Nebraska
5 Louisiana



Key insights:

  • California cultivation: The Golden State brings home the gold medal overall and in Distribution and Support. California offers the highest number of apiculture classes and establishments. California also boasts healthy bees with the lowest average annual colony loss in our ranking.

  • Flickertail hives: Swarming to third place is North Dakota with the largest overall honey Output. The Flickertail State impresses with the biggest total honey production and the most honey-producing colonies, 520 — 215 more than the next state, California.

  • Sweet salaries: Beekeepers have the biggest opportunity to pollinate their savings accounts in Illinois (No. 10), which takes the top spot in Earning Potential. New York (No. 2) pays the highest average annual beekeeping salary, followed by Illinois and Colorado (No. 17).

  • Colony conservation: Neonics are commonly used across lawns, gardens, and farms and have devastating impacts on bee populations. To help save the bees, New York (No. 2), New Jersey (No. 22), Vermont(No. 23), and Maine (No. 30) have each passed legislation limiting the use of neonics.

  • Buzzworthy sales: There are many opportunities to sell honey in states like New York (No. 2) and Ohio (No. 5). New York leads the way in honey suppliers, while The Buckeye State takes second place. Ohio boasts the most farmers markets, followed by New York.

  • Nectar network: It’s easy for beekeepers to connect in North Carolina(No. 8), thanks to the many beekeepers associations. Tennessee (No. 18) and Kentucky (No. 29) take second and third places, respectively.

Note: Hawaii was excluded from our sample, as USDA data for the state had not been released by the time of data collection and writing.Ten additional states were excluded both years due to lack of data.

Helpful links:

Want to help save the bees? Hire a local Lawn Love pro to help turn your backyard into a buzzing, bee-autiful paradise.

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