Is it Legal?

-The only place in New Mexico that has an ordinance prohibiting keeping bees is within Alamagordo city limits.  

-All other locations in New Mexico follow the NM Bee Rule

Here are the highlights of the NM Bee Rule

A "commercial apiary" means any location or single beeyard North of I-40 where 15 or more colonies are located or South of I-40 where 25 or more colonies are located

If you qualify as a "commercial apiary" you have to register your apiary and pay an annual registration fee that runs $3 per apiary per year. This amount can be paid through Greg Watson, Assistant Bureau Chief, NM Dept of Agriculture, NMDA inspector for NM. He can be contacted at or (505) 646-3207

If you are a "commercial apiary" you need to obtain a pollination permit to move bees for pollination purposes within 1 1/2 miles of another beekeeper's registered apiary. 

On a side note. The NM Bee Rule came about to keep competitive commercial beekeepers from putting yards too close to each other and getting into beeyard wars. If you want to keep bees, there is nothing stopping you besides remembering that the nectar sources in NM are scarce and we shouldn't try and put pressure on the nectar reserves of existing nearby beekeepers. 


The New Mexico Beekeepers Association is a non-profit organization of private beekeepers, commercial beekeepers, persons interested in promoting the importance of the honey bee in the environment, and businesses related to the honey industry. Representing all regions of New Mexico, the Association maintains a close affiliation with the State of New Mexico's Department of Agriculture. Membership in the Association is open to all interested persons.


2014 Association Officers

President: Jessie Brown,

Vice President: Craig Noorlander,

Secretary: Mike Fickling,

Treasurer: D.J. Nickles,


Phill Remick,

Taylor Horst,


Membership dues are $30 per year for a family, $15 for membership from July 1-Dec 31st. 

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