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Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby, a profitable sideline, or a full-time occupation. The industry in Mississippi is composed of beekeepers that manage their colonies for honey production, as well as producing queens and package bees.

Several large commercial, migratory beekeepers in the Midwest also winter several thousand colonies in Mississippi. There are between 20 and 30 thousand colonies in the state during the summer and 80-120 thousand during the winter. Mississippi has 12 full-time commercial beekeepers, 30-40 part-time honey producers and 800 hobbyists. Mississippi ranks 28th in the nation in honey production and produces about 2.25 million pounds of honey each year.

The 1996 value of honey production in Mississippi was $1,156,000. Net annual income of Mississippi beekeepers from honey and beeswax production, sale of packaged bees and queens, and pollination fees is estimated to be between $2.1 and $3.1 million. Honey bees contribute a value to pollination of fruits, berries, vegetables, sunflowers, cotton, soybeans, peanuts and wild plants in Mississippi exceeding $200 million annually (Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce).


Jeffrey Harris
Assistant Extension/Research Professor
Discipline: Entomology

Phone: (662)325-2976
Office Location: Clay Lyle Entomology Building, Room 127
Mailing Address
Box 9775
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Physical Address
100 Old Hwy. 12
Mississippi State, MS 39762


Frequently Asked Questions

In recent years I have noticed a lack of honey bees in my garden and flower beds. Where have all of the honey bees gone?
How can you determine if your colony has a good queen?
Is it safe to use combs that bees have died in during the winter?
What is the recommended chemical treatment against varroa mites?
What is the current range of Africanized honey bees in the United States?
What time of year should you start a colony of bees?
How many colonies should a beginner start with?
What are the various ways in which a new beekeeper can obtain bees?