Va County Codes:

Arlington and Alexandria
Home beekeeping is unregulated and not addressed in the county code. 

City of Fairfax

Must file permit - allowed 4 hives on 1/4 acre

Fairfax County

Fairfax County Zoning Ordinance 4102.7.J

    The keeping of honeybees in four beehives or less is allowed as an accessory use on any lot. On any lot of 10,000 square feet in size or larger, more than four beehives may be kept, provided there is an additional lot area of 2,500 square feet for each hive. In all instances, there must be one adequate and accessible water source provided on-site and located within 50 feet of the beehive(s). In addition, if the main entrance of the hive faces and is within ten feet of any lot line, there must be a flight path barrier, consisting of a fence, structure, or plantings not less than six feet in height, located in front of the hive. The beekeeper is not required to reside on the property. These limitations do not relate to solitary bees or their structures, which are regulated as freestanding accessory structures.

Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park

Loudoun County, Local Municipalities, Home Owners Associations (HOA)

  • There are no known county or municipal prohibitions or ordinances governing beekeeping in Loudoun County with the exception of nuisance laws.
  • Home Owner Association (HOA) restrictions will vary. Check your community’s HOA by-laws. Honeybees fall under the "livestock" category.


State of Virginia:

Virginia State Beekeeping Laws

Virginia Limited Liability Law
CHAPTER 564 An Act to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section numbered 3.2-4411.1, relating to limited liability for beekeepers. [H 535]Approved March 29, 2016

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding a section numbered 3.2-4411.1 as follows:

§ 3.2-4411.1. Apiaries; limitation on liability.

A. Any person owning or operating an apiary that is not located on his own property shall post the name and address of the owner or operator in a conspicuous place in the apiary.

B. A person who operates an apiary in a reasonable manner, in compliance with local zoning restrictions, and in conformance with the written best management practices as provided by regulation of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall not be liable for any personal injury or property damage that occurs in connection with his keeping and maintaining of bees, bee equipment, queen breeding equipment, apiaries, or appliances. The limitation of liability established by this section does not apply to intentional tortious conduct or acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or negligence.

C. The limitation of liability in this section shall not take effect until regulations are adopted by the Board. The Board may adopt initial regulations under this section to implement the provisions of this section to be effective no later than November 1, 2016. Such initial regulations shall be exempt from the requirements of Article 2 (§ 2.2-4006 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act; however, the Board shall publish proposed regulations in the Virginia Register of Regulations and allow at least 30 days for public comment, to include an online public comment forum on the Virginia Regulatory Town Hall, after publication. Any amendments to such initial regulations or any subsequent regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall comply with the requirements of Article 2 of the Administrative Process Act. Any regulations adopted shall include best management practices for the operation of apiaries.

Virginia’s Pesticide Control Law - What follows is a summary of relevant parts of Virginia’s pesticide control law in response to the concerns expressed over the effect of pesticide use on bees and beekeepers.
  • Virginia regulates pesticide applicators and requires them to be licensed. Commercial applicators are also required to carry liability insurance to cover losses resulting from their activities. Virginia requires both commercial and private applicators to report pesticide events that constitute “significant pesticide accidents or incidents posing a threat to humans or the environment.” VA Code § 3.2-3909. Regulations at 2 VAC 20-51-170 state in part: ” Commercial or private applicators or registered technicians shall report any pesticide accident or incident in which they are involved that constitutes a threat to any person, to public health or safety, or to the environment, as a result of the use or presence of any pesticide. The accident or incident shall be reported whether or not a restricted use pesticide is involved.”

    Anyone other than an operator can also file a complaint and such complaints are supposed to be investigated. VA Code § 3.2-3910 states: “Complaints to Commissioner or the Board. Any person may register a written complaint with the Commissioner or the Board relating to the sale, use, storage, handling, or disposal of any pesticide. The Commissioner or the Board shall institute an investigation of the alleged damage caused by such pesticide. The Commissioner may seek the advice of other state or federal agencies or institutions. When it is determined that a violation has occurred, the Commissioner shall proceed as provided in § 3.2-3946.” (1989, c. 575, § 3.1-249.32; 2008, c. 860.)

    Someone who claims damage from a restricted use pesticide must file a report with the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services within sixty days of the date that the damage occurred or, if growing crops are alleged to have been damaged, before twenty-five percent of the crop is harvested, as required by VA Code § 3.2-3911, Damages resulting from pesticide use or application. This report must contain: : (i) the name of the person allegedly responsible for the application of such pesticide; (ii) the name of the owner or lessee of the property where the crop is grown and the damage is alleged to have occurred; and (iii) the date of the alleged damage. After notification to the applicator, an inspection may be made by the Department of Agriculture.

    The reporting requirements do not affect an individual’s right to seek other legal relief such as an injunction for nuisance or money damages for negligent application causing damage, but failure to file the report and/or permit the inspection will relieve the Department of Agriculture from failing to take action. The challenge in any legal case would probably be proof of the damage.

    The VDACS Pesticide and Department of Agriculture enforcement staff is identified on the web as follows:

    It would be important to try and obtain the license information of any possible violator before making a report.

    The foregoing is based mostly on an excellent law review article, “An Analysis of State Pesticide Drift Laws,” by Theodore A. Feitshan in 9 S.J. Agric. L. Rev. 37 (1999); however, many of the laws have been re-enacted in different form since that publication.

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that the foregoing does not constitute legal advice applicable to any particular situation. Please consult a Virginia lawyer about any specific situation. This information was compiled from public information as a service to NVBA members.


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