The European honey bee (Apis mellifera) is the familiar bee managed in hives by beekeepers for honey production and pollination services. Honey bees were brought to North America in the 17 century by the first European settlers to provide wax for candles and of course, honey and pollination services for the crops brought from Europe.
In Colorado, there are approximately 19 commercial beekeepers who keep an estimated 38,000 hives. The Colorado Professional Beekeeping Association estimates that in 2014-2015 there were 27,000 honey producing colonies, from which over one million pounds of honey was harvested for an estimated wholesale value of two million dollars. In addition to honey, the beekeeping industry in Colorado provides pollination services to agricultural crops all over the U.S. A large number of commercial beekeepers in Colorado move their hives to California in November and December each year to pollinate the almond crop.
Colorado is also home to a large number of hobby beekeepers (those with less than 150 hives). Most urban cities allow residents without acreage up to two hives per single-family home in the backyard.
Links to Beekeeping Clubs: