Arkansas Beekeepers Association

About the ABA

Mission Statement

The Arkansas Beekeepers Association is dedicated to being the voice for beekeeping in Arkansas, and to promote beekeeping within the state. We shall provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and mutual support in the keeping of honey bees and the marketing of honey, to share our insights and passion for beekeeping to help others grow in their appreciation and enjoyment of keeping bees, to encourage all beekeepers, and to be a resource of materials, equipment and information.

Arkansas has a long history of beekeeping going back to bee hunting by the state’s early settlers. Accounts of bee hunting are described in The White River Chronicles of S. C. Turnbo: Man and Wildlife on the Ozarks Frontier. When white settlers moved into Arkansas, hunting was their principal livelihood and source of commerce. Arkansas’ forests and clearings supported bison, and elk as well as large populations of bear and deer. Turnbo describes the abundance of feral honey bee colonies and how bee hunters placed bait to attract scout bees. Seasoned bee hunters followed the bees from the bait back to the bee trees. Honey and beeswax were harvested after cutting the trees. The pioneers sold meat and pelts of bear and deer as well as bear oil, honey, and beeswax.

Today, Arkansas has a robust beekeeping industry including a small number of commercial beekeepers managing large numbers of hives for pollination service and honey production as well as two thousand individuals managing lesser numbers of hives as sideline businesses and hobbies. Beekeeping exists throughout the state; and, due to the pollination provided by the bees, is an integral component of Arkansas’ diverse agriculture.

The Arkansas Beekeepers Association organizes two educational programs each year. In 2015, our programs will include several guest speakers who are renowned educators and writers. We will host Jerry Hayes, who writes the monthly “Classroom” in the American Bee Journal; Tom Seeley, author of Honeybee Democracy; Tammy Horn, author of Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation.” Since many Arkansas beekeepers tend hives around bears, we will also host Landi Simone, a New Jersey Master Beekeeper who has plenty of experience keeping bees in bear country. She will show us how to build bear fencing to protect our hives.

I encourage everyone to join the Arkansas Beekeepers Association in exploring the rich tradition of the art and science of beekeeping. Please make plans to meet me, our special guest speakers, and fellow beekeepers at our 2015 meetings in Little Rock and Mountain View.

Richard Underhill

ABA President



Download a 4-page printable brochure on the Arkansas Beekeepers Association and the imprtance of honey bees in Arkansas. download brochure

The business meetings of the Arkansas Beekeepers Association are governed by parlaimentary procedure as described in Robert's Rules of Order.

Download and read or print the Arkansas Beekeepers Association By-Laws.

Multiple versions of the Arkansas Beekeepers Association logo and graphics are available for download, and can be used for website links, printed materials or other applications.