Managed Beehives for Your Property in Massachusetts

Since 2010, The Best Bees Company has offered a unique, turnkey way for individuals and organizations to make a positive impact on the environment. Founded in Boston, Best Bees is the leading beekeeping service in the greater Boston area.

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Find out if your property is right for bees

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Our Mission

To expand the bee population while improving the health of honeybees and other pollinators here in Massachusetts and across the world.  Our locally certified beekeepers install and manage hives on your property and use the data we collect to drive the science of pollinator health forward with scientific partners that include Urban Beekeeping Lab, NASA, MIT and National Geographic.

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Our Reach in Boston and Across Massachusetts:

300+ residential clients
70+ commerical clients
600+ hives

Hive Programs for Commercial Properties

We offer innovative solutions that can help bring your corporate sustainability programs to life. These include the highest standards on beekeeping, as well as developed workshops and programs that will engage your community—employees, guests, tenants, community leaders and the public—in your sustainability work.


Commercial Services

Beekeeping for Your Residential Backyard


If you’d like to save bees, build a healthier environment, pollinate your garden, and have your own honey harvest, then our residential service is perfect for you! We offer turnkey beekeeping, honey harvesting, and DNA analysis designed for homeowners in a wide range of environments. Regardless of the size of your property—whether you garden on a balcony, or have acres of land, we can set up and tend a hive—or several hives—for you.


Residential Services

Beekeeping Education

We offer a number of for-fee educational programs that have proven popular with commercial clients, schools, gardening clubs and organizations promoting sustainability.

Pre-recorded and live hive tours

Experience a guided tour as one of our bee experts takes you on a walk-through of your hive visits and inspections. Get a glimpse of the busy life of bees and learn more on how to keep tenants engaged with their local environment. Live tours are available for up to 20 participants.

Meet an expert beekeeper

Participate in a beekeeper-led webinar and Q&A session. This virtual event is a great opportunity to learn about your bees through the lens of a beekeeper. We’ll discuss the data collected from your beehives, why bees matter, and what it's like to take care of your bees.

Virtual keynotes

Gain insight into the world of bees with our Chief Science Officer and Founder, Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich. Noah's knowledge of honeybee health and his passion for bee research will leave your audience spellbound, and with a wealth of new insight about our natural world. Our virtual keynote package includes signed copies of The Bee: A Natural History.

How Professional Beekeeping Works


We help you choose an ideal location to establish one or more beehives at your home or workplace.


Our impassioned and experienced beekeepers service your beehives once a month, providing high-quality care and detailed reports.


You keep 100% of the raw honey produced. We’ll handle the rest— small batch extraction and bottling with personalized labels.


At every visit, we collect data and share it with our research partners to advance the science of beekeeping and improve the health of pollinators worldwide.


Since our founding in 2010, the knowledge and expertise of our beekeeping and customer service teams has helped us build a loyal following among both our commercial and residential customers here in the Boston area. These are a just a few examples of what they have to say about working with us:



Our honeybees, Apis mellifera ligustica, are the most docile species of honeybees, making our hives extremely safe and the instance of stings very unlikely.



We have a full insurance policy and can provide a Certificate of Insurance (COI) easily.



Our beekeepers are trained to work safely in densely populated urban areas. This includes on balconies, rooftops, and skyscrapers.

Beekeeping Laws in Massachusetts


Permits to keep honeybees in Massachusetts are not required by the Commonwealth but may be necessary in some municipalities. Where permits are mandatory, such as in the City of Cambridge, Best Bees takes care of permitting for its clients. A few municipalities, such as New Bedford, still prohibit beekeeping.

Some Massachusetts municipalities have regulations regarding placement of beehives, with specific distances required from abutting property. Where applicable, Best Bees beekeepers will site hives accordingly.

Massachusetts has regulations regarding the transportation of bees and used bee equipment into the state and requires a certificate of health inspection from the state of origin within 60 days of shipping stating that the bees or equipment are free of infectious or contagious disease. All bees brought to Massachusetts by Best Bees comply with this.

Hive inspections are not required in Massachusetts, but hive owners are encouraged to register their hives with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR).  As proponents of the scientific study of bees, we register all of our own hives, but leave it up to our clients to register theirs if they wish.

All of our beekeepers are licensed to use pesticides and are certified for safe roof-top work.

Boston Service Area

We service hives in a 90-minute driving radius around our Boston headquarters, including the following counties in Massachusetts:




What's Included

  • Site Evaluation
  • Hand-crafted, all-natural beehive equipment installed onsite
  • A colony of docile honey bees (Apis mellifera ligustica)
  • Monthly maintenance visits and follow up reports
  • Advanced scheduling so you can alert your team
  • Full-time customer service team available by phone or email
  • Raw honey, harvested and bottled just for you
  • Replacement colonies provided at no cost
  • Fully insured professional service

About Local Honey

Honey production varies from colony to colony, depending on the strength of the Queen, the health of the hive and the availability of nourishment.  New colonies tend to produce less honey than established ones. When there is a surplus of honey, we will harvest and jar it for you.

The composition and flavor of honey varies from hive to hive as well, depending on the floral species available to pollinate. This means that honey from your hive will have a unique profile. Tasting it, you are tasting the composite of all the flowers your bees have visited.

In our studies of honey DNA, we’ve found that honey from urban hives includes a much wider range of species—as much as eight times more than honey from rural and suburban hives!



We pioneered the process of identifying the exact percentage of various pollen species found in honey through advanced genomic sequencing. Understanding where bees foraged reveals which plants best feed pollinators in the local environment.

Already Have a Hive?

At Best Bees, we’re proud to be a part of the local beekeeping community in every area in which we work. If you are not already a member of the Massachusetts Beekeepers Association, we strongly encourage you to join.  You can learn more about them at

Join our Citizen Scientist movement!  Here are some ways you can participate:

  • Plant more pollinator habitats on your property
  • Use bee-safe pesticide alternatives
  • Get involved in local and national lobbying
  • Submit your honey for HoneyDNA

You can also post your data to bee Citizen Science programs like iNaturalist and Beecology Project.

We gladly share the learning from our research and our best practices with everyone. To learn more about the findings of our research work, visit

To watch one of the TED Talks by our Founder and Chief Science Officer Dr. Noah Wilson-Rich, visit our Research page .

To stay abreast of our latest thinking, read our blogs at


Unique Challenges and Opportunities to Beekeeping in Boston

The greatest challenges facing beekeeping in Massachusetts relate to weather.  With global warming, the seasonal weather patterns in New England are changing, with longer, hotter, and often drier summers, and winters that can start later and end earlier. Winters are also less predictable, with wild swings between frigid conditions and thaws. All of these can affect bees negatively, throwing off their brooding cycles, creating a disconnect between activity and available pollen and nectar, and reducing forage during crucial honey stockpiling times. For our beekeepers, this means that they must carefully monitor bee health and honey stocks frequently throughout the year—even in times when bees would be dormant in other areas—to assure they have sufficient food supplies. Extreme winter weather can also contribute to higher-than-normal colony failure in northern metropolitan areas, such as greater Boston.

On the positive side, analysis of honey DNA from Boston area hives shows that native plants, such as clover, goldenrod, and holly, are among the top species pollinated, suggesting an abundance of natural food for honeybees in Massachusetts. This is especially true of urban hives, where our honey DNA studies have shown an incredibly diverse range of species for bees to pollinate—one reason urban hives have proven so healthy here in Massachusetts. This is not surprising, given that Boston has been a national leader in the urban greenspace movement since Victorian times.

“One of the joys of beekeeping in and around Boston is the wide variety of landscapes we work in.” says Sarah Hope, Best Bees Beekeeper. “I’m always learning something new about the complexity of bee behavior and their response to the environment—it’s fascinating!”

Sam Jennings, Boston Beekeeper at the Atlantic Wharf Building in Boston, MA
Sam Jennings, Boston Beekeeper at the Atlantic Wharf Building in Boston, MA
Lead Harvester, Che holds a beehive in a lush garden.
Che Ashley, Lead honey harvester at Best Bees in Boston, MA

Frequently Asked Questions


We install and maintain honeybee hives on your property. Our expert beekeepers monitor the health of your bees and perform a variety of tasks throughout the year to help them thrive. At each visit, we also capture a range of metrics and share the data with renowned research partners to help the scientific community better understand the plight of pollinators. Towards the end of the season, we extract the honey and jar it for you.

About once per month from early spring to late fall for our Boston area hives. If your bees are distressed and need extra support, supplemental visits are included. We coordinate each visit in advance and send a summary report afterward.

Only a few square feet!  A beehive takes up as little as 2’ x 2’ x 3’. Our beekeepers need a few feet around the hive to access it, and the bees’ flight path will need to be unrestricted.

In the Boston area, we typically install hives when all threat of winter has passed, which is typically in April and May. Installations after June are accommodated on a case-by-case basis, depending on our inventory levels.

We fully guarantee the health of our bees and queens. If a colony dies, we’ll replace it with a healthy one from our own stock at no additional cost. While we hope each of our hives will thrive for years to come, the reality is that pollinators are still dying at an unprecedented rate. In places like Boston, where winters are often severe, we can lose 40-50% of our hives annually.

Our Boston-based headquarters is staffed full time and available Monday through Friday during work hours by phone or email to answer any questions. When a colony requires extra attention, additional visits are made at no cost to you.

Yes, we provide a range of event support packages for our commercial clients.  See Hive Programs for Commercial Customers for details.

Green roofs earn credits toward a building’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. Green roofs provide vegetation for water control, wildlife habitat, and better urban air quality. Honeybees can help maintain the green roofs that are becoming more common in big cities and thus contribute to a building’s LEED rating.


We service hives within a 90-minute drive of our Boston HQ, which includes the Massachusetts Counties of Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester.  We also service hives in <Rhode Island>, and parts of <Maine> and <New Hampshire>.

We handle visit scheduling for you. We’ll contact you at least 72 hours in advance via email.

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