I don't know about any local laws, but some areas require a PERMIT not a license (the difference being a license usually requires a test) just as you would need in many places to keep dogs or cats or in some areas, wildlife.
I'd suggest looking up the phone number for a local county or state agrucultural center, townhall or licensing departments in your area. Someone would have a real answer.
I have heard of some permits which come with posting signs that announce LIVE HONEYBEES in large letters to be placed on the property where the hives are kept - possibly that is what is meant?
Best wishes and learn all you can about honeybees, we all learn something new here every day!