Honey Exemption – TX Senate Bill 1766

Honey Exemption Bill (SB 1766) was spear-headed by Montgomery County Beekeepers Association Past President Leesa Hyder (Texas Beekeepers Association Director- Area 4). She saw a need for a Honey Exemption for small-scale/hobby beekeepers. Before Senate Bill 1766, a small-scale honey producer was required to obtain and maintain a Food Manufacturers license in Texas.

Effective September 1st 2015 if you produce less than 2500 pounds of honey; sell or distribute the honey or honeycomb that you produce either personally or with the help of a family member; and are located in Texas you fall under the Honey Exemption Bill (SB 1766). This apiary must be owned and managed by the beekeeper and the honey must be “pure honey” as defined by Section 131.001, Agriculture Code. (Raw and not blended with any other product or otherwise adulterated).
The Texas Honey Exemption Bill (SB 1766) also requires that you sell directly to the consumer at your home, farmer’s market, a municipal county or non-profit fair, festival or event.
Under the Texas Honey Exemption Bill (SB 1766) labeling requirements have been clearly defined. You must include:

  • Net weight in both avoirdupois (standard) and metric
  • Beekeepers name and address
  • The statement: “Bottled or packaged in a facility not inspected by the Texas Department of State Health Services”
Honey bottle lid labels that contain the verbiage required in this bill are available on the TBA Website.  If you elect to bottle your honey in a “Health Department approved” kitchen or facility out-side your home, doing so WILL NOT fall under Honey Exemption Senate Bill 1766! You MUST obtain a food manufactures license even if you produce less than 2500 pounds. This bill only applies to those who package it themselves at their own home.


Post Submitted by James & Chari Elam

28 Replies to "Honey Exemption - TX Senate Bill 1766"

  • David Ellis
    November 14, 2015 (7:25 pm)

    thank you to whomever was instrumental it helping the little guys. i appreciate so very much!

    • James and Chari
      November 15, 2015 (2:31 pm)

      David, Thank you for your comment!
      We can thank:
      Senator Brandon Creighton
      Leesa Hyder
      Blake Shook
      Chris Moore
      And Tabitha Mansker just to name a few…They, along with several others spent countless hours to get this done. Well worth it for sure!

  • Sharon
    November 15, 2015 (7:00 am)

    Do you have someone that can come set it up for us? Thanks

    • James and Chari
      November 15, 2015 (2:24 pm)

      If you are a Beekeeper with your own hives, you are set up…as long as you produce less than 2500 pounds to package per year this Bill applies to you! Follow the link to SB 1766 for the entire bill and its specifications. If you are referring to another aspect… Please clarify.
      Thank you for your comment!

    • Norma Irlas
      April 5, 2017 (8:10 am)

      We are beginners in beekeeping. We are setting up our bee boxes in Dale Texas. There is a local farmer who has given up 3 hives. The hives are located in his property in trees. We were wondering if you could give us a name of someone in the lockhart texas are that could help us extract the bees. my husband has looked at several bee hive extraction videos and we don’t feel comfortable tackling this task alone. We wanted to go this weekend; but it may be till the 22nd of April.
      Norma Irlas 682-622-6470
      Jose Irlas 682-667-6278

  • Michele Holloway
    November 15, 2015 (6:03 pm)

    Thank you so much for all of y’all s hard work and long hours spent helping the small farmer. M

    • James and Chari
      November 16, 2015 (5:59 am)

      We appreciate your comment Michele!

  • Brandon
    November 18, 2015 (12:41 pm)

    Thank you so much for posting this great news. I always try to do everything above reproach. Can you tell me, are us small scale beekeepers required to report and submit sales tax on honey sales here in Texas? Thanks again!

    • James and Chari
      November 18, 2015 (6:06 pm)

      It is great news!
      We recommend you direct your question to the Texas State Comptrollers office.
      Thanks for your question!

    • Myrna
      April 16, 2016 (3:03 pm)

      I was wondering the same thing but my neighbor reminded me food is not taxed. hoping I got that one right

  • Kimberly Dollar
    November 29, 2015 (6:56 pm)

    This is a great website! Very informative and helpful on many levels. Thanks you so much for your dedication to the bees and their keepers. Blessings to you both!

  • Jim Elder
    April 2, 2016 (11:24 am)

    This site is fantastic and has taught me everything that I ever needed to know.

    Happy Beekeeping my Beekeeping friends!


  • Myrna
    April 16, 2016 (3:05 pm)

    I have been interested in starting to keep bees so just in the research stage. book marking this site for sure

  • Laura
    July 2, 2016 (1:56 pm)

    Do you still have to include nutritional information on the bottle/jar?

    • Mark Hedley
      July 2, 2016 (4:55 pm)

      Laura, TBA does not provide legal advice, however, we can tell you:
      Texas does not require a nutrition label on honey sold under the exemption.
      FYI, FDA exempts small producers from the nutrition labeling under most conditions. Some need to file for the exemption but
      “If a person is not an importer, and has fewer than 10 full-time equivalent employees, that person does
      not have to file a notice for any food product with annual sales of fewer than 10,000 total units.”

    July 3, 2016 (11:32 am)

    My son and I are first year beekeepers, we started with one hive and have since relocated two other hives to our property. Thanks to this group of hardworking beekeepers that pushed this bill through we are able to share the fruits of our labors with family and friends. Hopefully we will be able to sell small amounts at our local farmers market, this is an amazing opportunity for my son to learn about running a small business. Thank you again!! Dawn and Dalton W. Fredericksburg

  • Steven Ward
    July 20, 2016 (3:07 pm)

    What impact does maintaining honey bees on ones own property taxes?

    • Mark Hedley
      July 21, 2016 (5:50 pm)

      Please see our resource section: http://texasbeekeepers.org/ag-valuation/


    • Mike
      July 28, 2016 (2:41 pm)

      Check with your county appraisal district office. Most counties will grant an Ag. use exemption for up to 20 acres.

  • Morgan
    October 8, 2016 (11:25 am)

    Does this law include people who sell honey online directly to the consumer?

  • jefe
    October 9, 2016 (10:01 am)

    Anybody beekeepers in the Sealy, Bellville, New Ulm, or Industry areas wanting to set up hives on my property?
    We can discuss. Please LMK: jefe1947@yahoo.com
    Save the bees!
    many thnx

    • Mark Hedley
      October 9, 2016 (12:38 pm)

      You may want to present this opportunity to one of our club presidents to share with the local members. You can find our local club information here go down the page to the map, zoom in (“+”) to area and click on red pin point for club contact, meeting location info

  • Laurie Sherman
    October 12, 2016 (9:36 pm)

    Very thankful that this honey exemption was passed. Thanks to everyone that worked to help the little beekeepers!

  • Bo DePena
    October 14, 2016 (5:04 pm)

    I am closing on 60 Acres in Real County with river frontage in November 2016. As beekeeping now qualifies for an agricultural exemption I would like to know if there are beekeepers in the area that would consider a joint venture opportunity beekeeping and honey harvesting on my property. Does anyone have suggestions on an organization to contact about this?

    • Mark Hedley
      October 15, 2016 (6:31 pm)

      Bo, please see our resource page for local beekeeper associations. Go down about 1/2 way on the page to the map. Zoom in (“+”) to your area and click on the red pin point closest to your location. Contact the club president so your opportunity can be presented to the beekeepers in that area.

  • Molly Burke
    February 1, 2017 (5:13 pm)

    Please. I need a beekeeper to come and get some bees at my house at 613 Morningside, San Antonio, Texas 78209. No killing. Removal by member of Beekeepers’ Assn of Texas for donation. phone 210-828-5225.

    • Mark Hedley
      February 1, 2017 (5:52 pm)

      Molly, please see the our page on swarm removals http://www.texasbeekeepers.org/swarms go down the page about 1/2 way to the map. Zoom in to your area and click the red pin-point for a list of beekeepers that are registered in your area to remove problem bees.