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.
[columns] [column size=”half” last=”no”] 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).
[/column] [column size=”half” last=”yes”] [/column] [/columns]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”
[/column] [column size=”two-thirds” last=”yes”] 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.