Texas Beekeeping Laws

Beekeeping is regulated in the State of Texas through Texas Agriculture Code, Chapter 131: Bees and Honey.  All beekeepers should read and understand these Texas statutes.  Additional regulations may be put in place by county administrators.  The County Clerk will provide any additional requirements, if any, to local residents upon request.



6 thoughts on “Texas Beekeeping Laws”

  1. I just joined as member of TBA for 1 individual membership for the amount of $35 per year. I live in Kendall County, Texas 78013. I think the closes TBA meeting are in Fredericksburg, Texas, 78624 in Gillespie County. I haven’t started raising Honey Bees yet, because there is so much information and Laws to learn and understand. I need to know what sort of resources are available to me now I am a member of Texas Beekeepers association.

    • Peggy,

      Please see our resource tab, there is information in there regarding ag valuations, honey labeling, joining the honey locator program, etc. You will also receive discounts (above cost of membership) to our annual convention and summer clinic.

      We are currently working with the Texas Apiary Inspection Service to update the bee laws (Ag Code 131 – google it) which haven’t been updated since the 80’s. More information will be coming to our membership over the next few months so it can get into the 2017 legislative process.

      We strongly suggest joining a local club for extra help and mentoring. The Fredericksburg club is great and I know you will enjoy the members there.

  2. Hello. Please help me with my question. My friend gives me 3 hives with bees. Do I need to request a permit to move three hives to my location in another county? I do not have any bees in my location yet. These three hives will be first.

  3. I’m new to all this stuff and most definitely NOT a lawyer. However, I was reading the HR 1293 for changes about beekeeping and this raised an eyebrow…

    2017 Texas House Bill 1293 for changes to ag131 (beekeeper rules)
    First page where “Apiary” is defined…
    Section 1.2 Line 10
    The old definition for “Apiary” had “[six or more]” removed. So now any hobbyist that has even 1 hive in their backyard has an “Apiary”

    http://www.libertycountybeekeepers.org/PDF/BeeLawAndRegulations.pdf (old rules document)
    Top of page 3
    “This is very clear wording, if you have 6 or more hives in one place, it is an apiary and that apiary equipment is required to be mark as per above: Name and address or the Brand (a Texas state assigned number.)”

    Sec. 131.061. IDENTIFICATION REQUIRED. A person may not operate an apiary in this state unless the apiary equipment is:
    (1) clearly and indelibly marked with the name and address of the person; or
    (2) branded in accordance with Section 131.064 of this code with a brand registered to the person by the chief apiary inspector.

    So if I’m reading all this right: anyone, not just hobbyist, will be required to register with the state, burn serial numbers on their hives, and possibly held to other rules that professional apiaries are held to.

    Am I misunderstanding this? Does this change to the definition of “Apiary” affect more than I am seeing here? And should we be alarmed? Or is it nothing?

    Justin B.

  4. Justin,

    Good questions. Here are the answers.

    Registration with the Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS) is not required for “a beekeeper with an annual average of fewer than 25 colonies or nuclei…” from Sec 135.045 (d) of HB 1293.

    Regarding marking your hives – The current law requires the marking of your hives if you have six or more, the current definition of an apiary. If HB 1293 is adopted then any hives you have away from your principal residence will need to be marked, and HB 1293 provides several ways to do that other than branding. Any hives you keep at your principal residence do not need to be marked. Section 131.061 (3)(b)

    No alarm needed!

    Thanks for asking.

    Roger Farr
    TBA Area Director

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