View Full Version : IL honey sales questions
08-16-2011, 04:32 PM
Don't know where to go with my questions. The IL Department of AG keeps hanging up on me.
I'm just a guy, I haven't incorporated my operation. 20 hives this year, with folks lining up for 20 more at last count for next year.
I can sell out all my honey (400 lbs) no problem.
Where would I go or who would I talk to about:
1. selling other people's honey
2. do I have to incorporate as a business?
3. get insurance?
4. if I buy other beek's honey, do I have to bottle it in a certified kitchen?
5. does the other beeks' honey count against the 500 gallon 'small producer' law?
I'm trying to get it together for next year and unload this year's crop but can't get any answers. In the People's Republic of Illinois, I don't want to step wrong and face the consequences.
I'm going above the tailgate laws, this I know.
It's interesting how all the propaganda is about RAISING honey bees but there isn't anything about SELLING honey on a larger scale.
Thanks for any help!
is your apiary registered with the state? I think most of your answeres can be found on illinois dept. of ag website, the bottleing thing is a little contrary . also try emailing D.O.A. i usually get pretty good results within a day or two
08-16-2011, 09:01 PM
I had an opportunity to sell honey at a farmer's market in Carbondale, IL. I was told by the market manager that my honey house had to be inspected. She said to call the department of Ag.
The Illinois officials at their department of Ag agreed that I had to have my honey bottled in an inspected kitchen. But being a Missouri resident, we have the "jelly" law that allows honey to be bottled in a non-inspected kitchen. Still, the Illinois officials said my kitchen had to be inspected. They said to call my department of Ag.
So when I called the Missouri department of Ag, they said they did not have state inspectors, but I could ask my local county health department to inspect. I called my local county health department and they had no idea what to inspect for. If I was cooking food, they had requirements for exhaust, fire suppression, hand sinks, rest rooms, etc. But they had no idea what to do for a honey house.
When I spoke to the market manager about my dilemma, she got all huffy and said if I showed up to sell honey she'd call the sherrif. Then I learned there was already a Missouri honey producer at this market. He was from a different county so I'm not sure how his situation was approved.
So I gave up and passed on the opportunity.
08-17-2011, 05:13 AM
Did she demand a certificate? I would have just said, "Yeah, my kithchen was inspected and it passed." and go from there.
mxr, forgiveness is easier to get than permission.
08-17-2011, 01:53 PM
Although I don't sell my honey, I've found the Illinois State Beekeeper's Association to be generally helpful, and the State Bee Inspectors to be knowledgeable. I'd try contacting those before sending general inquiries to the Ag Dept.
08-21-2011, 07:34 PM
I dont think the Ag has anything to do with selling honey. Insurance, call around. Check with the Dept Public health for food cert license. They should be able to tell you Exactly what you need to prep food for consumption.
08-21-2011, 07:47 PM
That's the problem. I'm not sure if I can sell other people's honey as my own without incurring the expense of a liability policy.
Considering just doing it and come what may. Call it 30 producing hives next year x 70lbs per hive is 2100 lbs per hive. I sell now for $7 lb...figure an average price of $3 per pound out the door covers my costs, leaves profit in the model and should cover insurance.
This is so frustrating. Thanks for your help, though.
just checked again and laws on honey can be found on il. dept. of ag website,i believe the reason its on ag sight is because its considered an agriculture commodity. but it takes a long time to dig thru everything because of changes made concerning honey,labeling,etc.,etc.maybe you could email steve chard.....address Steve
Chard@Illinois.gov hope that helps, or maybe you should just sell it till someone stops you also Rita Taylor with ill state beekeepers assoc. is a state inspector she could probably answer your questions rtaylor email@example.com
the emails didn't show correctly they are firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
08-25-2011, 03:24 PM
mrqb - you rock. Thanks for the steer in the right direction!
glad i could help,you must have talked to rita good luck