Laws and restrictions in your area
Here in SC, we have a relatively 'free' environment on beekeeping. We don't have mandatory 'inspections' (that I know of), we can sell to those we know without certified honey houses (though that rule becomes enforced if we were to try going to a farmer's market, etc), and there are no laws preventing beekeeping in certain areas unless they are located in the covenants in certain housing developments. There is a law going through our House of Reps (State level) though which would legislate honey as an 'agricultural' versus the current 'processed' food product, which would in turn eliminate the 'certified honey house' for smaller honey producers. Some hobbyist clubs are totally on board with this, understandably as it expands the ability of the small-time beekeeper to recognize a profit on their 'girls', thus allowing them to also increase, due to profit, their hives. Other clubs who have old-timers who have quite a few hives are very reluctant in their view of this bill as they worry about resulting restrictions, taxes, qualifications, and state oversight beekeepers may have to endure.
As this forum welcomes beekeepers from across many states, my question is, 'what do you have to endure legally as a beekeeper and, when and how (if you know) were those bills implemented in your state?' Does this possibly presage other more potentially onerous bills, given your personal experience?
Thanks in advance - I look forward to your input.
feds override local laws?
The feds are getting involved so I assume that local laws are superceded by the fed laws. I have not been able to read the following as its still loading on my P.c.
but have heard comments that it entails honey house inspections and $1000 fee to register.
Don't know if someone wants to move this one, but here's what i found on a basic search for California:
Selling out of your home or at farmer's markets is not regulated. No hive inspections, no state hive inspector(s), so anything goes regarding selling bees, queens & equipment. Selling honey retail from an establishment such as a convenience or grocery store -requires a Food Processing license. Not terribly expensive, but the kitchen must be certified and is inspected by Ks. Dept. of Ag. using virtually the same criteria as a restaurant. Liability Insurance is not required, but recommended.
In Virginia liability insurance is required to sell at farmer's market. Apiary inspections are required if you sell queens, nucs, bees.
I sell my honey at the front door but have liability insuarnce from Farm Bureau 'just in case'. The cost is worth the peace of mind.
Re: Laws and restrictions in your area
Wow...bet ya California has some crazy laws like this too..guess I'll have to check.
Last edited by Bizzybee; 06-12-2009 at 04:55 AM.