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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Montgomery, Tx
    Posts
    161

    Default Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    This year I have 7 hives and plan to gather more for the next couple of years, but I'm not sure what to do about a honey house. For now I'm operating in my garage and home kitchen and I was thinking about selling some honey at the local farmers market. Do I need to get a food handlers permit? Do I need to have a commercial kitchen that has been inspected?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Beckville Texas,USA
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    That question has been discussed here before.http://www.beesource.com/forums/arch.../t-225584.html
    The answer ultimately is 'it depends'. Where I am located I can sell just about anything I want off my front porch or out of the back of my car. The closer you get to a large town or city the harder it gets.
    Generally I've found here in Texas anything goes. Til someone says it doesn't if you know what I mean.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,199

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    Some states it maters if you're selling for resale or not.
    If you don't proses the honey or add any fruits, nuts etc. & are selling to the end user it might not mater.
    Dan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    I do not know the laws, need to start looking up, have a couple of options on just going somewhere and packing.
    I do know that the kitchen is a NO-NO.

    Mike
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
    Like us on Facebook

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX USA
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Dallas, Tx.
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    Hey kingfisher turning the orchard building into honey house will be setting up all the equipment up over the next month. Will also have wood shop.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    Jerry you need some help could stop by some evenings after work....

    mike
    Please check out the new kingfisherapiaries.com!
    Like us on Facebook

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Whitehall Texas
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    I know this is a old thread but I have searched everywhere for the current requirements for Texas and I have not found any useful links or resources..

    Does anyone know?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    Same here. I've heard it can be pretty tedious, and that the kitchen is not allowed (something to do with minimum distance from a restroom). I'm going to start by calling the TAIS tomorrow. I'd hope they'd know where to direct me. The Texas Rules and Statutes define honey, but make no mention of honey houses or the governing body.

    Much like other hopefuls, I'm going into year three of beekeeping this year. I'm running about 20 hives and in years past have had no problem selling out of what honey I got. So this year I'm turning my focus to honey production (rather than colony production) with the minimum goal of 500 lbs. I think with 5-10 hives dedicated to honey production this should be no problem. Here's to hoping!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  10. #10

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    Here is what I have found. To retail honey in Texas you have to have a food manufacturers license. This is granted by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). This license is of course only given after you've met their criteria. A major point of this criteria is a stand alone honey house which must pass inspection by I believe the Texas Dept of Agriculture (TDA). I have not found the explicit rules on a honey house, but am aware that it cannot be in your private residence (not your kitchen). I don't know if you could have it in your back yard, or if you have to have a separate property dedicated for the honey house. I would hope you could have it on your home lot, so long as it's not actually IN your home.

    I saw a few pictures of a friend's honey house, and it looked intimidating enough to scare me off. He had a stainless steel three basin sink and a refrigerator. That's more money than I have right now!

    An option of you don't want to have your own facility, you can still market your product by having a co-packer bottle it for you. You might check with your local club to see if someone there is licensed and willing to work with you shares or cash.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    Where did you get this information?




    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brueggen View Post
    Here is what I have found. To retail honey in Texas you have to have a food manufacturers license. This is granted by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS). This license is of course only given after you've met their criteria. A major point of this criteria is a stand alone honey house which must pass inspection by I believe the Texas Dept of Agriculture (TDA). I have not found the explicit rules on a honey house, but am aware that it cannot be in your private residence (not your kitchen). I don't know if you could have it in your back yard, or if you have to have a separate property dedicated for the honey house. I would hope you could have it on your home lot, so long as it's not actually IN your home.

    I saw a few pictures of a friend's honey house, and it looked intimidating enough to scare me off. He had a stainless steel three basin sink and a refrigerator. That's more money than I have right now!

    An option of you don't want to have your own facility, you can still market your product by having a co-packer bottle it for you. You might check with your local club to see if someone there is licensed and willing to work with you shares or cash.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,140

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    Quote Originally Posted by mythomane View Post
    Where did you get this information?
    Look at dshs.state.tx.us/foods
    or, call 512-834-6626
    Texas administrative code 229.183(3) prohibits food manufacturing in 'living areas'

    Our beloved, benevolent govt wants to keep us all safe.......Good luck
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  13. #13

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    I've called and spoken with DSHS for details. They pointed me to the generic food manufacturing facility statutes pertaining to sanitary operations.

    You CAN have the facility on your own property, even a special room built within the garage (not sure if attached garage, mine is detached).

    Talking with the inspector he seemed pretty easy going and lenient on things. They're main focus is to make sure you aren't bottling under conditions that could contaminate the honey.

    The statutes can be intimidating, but the inspectors have latitude here. For example, the statutes require a restroom in the facility. This is NOT required if a restroom is accessible within a "reasonable" distance. One guaranteed requirement is a dedicated hand washing sink. This CANNOT double as a ware washing sink. It has to be dedicated for hand washing only.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    We have always been exempted from this. Now they are saying we need to build a commercial kitchen? My guess is a lot of newbees called them and wanted to know what the "legal" thing to do is, and some pencil pusher just threw honey in under the general statutes. That is just incredibly stupid. Never had to deal with any of this in 25 years as a beekeeper. The blind leading the blind. Looks like I am a criminal now. Oh well....

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,140

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    Quote Originally Posted by mythomane View Post
    ....... Looks like I am a criminal now. Oh well....
    Its impossible not to break some law or other as a beekeeper in the state of Texas (and, I suppose many other states). If you move a colony to or through another county, you need a permit. If you move your hive tool through another county you need a permit. If you sell bees you need a permit & inspections. If you remove bees from structures you need a permit (one for each county). If you sell queens you need a permit & inspections. If you sell honey, any honey, you are required to hold a 'Food Manufacturing' license -or, bottle your honey in a licensed facility, one member of our Club has that license so we can use his facility. The permits for moving cost $35 and are valid for one move. The other permits are renewed annually. That is the tip of the iceberg.

    We are all criminals mythomane......
    Last edited by Lburou; 09-13-2014 at 09:26 AM.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Houston, TX, USA
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    I just saw this today: http://txbeeinspection.tamu.edu/beekeepers/honey/

    My prior understanding was that honey in Texas was a raw product, like a cucumber and didn't require a commercial kitchen or a food manufacturer's license. Go to a farmer's market and look at all the produce vendors selling vegetables and honey. How many of them do you think have a full-blown commercial kitchen?

    It looks like we have a new chief apiary inspector as of March 2014, so new rules are being put in place.

    B

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    dallas, tx, usa
    Posts
    523

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    We have, (until recently it seems), been exempted from this BS. Now one or two fools have decided to clamp down on independent beekeepers. Because people are dying left and right from our contaminated product. How many examples/problems can they name in the last 150 years of people getting sick from "bad" honey. None. But now it is illegal for us to sell it unless we sign up with Sue-Bee/get a commercial kitchen/get permits, etc. Let me get this straight -- Crap honey from China/SA/SueBee is OK, but Clean honey from small farmers is illegal. Just a matter of who gets paid off. This is complete garbage....

  18. #18

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    I questioned the cottage law as well. I was told that honey did not currently fall under the cottage law, but may in the coming years.

    My understanding is that some farmers markets do not require the food manufacturer's license to sell there. But the particular market I inquired too is sponsored by the city of Houston, and the city requires it. I assume that most small town markets and roadside stands can escape this burden.

    Again, if you have the space and maybe $1000 (maybe far less) you could easily convert a small area in your garage and be good to go and get licensed. Me personally, physically, I do not have the space in my current garage, and can't invest in a standalone structure.

    Unless you have a large surplus of honey to where you actually need to sell retail and markets just to move it, I would not bother with the permitting. Just get your name out there through friends and family and you'll do fine. Local classified ads are great for easy cheap advertising.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,785

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    All of the food laws are created to get control of the food supply away from ordinary people and into the hands of the corporations.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  20. #20

    Default Re: Texas Honey House Laws or Production Laws

    I completely agree. Best way to fight this bureaucratic BS is to work around it. Grass roots marketing and person to person sales increases your margins and pulls the money back from the greedy ones trying to tax every aspect of our lives.

    Don't panic, just call and inquire about rules and regs and you can usually find an easy loophole.

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