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Discussion Starter #1
I need some voices of reason here. How can the small time beekeeper invest the money it would take to create a honey house extraction area that would include(1)a bathroom with sink (2)a larger sink to wash equipment (3)washable floors,walls, and ceiling (4)mop bucket station (5)cannot be in your home, and it goes on and on and on. Look, I want to do things the right way, but I'm not running a restaraunt here! I'm just trying to sell some extra honey for my 9yr old son. Any ideas are welcome.
 

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If you ae just going to sell out your door or to co workes....just do it....you will probably never hear anything about it. IF you build abuilding to to honey..watch for a restaurant closing...youcan buy sink(stainless) usualy for pennies on dollar. I am surprised you cant fix a room in your basement or if you build a building closeby use house restroom. If you do build a building, put in floor drains, your sink hookups, where you canmeet standards, BUT build it and wait a year or two...then youare converting a existing building to honey processing....will get you out of riser diagrams and other got red tape. Some on here think anyone botting 10 barrells should be exempt....I disagree. But some states are too strict! I use to have a inspector who used white golves with a flashlight even in super storage areaslooking for ONE ANT!
 

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We really have that problem in Florida with the new honey and Food Safety laws. FSBA is lobbying to get it amended to something reasonable. I wrote all my representatives because it is important to me. I think governments are looking for revenue streams right now so I would rather change the law than pay them.
 

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ALl well and good, BUT ANYONE BOTTLING 500 gallons of honey NEEDS a place to do it and the kitchen wont work. It doenst cost that much to get a two compartment sink, hand washing sink and fix a place where you can keep it clean and neat. While some states do go overboard, 500 gallons is too much. You cant get into alot of farmers markets if you are not inspected, or for that matter retail stores. Liability is another issue. I dontthink anyone is going to say anything if you sell a few cases of honey to your neighbors coworkers and friends....that takes care of 100 gallons.....once youget to 300 you need a place, do it right the first time. Remember I started keeping bees with two hives, increased to 42 and had over 10,000 lbs honey in 1982. I processed it in a room I fixed in the basement. Wasnt perfect, but worked. I had a sink, two compartment sink and moped
the floor. You can never get all honey up....gotta have a floor drain. I do disagree that you cont do the above in your home. I got a larger building 1984 with a 3 compartment stainless sink($150) and finally got floor drains ect in a new building in 1998. I grew slowly and been there with growing pains. I just feel if you are going to bottle 500 gallons you need a place to do it..you are no longer just playing around.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm inclined to believe that the government here in Georgia(maybe everywhere) favors the commercial beekeeper. Think about it, the harder it is for a small timer to sell honey legally, the easier it is for the commercial beekeeper to have a monopoly.
 

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Of course adequate facilities are a must. What bothers us in Florida and Georgia is the food handlers certificates for everyone that steps in the room, regular state inspection of the facility, and some hefty fees and licenses that can be distributed over 500 gallons but not 50 or 5 gallons. My daughter is in enforcement and they were ordered to "generate revenue" if they get out of their vehicle some money will be coming in to the government.
 

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I would think that anyone that wanted to sell 500 gallons would most likely invest in a proper honey house anyway, just to make it easier on them, to process.
 

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AMERICAS BEEKEEPER is right, I cant speak for other states but here in FL it has become rediculous. The licensing fees are outrageous, then you have to go to food safety classes that have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the honey business, then a facililty inspection at least yearly...to include a water sample once a year if on "city water"...three times a year if on "well water"..lets not forget a sample of EACH type of honey you sell to CONFIRM its that type (orange, pepper, palmetto) of honey. Its a money deal and thats it.:(
 

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I'm inclined to believe that the government here in Georgia(maybe everywhere) favors the commercial beekeeper.
Actually, in my opinion, the laws in GA (and most likely elsewhere) aren't intended to favor one beekeeping group over another. Their purpose is to protect consumers. If you're a hobbyist in GA, you can sell all the honey you want as 'casual sales'. You can extract it wherever you want without any regulation. On the other hand, if you put it on the shelves of a store then you're held to some standards. The GA laws don't seem oppressive to me and the inspectors have always been reasonable. As a consumer of packaged food products, I kinda like the idea folks can't just start processing and packing food in their kitchens....I've seen some of those kitchens.
 

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So as not to give out too much information, all i can say is I agree with Dan, I have been to one person's home who is more than a sideliner, seen the extractor, the supplies and the location......I wouldn't let my dog sleep there.....being a small sideliner, you would have to think about what you are doing and how because once you saw what i did, i guarentee you would be very pressed to make sure your enviroment is VERY VERY clean...I do not let my garage get that bad.....
 
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