No matter where you are looking for beekeeping supplies in Texas, we’ve got you covered.
The Great State of Texas is number 6 in the country for honey production, producing about 7.4 million pounds of honey each year.
Offering a mild winter climate for bees, Texas is home to over 132,000 honeybee colonies.
Types of Honey Produced in Texas
Wildflower honey is the most popular, and is produced all over Texas.
Here is a list of some of the most popular monofloral honey produced in Texas:
- Wildflower honey
- Alfalfa honey
- Blueberry honey
- Orange Blossom honey
- Cotton honey
- Mesquite honey
- White Brush honey
- Sunflower honey
- Tallow honey
- Huajilla honey
- Vetch honey
Typical beekeeper supplies needed in Texas include:
The most popular bee hive in the US is the 10-frame Langstroth hive, originally patented in 1852. This hive, for over 170 years, has been the industry standard.
The hive components include:
- Hive body
- Bottom board
- Honey super
- Inner cover
- Hive cover
Beekeeper Protective Clothing
The most common protective gear for beekeepers include:
Canvas bee jackets and ventilated bee jackets are available.
Many times, you can purchase a combo pack of a bee suit and bee gloves at a discount.
Please note: Your beekeeping suit or beekeeping jacket should come with a veil included.
Beekeeping Equipment and Tools
Here is a list of some common beekeeping tools:
- Hive tool
- Hive smoker
- Queen marker
- Bee Brush
- Hive feeder
- Entrance reducer
The state association is the Texas Beekeepers Association (TBA). This organization was founded in 1880, although beekeeping was practiced long before then.
Where to buy bees and nucs in Texas?
One of the best places to purchase queen bees, packaged bees and nucleus hives (nucs) is your local bee club.
Here is a list of local bee clubs in Texas:
- Alamo Area Beekeepers Association
- Austin Area Beekeepers Association
- Bees in the East Club
- Bell/Coryell Beekeepers Association
- Big Country Beekeepers Association
- Blanco County Beekeepers Association
- Brazoria County Beekeepers Association
- Brazos Valley Beekeepers Association
- Caddo Trace Beekeepers Association
- Caprock Beekeepers Association
- Central Texas Beekeepers Association
- Chisholm Trail Beekeepers
- Collin County Hobby Beekeepers Association
- Colorado County Beekeepers Association
- Comal County Beekeepers Association
- Concho Valley Beekeepers Association
- Deep East Texas Beekeepers Association
- Denton County Beekeepers Association
- Dino-Beekeepers Association
- East Texas Beekeepers Association
- Elgin Area Beekeepers Association
- Elm Fork Beekeepers Association
- Fayette County Beekeepers Association
- Fort Bend Beekeepers Association
- Harris County Beekeepers Association
- Hays County Beekeepers Association
- Heart of Texas Beekeepers Association
- Henderson County Beekeepers Association
- Hill County Beekeepers Association
- Hopkins County Beekeepers Association
- Houston Beekeepers Association
- Houston Natural Beekeepers Association
- Hunt County Beekeepers Association
- Johnson County Beekeepers Association
- Kaufman Area Beekeepers Association
- Lamar County Beekeepers Association
- Longview Beekeepers Association
- Magnolia SWARM Beekeepers
- Marshall Beekeeping Association
- Metro Beekeepers Association
- Montgomery County Beekeepers Association
- Northeast Texas Beekeepers Association
- Palo Duro Bee Club
- Pineywoods Beekeepers Association
- Red River Valley Beekeepers Association
- Rusk County Beekeepers Association
- San Jacinto County Beekeepers
- San Marcos Area Bee Wranglers
- Temple Area Beekeepers Association
- Texarkana Beekeepers Association
- Texas Hill Country Beekeepers Association
- Travis County Beekeepers Association
- Tri County Beekeepers Association
- Tyler County Bee Club
- Walker County Area Beekeepers Association
- Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association
- Wise Texas Bee Club
- Wood County Beekeepers Association
Beekeeping in Texas
The Texas Food and Agricultural Code regulates the apiary industry.
Texas Beekeeping Laws
Beekeeping is regulated both at the state and local levels. The state agency tasked with regulating bees is the Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS). In addition to state law, you will also need to consult your local laws to determine whether or not you can have bees on your property.
Selling Honey in Texas
Do I need a license to sell honey in Texas?
A Texas Food Manufacturing license allows retail, wholesale, internet sales and distribution of honey that is labeled with manufacturer’s name.
When you are deciding to sell honey wholesale or over the internet, there are 5 areas of jurisdiction with which you may need to comply:
1) Texas Department of State Health Services – to sell honey as food in Texas, you will need to follow the rules for (Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs): 25 TAC §§229.210- 229.222) and obtain a food manufacturing license.
2) FDA Food Facility Registration (only if selling wholesale and engaging in interstate commerce)
3) FDA Food Labeling
4) Local Health Department Guidelines, if applicable
5) Homeowner or Deed Restrictions, if applicable
Honey Bottle Labeling in Texas
Texas Agricultural Code 131 identifies very specific honey label requirements.
When is the best time to start beekeeping in Texas?
Spring is considered the best time to start a beekeeping in Texas, when the weather starts to warm. Now is the time to buy your woodenware and protective gear, so you will be prepared for Spring.
The next step is to order your bees in advance, either as a nucleus hives or packaged bees.
In Texas, how does beekeeping qualify as an agricultural use?
To qualify beekeeping as an agriculture use, Texas requires a minimum of 5 acres and maximum of 20 acres.
In most counties, the minimum number of hives to qualify is six (6) for the first 5 acres, with additional hives per additional qualifying acre (up to 20) – at which stage the Texas Apiary Inspection Service requires registration of the apiary (bee yard).
How many acres do you need for beekeeping?
Typically, most backyard beekeepers have 1 to 2 acres of land with 2 to 5 colonies of bees. It is recommended to speak to your neighbors before setting up your apiary.
Can you start a beehive without buying bees?
Beekeeping might have a barrier to entry if you don’t have the money to buy the bees.
But the good news is that, yes, you can start a beehive absolutely for free and without buying the bees themselves. Two methods include catching a swarm of bees and honey bee removals from buildings and yards. Be sure to check local regulations on catching swarms and removals.