Local beekeeper weighs in on Texas HB 590, which will put restrictions on labeling honey

Texas House Bill 590 is relating to the labeling and sale of Texas honey.

A new piece of proposed legislation could have a big impact on beekeepers in our area.

A Texas House Bill would crack down on what could legally be called Texas honey.

In between the rooster crows, there’s a faint hum from Nicole Poore’s bees.

“Just made this hive with a new queen so I can open it up and double-check just to make sure that she’s out of her little cage,” Poore, owner and beekeeper with Twin Lions Ranch, said.

Amongst her goats, chickens, and roosters are Poore’s 11 hives where she harvests fresh homegrown honey out of Hondo.

“I can’t make medical claims but a lot of my customers do tell me that they do like to have honey, especially at allergy season cause it helps feel better,” Poore said.

All of the honey she sells at farmer’s markets comes from her own backyard, but that’s not the case for all honey labeled pure Texas honey.

Some commercial beekeepers will take their hives to other states to pollinate or supplement a low honey supply with a blend from another place.

The proposed Texas House Bill 590 would make it a misdemeanor to label something Texas honey if it’s not exclusively from the Lone Star State.

“If you label it as raw Texas or pure Texas honey, it should be from Texas to the best of your knowledge,” she said.

If this proposed bill were to pass, those who mislabel honey could face jail time.

Poore thinks that’s a step too far.

“If they want to buy Texas honey, it should be from Texas. But I don’t think that jail time or anything like that would be necessary. I think a fine would be perfect,” she said.

Right now, HB 590 is being sent to the Senate Water, Agriculture, and Rural Affairs Committee for further discussion.

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About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.