Bee Keeping AG exemption

If you wish to get your own bee hives!! Bandera County has their standards published here is more info… http://banderaproptax.org/data/_uploaded/file/intensity%20standards%202013.pdf

Here is the snap shot of the “bee keeping info on Pg 17”

G. Beekeeping Operation
This type of operation provides many products: honey, beeswax, propolis, pollination of crops, and bees to sell to other beekeepers. To qualify for agricultural appraisal, state law permits keeping bees for two purposes:

  1. pollination of crops, and
  2. production of human food or products that have commercial value.
  1. Typical requirements in the District include keeping a minimum of three (3) active hives of honeybees. Each hive must include at a minimum one brood box (8 or 10 fram es) with a cover and bottom.  The District also requires that not less than five (5) or more than twenty (20) acres be used in this type of operation.
  2. Management practices for this type of operation include maintaining the required number of hive boxes, providing adequate shade and water for the bees, providing adequate pest control, receipts for purchases and sales of equipment, bees, and products. The landowner does not  need to own the bees, but the hives must belocated on the property seeking open-space agricultural appraisal. The landowner may choose to lease the land to a beekeeper who manages the bees on the leased land.
  3. Typical equipment for this type of operation include, but is not limited to,protective clothing (head net, suit, gloves),smoker, hive tool,hive boxes (deep broodboxes, honey supers, etc.)

The term also includes the use of land for wildlife management. The term also includes the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value, provided that the land used is not less than 5 or more than 20 acres.  more follow this link. http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/TX/htm/TX.23.htm

The new tax code change that now qualifies beekeeping as an agricultural use enterprise in Texas open-space land appraisals has generated a lot of interest, said Dr. Chris Sansone, Texas AgriLife Extension Service entomologist in San Angelo.
Sansone said that in a recent update, Deborah Cartwright, director of the Property Tax Assistance Division from the state comptroller’s office ( http://www.window.state.tx.us/ ), announced the Texas Legislature added beekeeping as another agricultural use for purposes of open-space land appraisal.

Tax Code Section 23.51(2) was amended to include in the definition of agricultural use “the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value, provided that the land used is not less than five or more than 20 acres.”
“The second option states that the food or products must have commercial value, not commercial production,” Sansone said. “While human food and products must be produced, the law does not require that they be sold commercially. Commercial production of agricultural products, such as livestock or crops, is not required for land to qualify for open-space land appraisal under current law. The other option requires that the land be used for raising or keeping bees for pollination.”
Sansone said the Texas Comptroller’s office recommended that each appraisal district consult their local AgriLife Extension office concerning the number of acres and hives needed to fulfill the requirement.
“A bee yard or apiary can be run on a pretty small scale,” he said. “Bees forage over a large area, sometimes well over a mile depending on available resources. Central Texas is not the optimum for beekeeping because of the lack of a consistent pollen and nectar source compared to the Houston/College Station areas. Sansone said the website:
http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/pollination/managing-bees-pollination.html offers a good overview of managing bee populations.
“There may be some differences in how the different County Appraisal Districts apply the regulation, and I suspect that some burden may be on the property owner to justify the use of land for bee pollination and to show how the bees are an agricultural enterprise,” Sansone said. “Property owners should think about a landscape plan of the property that shows how different plants and plantings would contribute to the bees’ foraging. Property owners may also be required to provide a basic marketing plan on how honey, and related products such as beeswax candles, soaps, etc. could be sold. They may also discuss renting the hives for pollination services.”
Sansone said local appraisal districts will determine the number of hives that are required on a per-acre basis and other requirements for beekeeping as an agricultural enterprise.
Sansone said Paul Jackson, chief apiary inspector for the state with the Texas Apiary Inspection Service, is an excellent resource person for local appraisal districts needing information. He can be reached at: http://tais.tamu.edu/

More information provided at: http://agrilife.org/tcch/2012/04/13/beekeeping-qualifies-as-an-agricultural-use-enterprise/