Texas Supports Beekeeping With Tax Credit

The new tax code change that now qualifies beekeeping as an agricultural use enterprise in Texas’ open-space land appraisals sure had generated a lot of interest, says Chris Sansone, Texas AgriLife Extension Service entomologist, San Angelo.

Sansone says 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 that the Texas Legislature added beekeeping as another agricultural use for purposes of open-space land appraisal.

Entomologist Chris Sansone says Texas beekeepers can get tax break.Tax Code Section 23.51(2) was amended to include the definition of agricultural use as “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 the land uses 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 says. “While human food and products must be produced, the law does not require that they been 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 says the Texas Comptroller’s office recommended that each appraisal district consult their local Texas AgriLife Extension Service local 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 says. “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.”

Sansone says the website http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/pollination/managing-bees-pollination.html offers a good overview on managing bee populations.

Will Pennsylvania lawmakers do the same? Only time will tell! [-Ed]

This article appears in the American Agriculturalist

9 comments to Texas Supports Beekeeping With Tax Credit

  • Good information lots of our beekeepers are using this tax credit.This is another step in saving the Bees that help us raise the foods we love to eat.CABA keep up the good work on educating the public on Honey Bees and Beekeeping.
    VP of Brazoria County Beekeepers Association.

  • Randall232

    I am a beekeeper i only have 3 and a half acres of land and have six hives on it so why is that i can’t get a tax brake.

  • Dale

    I am in the same boat. I do know the law is very specific when it come to the AG exemption. I have 3.5 acres and have raised bees before. I could use the exemption but doubt this will qualify until it the law is changed or updated.

  • sean white

    the reason to all of your questions. is that you (the beekeeper) have to register your hives with the state. to claim the exemption.

  • are bees tax exempt in pa? just bought from mann lake and was charged tax …

  • dave ashbrook

    just another example of tax breaks for the well to do, those that can own most of the land. I spent over a grand setting up 3 top bar hives (minus the bees) to maintain ag exemption I already had and was told “my county” wasn’t going to allow it, yet they allow my neighbor to remain ag exempt.

  • Robert Light


    I have 7 acres in rural Travis County Texas, I have been AG exempt since 2001, lost it when the land around me sold, and regained it on the apiary exemption just this year. My question is; the gentleman that purchased the 4 acre lot behind me is threating to sue if I do not move my bees. He seems to be exaggerating, if not fabricating claims of being swarmed. I have several videos of me in a swim suit within close proximity of the hives not being molested. So far I’ve not responded to him. I desire to be a good neighbor but do not want to be pushed around by this guy, who’s approach was aggressive and threatening. I have looked high and low for laws governing how far the bees should be on my property etc… but have not found any definitive information. What’s a fella supposed to do?

  • phil

    Have current ag exemption in bastrop was wanting to convert to keeping bees. have 12 acres with a house. do I have to start my exemption all over again or can i just switch to bees?

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