Honey Bee

Who is a Honey Bee Producer?

For the purposes of TAEP, an eligible Honey Bee producer must meet the minimum requirements of beekeeping experience and number of existing colonies as outlined below in Honey Bee Applicant Requirements.

Honey Bee Applicant Requirements

• Minimum experience of five years and current ownership of at least fifteen colonies is required to participate. 
• Minimum experience of five years and current ownership of at least thirty existing colonies is required to request cost share for construction of a TDA licensed and inspected Honey Processing Facility.
• Applicants must report experience and number of hives in application proposal to be eligible.

- If the applicant has assisted other beekeepers and mentors in working directly with bees, he or she may count this hands-on experience toward the requirements. The applicant must list the beekeeper’s name, contact information, and length of time spent assisting this beekeeper for this experience to be considered.

- There is not a year requirement for ownership of hives but applicants must own required number of hives at time of application.

Consumer & Industry Services (Regulatory):
• Apiaries must be registered with the State of Tennessee by the time of the application period (October 1-7, 2023). Contact TDA State Apiarist at 615-837-5342 for more information.
• If you pack or sell more than 150 gallons of honey per year, you must be licensed and inspected by the State of Tennessee as a food manufacturing facility. Contact TDA Consumer & Industry Services at 615-837-5153 for more information.

Honey Bee Producer Cost Share Opportunities

Standard Producer – 35% Cost Share - $12,000 Reimbursement Maximum

All approved applicants with Honey Bee projects are eligible for 35% cost share. There are no special requirements for 35% cost share.

Master Producer – 50% Cost Share - $12,000 Reimbursement Maximum

To be eligible for 50% cost share, approved applicant must complete special requirements prior to the program reimbursement request deadline of August 1, 2024. The name registered for the special requirement must be the same name as the individual applying for cost share funding.

Special Requirements for 50% Cost Share

Honey Bee Special Requirements – applicant must complete one (1) of the following educational courses to qualify for 50%

— UT Master Beekeeping (preferred)
— UT Master Farm Manager
— UT Master Farm Health & Wellness
— TSU New Farmer Academy

• Applicant must have participated in special requirements from 2020-2024.

• Certificate must be in the name of the applicant applying for cost share funding.

• Applicants are encouraged to participate in the UT Master Beekeeping course before taking other educational courses.

• Visit epp.tennessee.edu/masterbee/ for more information about the UT Master Beekeeping.

What Honey Bee Projects Qualify for TAEP?

The proposed activity must encompass quality expansion or improvement of pollination or honey production. The eligible categories are: Apiary expansion, honey processing equipment, pollination services and honey processing facility.

Competitive Projects -- Honey Bee:

Priority is given to long-term projects that focus on improving or increasing production of honey, bees, or hive related products.
• Marketing projects that are long-term in nature are allowed but are not considered as competitive as those involving production.
• Only complete applications that include sufficient information will be considered for evaluation.

Approved applicants will receive a revised budget with reimbursement documentation. The revised budget indicates approved items per committee review, cost share allocation amount, and status of special requirement participation. All committee decisions are final.

• Not all eligible items are listed; please contact the Producer Diversification Coordinator for project eligibility or clarification prior to applying for TAEP cost share.
• All eligible items requested may not be approved due to the competitive evaluation of the program.
• To ensure long-term investments, items requested must be able to meet the five (5) year verification period to be considered for cost share.

* Include dimensions and designs with project proposal.

Apiary Expansion:

Beekeeping supplies
  •     Queens: one per new hive – re-queening of existing hives is not eligible
  •     Package bees
  •     Nucleus colonies – honey bees & boxes
Hive or super equipment
  •     Deep supers – hive bodies 9 5/8“
  •     Illinois, Western, Medium supers 6 5/8”
  •     Shallow supers 6 1/4”
  •     Deep supers – hive bodies 9 5/8“
  •     Illinois, Western, Medium supers 6 5/8”
  •     Shallow supers 6 1/4”
Foundation wax
  •     Deep supers – hive bodies 9 5/8“
  •     Illinois, Western, Medium supers 6 5/8”
  •     Shallow supers 6 1/4”
Hive accessories
  •    Telescoping covers, Western, or flat covers
  •     Bottom boards
  •     Division board feeders
  •     Entrance feeder
  •     Top feeders
  •     Queen excluders
  •     Entrance reducers
  •     Metal frame spacers
  •     Metal rabbets
  •     Eyelets
  •     Frame wire
  •     Pollen traps

Honey Processing Equipment

Band heaters
Bottling bucket kit
Capping scratchers
Containers – 5 or more gallons and usually stainless steel
Drum handling truck
Extractors – motorized recommended
Gates for honey storage
Honey bottling valve
Honey dispensing tanks
Honey filter
Honey refractometer
Immersion heaters
Uncapping knives
Wax melters

Pollination Services
All items and equipment listed in above sections are also eligible under the pollination services.
Trailers – size cannot be larger than needed for the number of colonies.    

Honey Processing Facility*
Building materials to construct a licensed facility.
Labor is only eligible for infrastructure projects. In order to be eligible for cost share reimbursement, labor must be quoted and performed by a contractor.

Bee brush
Bee escapes
Bee go – product for moving bees out of supers
Bee hats
Beekeeping gloves
Bees for resale
Beetle boards
Brood builder
Comb cutters
Corn syrup
Diagnostic kits
Electric embedder
Equipment for resale
Frame/ form board
Frame cleaner
Frame grip(s)
Frame fixers
Frame holders
Frames for resale
Frame spacing tool
Fume boards
Grafting tools
Hive tools
Honey containers
Jars and caps
Mailing cages

Maxant hive tools
Plastic queen cell cups
Observation hives
Queen cell protectors
Queen clipping scissors
Queen paint markers
Replacement of equipment/bees/existing items or structures
Ross rounds
Section scraping tools
Small hive beetle traps
Smoker bellows
Smoker materials
Sting kill swabs
Swarm traps
Sweat bands
Used equipment
Used materials
Email producer.diversification@tn.gov for additional information.