KY State Beekeepers Association – House bill 518 to support Beekeepers

Submitted by Tyson Hermes

Have you heard that there is a House Bill on the floor right now in Kentucky to help beekeepers? If HB 518 passes, KY beekeepers will be able to purchase equipment TAX FREE!

In order for HB 518 to pass, we need KY Beekeepers to send petitions, email and call as soon as possible and keep the communication constant. If you know a bee club in KY, gather signatures.

I’ve attached a copy of the bill. It would be nice if Indiana could push a similar bill!

Below is the email I received with instructions and contact info. At the bottom is the industry fact sheet for KSBA. It would be nice to push IN and OH for a similar bill.


Hi everyone:

We finally have a bill filed!

We are approximately 1/3 through the legislative session.  It is extremely rare that a bill that gets instroduced as late as HB 518 passes gets through the five-step process (we have one step), but it can happen with tremendous support from you and all of the contacts you have.  The good news is that if the bill can get to the Senate, it will very likely pass easily.  So the heavy-lifting is at this stage.

In order for HB 518 to pass, we need to send petitions, email and call as soon as possible and keep the communication constant.   If you have a bee club, gather signatures.

HB 518 has been sent to the Appropriations and Revenue committee, chaired by Rep. Rick Rand.  See below a list of the committee members, and their contact information.  Please contact them all, especially those local to you, and demand a hearing, and a vote in A&R on HB 518.  RICK RAND IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TO CONTACT.  HE CAN SAY YES OR NO WITH NO OTHER APPROVAL.  Talking points attached again.

* Find these people on FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.


KY State Beekeepers Association

Industry Fact Sheet
Please support House Bill 518

Submitted by Dr. Tammy Horn, President

1. HB 518 needs to be approved so that beekeepers may buy equipment and nutrition to feed honey bees—whose value in fruit, vegetable, crop pollination is equated to $130 billion nationwide (2010 census)—without paying sales tax.

2. Because healthy bees are necessary to food production, this amendment “fits” into KRS 139.480 which exists to eliminate sales tax on items related to food production.

3. KY has approximately 4200 beekeepers (35 members x 120 counties), generating 1.4 million in sales on average. This equates to approximately $90,000 in sales tax to the state.

4. During economic recessions, churches increase candle sales (more people go back to church) and people become beekeepers (pollinate gardens, etc.). So $90,000 is a good barometer for the highest amount of tax dollars to impact the state. As the economy improves, the amount of impact on the state coffers will decrease.

5. Honey Production was the lowest ever recorded in the U.S. in 2013

6. Penn State Researchers released findings that showed, on average, each forager bee returns with 6 different pesticides in the pollen. The pollen is used to make bee bread and then fed to larvae. Not surprisingly, when foragers return to the hives with higher pesticide counts, more larvae die than those foragers that return with less. To read more, please refer to the website:

7. The U.S. consumes 400 million pounds of honey a year, yet domestic beekeepers produce only 140 million pounds. China and Argentina fill the gap. With proper state-support such as elimination of sales tax, KY can develop forest-based beekeeping to fill this gap.

8. KRS139.480 eliminates sales tax on “insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, rodenticides, and other farm chemicals to be used in the production of crops as a business.” Many of these chemicals have a detrimental impact on honey bees, which are equally necessary for “the production of crops as business.”

Bottom Line: HB 518, which would eliminate sales tax on bee equipment and bee nutrition, solves one inequity for KY beekeepers who, on average, lose one in every three beehives every year.

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