Ag Valuation with Honeybees

Agricultural Valuation – aka “Ag Exemption” – with Honey Bees

Do you own 5 to 20 acres? Are you interested in saving hundreds, maybe even thousands on your property taxes each year (especially by preventing rollback taxes!)  ?

If so, having honey bees can help you qualify. We sell bees hives with an established colony (seasonally), but for those that may not want to get into beekeeping, we also lease our hives to land owners for a reasonable management fee. We do everything to manage and maintain the bees, and you reap the rewards of the tax breaks.

Lease our Honey Bee hives to qualify for an Ag Valuation and leave the Beekeeping to Harmony Hollow Apiary.  Call Rex at 469-251-2BEE (2233) for more information and pricing.

May 2022 – we are currently taking commitments for placing and managing hives in summer of 2022, as well as fall – and planning for spring 2023.

Texas law, effective January 1, 2012, made it possible for beekeeping to qualify for an Agricultural Valuation (commonly called “ag exemption” – see below) on property taxes. This is covered in the Tax Code under Chapter 23, Subchapter D, Sect. 23.51 (1) and (2).

An Agriculture Exemption is not actually an Exemption but rather a Special Valuation. If a portion or all of a property is deemed eligible to receive an Agricultural Valuation, that property will receive a Production Value along with its Market Value. The tax savings that a property receives depends on the current Market Value of the property and what type of Ag Valuation you are requesting. For example, Native Pasture areas can have a lower Ag valuation than Dry Crop areas and generally both are lower than the market value that the taxes would normally be based on.

There are several key phrases and requirements to this law. Sect. 23.51 (1) covers the definition of “qualified open-space land”. Specifics state land that has an established agricultural use history for five of the preceding seven years. Record keeping is critical. Registration and permitting with Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS) helps establish this history. Wording of the law states agricultural use to the degree of intensity generally accepted in the area. Each local appraisal district sets their own standards as the accepted degree of intensity.  Most appraisal districts use a minimum of six colonies (beehives) as a standard. That is the accepted definition of an apiary from Texas bee law under the Agriculture Code, Title 6, subtitle A, Chapter 131, Sect. 131.001 (2).

Size of qualifying acreage is not less than 5 or more than 20 acres. Remember the definition of agriculture use. Losing an acre to a homestead exemption has to be accounted for on acreage. (check with your appraisal district to be sure, though -as I have heard of counties allowing the full acreage without removing an acre for the home)

Also, realize the landowner does not have to own the bees. You may lease the bees from a beekeeper. Again, keep accurate and complete records. The wording of the law states “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.”

Lastly, it is important to stress the fact that each local appraisal district can set their own standards and requirements for the beekeeping valuation. Please contact your local appraisal district for guidance and minimum requirements.   Some counties will want to see a copy of a bee or land lease agreement as part of your documentation before coming to evaluate your property for ag valuation.    Most county appraisal districts now have this information available on the county appraisal district website.

Benefits include:

  • Professional management and maintenance of beehives on your property
  • Registration through the Texas Apiary Inspection Service (TAIS)
  • Pollination for your property
    Contributing to the welfare of the honeybees
  • Annual Report listing harvested tangible products with commercial value.
  • Qualifying requirements for Harmony Hollow Apiary management include:

The site must be suitable for bees and provide the necessary elements for bees to thrive. A complimentary site visit will be scheduled for all prospective clients.

Harmony Hollow Apiary must have unrestricted access to the location of the hives at all times.

A 2-wheel drive vehicle must be able to access the area where the hives are located and park no further than 20 yards from the hives’ location.

Harmony Hollow Apiary reserves the rights of ownership to the bees, the equipment, and the products of the hives.

We are based near the Dallas, Texas Metroplex. However, we cover a large portion of North and East Texas. Contact us to reserve bees for your property.

Registered with and Permitted by the Texas Apiary Inspection Service, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University

Leave a Reply