This afternoon, our Oklahoma State Representatives will be voting on a bill that will have a great impact on beekeepers and fresh honey availability.
It's really important and kind of exciting!
If passed, Senate Bill 716, the Oklahoma Honey Sales Act, will allow small scale or hobbyist beekeepers (like little ol' me) to sell their fresh, local honey without cumbersome regulation and inspection through the Health Department.
This bill has already passed the Oklahoma Senate (unanimously I might add), which is great news. If today goes well then our fellow beekeepers will be very happy and everyone can continue enjoying the sweet, sticky, healthy stuff at a reasonable cost.
Please let your Representative know who you are why you care about this, and that you support this bill. Some of our smart peers have been working really hard on it already. My friend Maribeth in particular has spearheaded the writing of the proposed bill; and others have been lobbying at the Capitol with jars of their fresh honey in tow. Isn't that a great way to be remembered?
I have no honey to offer yet, but I will be contacting them today to make a last minute impression. And if you are an Oklahoma friend I hope you do the same
Honey is nature's perfect food. It doesn't spoil. It will not grow bacteria. It has myriad health benefits. And keeping bees is not just good but vital for every aspect of our agricultural environment. Everybody should care that bees thrive and that honey is free flowing.
Lastly, and this is the crux of it, honey and other bee products are certainly not cheap to produce. It's a pricey and risky venture already. So further restricting production and distribution would be bad for everybody, not just beekeepers who want to share their liquid gold now and then. Small scale apiaries need the freedom to operate simply and economically, or they may be forced not to operate at all. And we need exactly the opposite to happen. We all need more beekeepers, not fewer of them.
This matters to you IF...
- You are a beekeeper yourself
- You like to purchase local honey from farmers' markets, etc.
- You live in Oklahoma and eat any kind of produce (because bees pollinate everything).
- You are in Oklahoma and read this blog. (C'mon you guys!! All three of you contact the Capitol today!)
How to help, exactly? Glad you asked.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives will be voting on this bill today at the 1:30 session. Between now and then, please call or email your Representative. Make sure he or she knows you support SB 716 and that you hope he or she will vote to support the Oklahoma Honey Sales Act.
If you do not know who your State Representative is, you can click on this link right here. Super easy. Make sure you scroll to the bottom to find your State Representative, not State Senator or US Representative, as this website will provide all elected officials.
Thanks in advance for participating and being part of an important decision! I hope you all have a beautiful day. Give thanks for the rain Oklahoma is receiving this week. Daydream about the crops that will grow from it and about the gorgeous honey we will soon be collecting.
"If you want to gather honey,
Don't kick over the beehive."