Introduction to honey and bee product processing

Beekeepers and other primary and secondary honey and bee product processing businesses must meet legal requirements, including under the Food Act 2014 and Animal Products Act 1999. Find out the requirements that apply to your business.

Requirements for honey or bee product processors

All businesses dealing with honey and other bee products must meet legal requirements. The requirements that apply to your business depend on what you're doing.

If you process, store, sell, or export honey or other bee products, you must:

  • have a registered plan or programme under the Food Act 2014 or the Animal Products Act 1999
  • manage tutin contamination in your honey.

The "My Food Rules" tool will help you decide what requirements apply to your business.

Our roadmap can help you sort out legislation

The Honey and bee products roadmap is a summary of all honey processing regulations, notices and standards. It covers honey, wax, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, bee products, and the export of live bees.

Honey and bee products roadmap [PDF, 1022 KB]

Food Act requirements

All honey processors must meet requirements under the Food Act 2014. Honey products for sale in New Zealand must also follow the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, which covers labelling and composition rules.

Labelling and composition of honey and bee products

You can choose to operate a risk management programme (RMP) under the Animal Products Act (APA) 1999 instead if, for example, you want to start exporting.

Operating under the APA

If your bee products are intended for export to countries that require official assurances (export certificates), you must also meet requirements under the APA. This applies to people who:

  • extract honey
  • store or pack honey or honeycomb
  • process or pack royal jelly, pollen, or propolis.

To comply, you must have a registered risk management programme (RMP), which can be based on a template using a code of practice.

Honey and bee product risk management programmes

Find out more

Overseas market access

Exporting honey and bee products

Tutin contamination requirements

If you're a beekeeper, or if you pack honey for sale or export, you must:

  • make sure your honey doesn't exceed maximum levels for tutin contamination
  • meet the requirements of the standard for managing tutin contamination in honey.

Managing tutin contamination

Beekeepers who don't sell or export their products

If you are a hobbyist beekeeper who produces honey and other bee products for your own consumption, you don't need to meet requirements under the Animal Products Act or the Food Act. The beekeeping section of our website has information about the requirements that may apply to you.

Find out more about beekeeping

Note: Donating or bartering your honey is a form of trade. If you do either, you must comply with the relevant food safety requirements.

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Who to contact

If you have questions about honey and bee product processing, email info@mpi.govt.nz

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