All Bottled Up

 “Sugar, ah honey honey” –The Archies, Sugar Sugar (Lyrics) 1969


So, The Archies were a ways before my time (missed ‘em by about 2 decades), but a catchy song is a catchy song.  I won’t deny that the lyrics floated through my head as an unofficial theme to honey bottling day.  The task of bottling wasn’t a difficult one, but more of a whistle-while-you-work task that filled me with an awesome sense of satisfaction to see the season’s work bottled up and ready for a label. 

Labels, Labels, Labels…

After the bottling (and some cleanup) came the time to put labels on our honey.  What I did not know before bottling is that in order to sell your honey, it needs to be properly labeled according to federal, state and local specifications. Different locations require different info on your honey label in order for it to be legal to sell in that area. Here I was under the impression that labels were just to make the bottle look fancy (*face palm*)! 

Lucky for me I found a handy link I’d like to share with you:

This page has all kinds of info on the labeling of your honey, complete with a clickable map to your state’s regulations.  That being said, it’s important to do your own research on honey labeling regulations.  If in doubt, I’m sure there’s a local beekeeper or group that would be more than happy to guide a fellow beek in the right direction for label information. 

From hive to shelf…

Though my own hives didn’t produce any of the honey which I was able to extract, bottle and label, I still felt pretty proud of the finished product.  I most certainly cannot take all the credit, though, as the whole process from hive to shelf was a team effort, not to mention the key players: the bees.  I seem to say it with every post, but I never fail to be in awe of these little creatures.  Their productivity, selfless nature and even their problem solving skills make me giddy for another season and the next learning opportunity they send my way.

Bottled, labeled and looking fine!

A chill in the air…

We’ve already had a few instances of snowfall here in Minnesota, and while none of it is sticking just yet, it certainly has me scrambling to get my winterizing plans in order.  I’ve already been feeding them Pro Sweet and Ultra Bee Patties for a bit now.  I don’t think it will be long until the Pro Winter Patties come out, but that’s another post for another day.  Stay warm, friends!


Here’s to something toasty in your mug and a friend to share it with!


22 thoughts on “All Bottled Up

Leave a Reply to Krista Cancel reply

  1. lloyd

    nice article. the bottles are not filled properly.

    1. Krista

      Thank you for reading the blog and for letting me know about the bottling mistake. I did not know that I should be filling them right up to the first ring. I appreciate you passing along the info, now I know for next time!

      1. Paula Fisher-Raines

        Unlike some, I’ve had honey bee’s for years and always seem to come across new info, or maybe it’s old info that I didn’t pay attention to at the time? Either way its a moot point, the energy some folks expend to point out faults amazes me at times, rather than to help expand a novice or beginner’s knowledge bank some just like to yap and nip the persons heals. I myself enjoy reading about your experiences

      2. Richard King

        “Truth in advertising” is an issue. I use canning jars and sell honey as 1/4 and 1/2 pints, etc. I was surprised to learn that the stated capacity extends to the brim of the jar. Thus, claiming that I included X fluid ounces turned out not to be true because I allowed some air space to avoid gooey messes when the jars are opened. I now claim “1/4 pt., 1/2 pt., 1 qt. jars” and don’t mention the air space. Nobody has complained and I’m prepared to issue a partial refund if someone does.
        Thanks for the warning about expanding honey! Not allowing a little expansion room could cause a terrible mess.

    2. Vickie

      Just wondering what the difference is by not filling up the bottles all the way? We package our own honey as well and never heard that. Does the air pocket make the honey go bad? Could you enlighten me please?
      Thank you,

      1. David

        It’s very easy to get a table-top scale, put your bottle on and then zero it out. If the label says 1 lb., then fill to 1 lb. Once you know where the line is, it’s easy to repeat.

      2. Jeanne

        Honey will expand as it cools or crystallizes. You don’t want it to push through the cap if and when that happens. I once had jars I brought to a local coop all leak on the shelf there after a month had gone by.

  2. Jim Aylsworth

    Don’t you have to have the weight in grams as well as pounds?
    We do in Ohio and I thought it was a federal law.

    1. Rick Knecht

  3. Jerry Workman

    Interested in these one pound bottles with labels .

  4. Teresa Newton

    I want to learn about bee keeping

    1. James R Maxted

      I will be happy to help you learn beekeeping if you are near central Texas. If you are not then look up your state’s beekeeping association and they will have addresses of local beekeepers that probably are wishing one more person would enjoy beekeeping! Gentle bees are the type removed from house walls. if they were Africanized, they would have already have killed the house occupants (and yes, they know how to kill us so perhaps they are being kind not killing us) :}

  5. Ronald J Meyer

    You are treating bee keepers as though they are idiots. You drop names of products that you sell, without explaining what each item does and why it should be used. Do you expect bee keepers to buy blindly?

    1. James R Maxted

      Well gee Ronald…when it comes to idiots, we are the ones out there braving wild animals (the bees) and wearing a suit they could sting through if they get lucky (and they do at times :} ). I live in central Texas and we have attitude effects here from Africanized bees which makes many of us buy fertilized queens so we don’t have a queen that met with Africanized drones. My first sentence applies to the view non-beekeepers have of us. :}

  6. Mo

    I agree the honey bottle should be filled to the bottom of the cap (no daylight showing) as marketing presentation of a full bottle (and actually required in a honey competition demonstrating good marketing). The wording below the linked map includes requiring net wt in pounds/ounces and grams. The map link there for MN is obsolete, but searching one finds MN also has the same requirement: The map link for TX labeling does not include their secondary link for ‘Small Honey Producers’:

    1. KIM

      Thank you for the link to the Texas labeling information. I just harvested my first 8 bottles of honey (new beekeeper here), and I appreciate the information!

  7. Deondria Paul

    I pray my first hive will fill you with kindness and goodness. Honey from Dee bee’s

  8. George Logan

    Apppreciate all you for beekeepers

  9. Joe Froehlich

    I’d like to start beekeeping this spring. Trying to find the best way to doing it

    1. Krista

      Hi Joe!

      I’m glad you’re interested in beekeeping, it is a very worthwhile hobby! From my experience, local beekeeping associations are a treasure trove of information. They also are a place where you could find a mentor to help you through the first year or two. Also, don’t shy away from diving into good books, I suggest The Backyard Beekeeper by Kim Flottum.

      We are here to help, too! Our website has resources that will assist along the way, and may I add, a pretty good blog as well 🙂 Best of luck in all your beekeeping adventures, Joe!

  10. Tim Snowber

    Found towards the bottom of Mann Lake Honey Container pages: By law, honey is sold by weight, not volume. All sizes shown are honey weight which is not equivalent to liquid volume. For example, a 12 oz container will hold 12 oz of honey but only 8 oz of water.

    1. Richard King

      Eliminate the confusion about avoirdupois versus fluid ounces by including an abbreviation appropriate to what you sell, as many merchants do (e.g., lbs. of flour, and fl. oz of soft drinks). “X oz. av.” refers to weight and “Y fl. oz.” to volume. In my experience, customers don’t much care about the details, but they do want an objective statement about how the product was measured out.