Most of us love the look of beautiful honey in a clear glass or plastic jar, catching the sunlight and refracting it out in shades of yellow, orange, and light amber brown. With a product so pretty, why bother covering it up with a label? Well, partially because federal and state governments have imposed honey labeling laws on honey offered for sale, but also because a honey label is a chance to connect the honey in the jar to you! You (with a lot of help from your bees) produced that honey, and your customers should know where to go to find more. 

But what should your label say? What size label do you want on your bottle? What kinds of warnings or honey details should your label include? What kind of custom labels can you have printed? Read on, for answers to all of these questions. 

When labeling your honey, the first questions you should ask are “What do I have to do?” and “What am I not allowed to do?” You've got to make sure that your food product won’t run afoul of any government labeling laws. 

United States federal honey labeling laws

For United States federal laws, these questions are pretty easy to answer.

Your labeled honey HAS TO

  • Include the word "honey" to identify the product
  • Include the weight (NOT just the volume) of the honey in the jar or bottle
  • Include the name and address of the manufacturer (That's you!)

You CANNOT

  • Label and sell your product as "honey" if it contains honey and another sweetener, like corn syrup
  • Label and sell your product as "honey" if it contains any additives or flavorings. 

(Honey can be sold with flavorings or additives, but those labeling laws are more complex than the laws that govern pure honey, and we don’t have space to discuss them here.) 

Your state and local honey labeling laws

Your particular state likely has its own laws on honey labeling, which may be identical to the federal laws or which may go a bit further. For example, in New York, we must also include the metric weight of honey in addition to the imperial weight. That’s why Betterbee honey is labeled in both pounds and grams. You must look up your own state’s laws for yourself to make sure your label is in compliance. One useful resource is this blog post by The Bee Corp from 2020. (Neither Betterbee nor The Bee Corp can guarantee the accuracy of those links, but it's a good place to start while trying to figure out your state’s honey laws.)

After you’ve gotten the legal requirements out of the way, the sky’s the limit for your honey label design. The beekeepers here at Betterbee love the convenience of printed adhesive-backed labels that we can stick onto each jar. In fact, we like it so much we bought a honey label printing business so that we can provide labels to you! 

Honey labeling options through Betterbee

 

The easiest, cleanest-looking option is choosing one of our pre-printed attractive color labels, adding your personal apiary information, and getting it printed. Make sure the label size matches the size of your honey jars. (Feel free to ask us if you want to make sure of the right size for your needs.) Just make your selection of one of our stock backgrounds and label sizes, and we’ll quickly print and mail you a roll of labels with all of your custom information neatly and attractively organized. 

You also have the option of buying blank labels from any of our label families and hand writing or stamping your information on them. This is a great, low-cost way to get into labeling your honey!

Blank labels pre-printed and ready for custom information

We can also make a completely custom label for you if you have a logo, graphic, or complex label design that requires special attention. Just call us up here at Betterbee and we’re happy to talk about your options and explain the label design, approval, and printing process to you. Take a look at these great label examples from customers that gave us permission to show off the labels that we helped them design and print:

Fully Custom Labels.

We also have other pre-printed labels that you might want to consider: Nutrition labels for honey, granulation labels to explain honey crystallization to your customers and that infants shouldn't be given honey, and lots of attractive "HONEY" labels that will catch the eye of your customers. 

Nutrition Labels.

So, do you need to order labels for your next batch of honey? Consider the differences between the following honey jars:

A non-professional honey jar compared to a professionally labeled one.

That's two very similar cylindrical jars containing identical honey. Both jars clearly identify the substance inside (honey), give the weight (imperial and metric), and identify the producer (Betterbee) and how to get in touch with us - but these jars don't send the same message to a consumer. The label on the left has a certain "homemade" quality that might appeal to a few people, but it’s unlikely to project the same kind of polish and professionalism that the label on the right achieves. One of these jars looks like it was filled by a beekeeper who takes their honey crop seriously. The other may have been filled by a beekeeper who doesn't bother cleaning the mouse droppings out of their bottling tank from year to year! Consider an attractive, professional self-adhesive label for your honey. (And save yourself from the hand cramps you'd get from writing out hundreds of labels!)