The National Honey Board is a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight that conducts research, marketing and promotion programs to help maintain and expand markets for honey and honey products. The National Honey Board is not a regulatory agency nor does it have powers of enforcement. The ten member board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, represents producers (beekeepers), packers, importers, and a marketing cooperative.
The National Honey Board condemns any practice that jeopardizes the purity of honey or the reputation of the honey industry. We fully support the efforts of our government agencies to find and put a stop to such illegal and unethical behavior. The National Honey Board encourages the honey industry to work proactively with government regulators and agencies to ensure product safety.
The Board’s work, funded by an assessment of one cent per pound on domestic and imported honey, is designed to lift the awareness and use of honey by consumers, the foodservice industry and food manufacturers.
The National Honey Board conducts numerous projects each year to achieve these goals. Here are a few:
- We fund research projects designed to find new and improved uses for honey in foods and other products.
- We offer consumers honey information through recipes and photographs of honey serving ideas that are provided to newspaper and magazine editors across the country.
- The Honey Board provides information for special honey and beekeeping stories that appear in newspapers, the internet, and on radio and television stations.
- We provide honey merchandising materials to honey industry producer-packers, retailers, the foodservice industry and honey handlers. Posters, recipes, a cookbook, stickers, fact sheets… the list goes on and on. For an order form, call the Honey Board office, or download the order form directly from this site.
- We fund research projects to find ways to maintain the health of honeybee colonies.
- We fund programs to educate chefs on the use of honey.
For more details on specific plans and allocations of resources in each area, you may review the National Honey Board’s Strategic Plan on this site.
Where Did We Come From?
The Honey Board began in the mid-1980’s when a group of honey producers and other industry representatives got together to discuss a powerful new idea: What would happen if they pooled their resources to work to spread the word about honey? By working together, they theorized, the industry could advertise, conduct research and promote honey in ways that were simply too costly and time-consuming without a cooperative effort. The original National Honey Board was authorized by an Act of Congress and established under the rules and regulations of a subsequent federal Order. The Board began operations in early 1987.
In April of 2008, first handlers and importers of honey and honey products voted to approve a new national honey packers and importers program. The vote was taken in a referendum conducted by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Operations of the previous Honey Board were picked up by this new program and the name National Honey Board was kept. The board is authorized by the Commodity Promotion, Research and Information Act of 1996, and was established under the rules and regulations of the Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order that was published in the Federal Register on May 21, 2008. The Board’s programs are administered under USDA supervision.
Interested in serving on the National Honey Board?
If you are interested in being a Board member, please review the HPIB Order (see link on this page) and contact the Board’s Chief Executive Officer Bruce Boynton at (303) 776-2337 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.