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Honey Regulations (Scotland) 2003

Below are extracts from the Honey regulations for Scotland that came into force on 18 December 2003 which have effect on the "hobbyist Beekeeper"

Labelling and description of specified honey products

Without prejudice to the generality of Part II of the 1996 Regulations. No person shall sell to the ultimate customer or to a catering establishment any specified honey product unless it is marked or labelled with:

  1. "blend of EC honeys"
  2. "blend of non EC honeys" or
  3. "blend of EC and non EC honeys"

Regulations 35, 36(1) and (5) and 38 of the 1996 Regulations, which relate to the manner of marking or labelling of food, shall apply to the particulars with which a specified honey product is required to be marked.

If you sell your honey at the  'Farm gate'  you only require:


Schedule 1

Specified Honey products and their Reserved Description

 Reserved description

Specified honey product

1a. Blossom honey or
1b. Nectar honey

Honey obtained from the nectar of plants

2. Honeydew honey

Honey obtained mainly from excretions of plant sucking insects (Hemiptera) on the living part of plants or excretions of living parts of plants.

 3.Comb honey

Honey stored by bees in the cells of freshly  built broodless combs or thin comb foundation sheets made solely of beeswax and sold in sealed whole combs or sections of such combs

4a. Chunk honey or
4b. Cut comb in honey

Honey which contains one or more pieces of comb honey

5. Drained honey

Honey obtained by draining de-capped broodless combs

6. Extracted honey

Honey obtained by centrifuging de-capped broodless comb

7. Pressed honey

Honey obtained by pressing broodless comb with or without the application of moderate heat not exceeding 45C

8. Filtered honey

Honey obtained by removing foreign inorganic or organic matters in such a way as to result in the significant removal of pollen

9. Baker's honey

Honey which: (a) is suitable for industrial uses or as an ingredient in other foodstuffs which are then processed; and (b)may:

  • Have a foreign odour
  • Have begun to ferment or have fermented; or
  • Have been overheated

Note:The description "Honey" may be used in place of the reserved description for the specified honey products listed as items 1a, 1b, 2, 5 and 6 of the second column of the above list


A food described in   column 2 of Schedule 1   (as above) is not a specified honey product unless-

(a)  it meets the relevant specifications contained in Schedule 2   (below) and as read with the notes relating to that schedule   (also below)   
   (b)  no other ingredient has been added to it and it is as far as possible free from organic or inorganic matters foreign to its composition


Schedule 2

Specifications for Specified Honey Products

1.  Sugar Content
1.1   Fructose and glucose content (sum of both)
  • Blossom honey
  • Honeydew honey, blends of honeydew honey with blossom honey

not less than 60g/100g
not less than 45g/100g
1.2 Sucrose content
  • in general
  • false acacia, alfalfa, Menzies Banksia French honeysuckle, red gum, leatherwood Citrus spp.
  • Lavender, borage

not more than 5g/100g

not more than 10g/100g not more than 15g/100g
2. Moisture content
  • in general
  • heather (Calluna) and baker's honey in general
  • baker's honey from heather honey

not more than 20%
not more than 23%
not more than 25%
3. Water-insoluble content
  • in general
  • pressed honey

not more than 0.1g/100g
not more than 0.5g/100g
4. Electrical conductivity
  • honey not listed below and blend of these honeys
  • honeydew and chestnut honey and blends of these except those listed below
  • exceptions: strawberry tree, bell heather,eucalyptus, lime, ling heather manuka or jelly bush, tea tree
not more than 0.8 mS/cm
not less than 0.8 mS/cm

5. Free acid
  • in general
  • baker's honey
Not more than 50 milli-equivalents acid per 1000 grams
Not more than 80 milli-equivalents acid per 1000 grams
6.  Diastase activity and hydroxmethylfural (HMF) content determined after processing and blending
(a) Diastase activity(Schale scale)
  • in general, except baker's honey
  • honeys with low natural enzyme content e.g. citrus honeys) and an HMF content of not more than 15 mg/kg
(b) HMF
  • in general, except baker's honey
  • honeys of declared origin from regions with
  • tropical climate and blends of these honeys


Not less than 8


Not less than 3


Not more than 40mg/kg (subject to the provisions of (a), second  indent  not more than 80 mg/kg



  1.  When placed on the market as honey or used in any product intended for human consumption, honey must not:
(a) except in the case of baker's honey, have any foreign tastes or odours, have begun to ferment or have fermented, or have been heated in such a way that the natural enzymes have been either destroyed or significantly inactivated.
(b) have an artificially changed acidity

 2. No pollen or constituent particular to honey may be removed except where this is unavoidable in the removal of foreign inorganic or organic matter.


Penalties and enforcement

 1.  Any person who contravenes these regulations shall be guilty of an offence.

 2. Any person found guilty of an offence shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding  £5,000 GBP

 3. Each food authority shall enforce and execute these Regulations in its area.

 4. It shall be a defence for any person charged  under the Regulations if that person can prove the food concerned was marked or labelled before 1st August 2004


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