This weekend at a family gathering, we presented gifts of honey to our relatives. Our insurance broker is a relative and has been our broker for over 30 years, so there's no question of reliability. He's been aware of the bees for about 4 months, but never made an issue of it.
After receiving the honey, he asked if we were beekeepers as a hobby. We answered in the affirmative. He asked if we sold honey, and we replied 'no', as this is our first year and we didn't really have sufficient supplies to sell. He informed us that as long as we kept it as a hobby and didn't 'sell' the honey, our homeowners insurance and umbrella covered us for all liabilities regarding the hives and the honey...like if someone got stung or had a reaction to the honey. He went on to say that if we 'sold' any of the honey, our homeowners insurance would cease to cover us for bee or honey related liability issues, if they arose.
While all of this seems to make sense, as 'selling' the honey would seem to constitute a business venture, no matter how small, I have to wonder if anyone else out there has come across this issue, and if so, how they dealt with it. Did you simply ignore it and take the chance? Or did you find some other means of getting around the 'sales' aspect of the issue?
We only have 2 hives, and giving the honey away isn't really the issue as we never really got into the hobby for profit. But we do realize that 2 hives could potentially produce a lot more honey than we harvested this year (50-60 pounds), and even giving it away will have a cost, at least for the glass.
We're in Massachusetts, if that matters. Anyone out there come across this issue?