In addition to gardening, my wife and I are beekeepers. At least we try to be. Our first effort was a lot of fun and we learned a lot. Unfortunately we did not learn enough to keep the hive alive over the brutal winter. Since we both enjoyed the bees so much, and we really liked having them in the garden, we decided to try again. In order to increase our bee’s chances of survival, we decided to get some help. Last night we attended a meeting of the Central Texas Beekeepers Association.
The meeting was packed. We were very excited to see how many people keep bees in our area. The speaker was McCartney Taylor from Austin (http://learningbeekeeping.com/). He gave a very interesting talk on top bar hives. McCartney has the largest YouTube channel about bees on the internet.
Another special visitor was the 2011 Bee Queen, Kaylynn Mansker. I have to admit, I was not aware that there was an annual Bee Queen. The Bee Queen is the spokes person for the Texas Beekeepers Association. The Texas Bee Keepers Association has been serving beekeepers in Texas since 1880. In addition to promoting bee keeping, the association provides scholarships and sponsors the annual Bee Queen. In her role, she travels the state and spreads the good word about beekeeping at club meetings, schools and fairs. Kaylynn was a joy to visit with. She is very personable, knowledgeable and a great speaker (and who can resist getting their picture made with a pretty girl). If you want to learn more about bee keeping, the Central Texas Beekeeper’s are hosting their third annual school on March 11 in Brenham. Here is a link if you are interested in attending: www.centraltexasbeekeepers.org
We also met John and Wendy Rohan. They are the owners of Rohan Meadery (www.rohanmeadery.com). Until last night, I did not know what mead was. Turns out, it is wine made from honey. Many believe that mead was the first fermentated beverage enjoyed by mankind. The Rohan’s make and sell small batch artisanal mead from their meadery in La Grange, Texas. They use local honey that comes from Kenny and Wendy Reed of Bee Wilde Farm in Montgomery, Texas (http://beewilde.com/home1.html). They also use 100% organic fruit in their flavored meads. They brought three varieties for tasting and they were all excellent. We cannot wait to visit the meadery and load up. If you are in the La Grange area, stop by “The Hive” (their tasting room), take a tour and try their mead. I promise, you will thank me for telling you about them.