The Bee Queen

My wife and I hiving our first package of bees

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 (  He gave a very interesting talk on top bar hives.  McCartney has the largest YouTube channel about bees on the internet. 

The yupneck and the 2011 Bee Queen, Kaylynn Mansker

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:

We also met John and Wendy Rohan.  They are the owners of Rohan Meadery (  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 (  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.

4 thoughts on “The Bee Queen

  1. I too have never heard of mead.. but it sounds delicious! Also I’ve heard that people have used honey for years to combat their allergies. By using honey from a local hive, your body naturally fights the allergic reaction you are having and will over time put that imbalance back into normal ranges. Plus, you get to enjoy a spoonfull of honey each morning!

  2. I’m so excited to find this website. I purchased my retirement ppty in March. I have some experience with beekeeping (had backyard hives in Houston, TX). I LOVE beekeeping. Plan on having about 9 hives starting in spring 2015. I was hoping to find local beekeepers to share experiences, knowledge, etc. Local raw honey does help with allergies (my friends swear by the stuff). It’s also great for burns, cuts (Texas A&M Vets used honey on a friend’s dog that suffered a gunshot wound. For weeks the wound was left open (not good to stich up a shotgun wound evidently) and honey was poured over it and covered with gauze. Amazing. No infection, minimal scaring. Honey is really great for bee stings, too! Sorry, I don’t share everyone’s enthusiam for Mead…uck. I’ll send some of my Bastrop beekeeper buddies to the Rohn Meadery as they’re English and love the stuff. Look forward to attending meetings and getting to know local beekeepers and gardners!!!

    • Glad you have found us! Sally and I have kind of drifted away from the bee keepers. However, they are a great group with lots of knowledgeable and enthusiastic members. They do a school in the spring that is HUGELY attended. great folks! Let me know if you need any help with contact info.

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