If you’re interested in keeping bees, think back to what Schoolhouse Rock taught you: “Knowledge is power.” Do your homework. Dig into some research. Thankfully, there are plenty of pros in the area to help you.
Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association
This group meets on the second Tuesday of every month at The Point at C. C. Young. They start at 7 p.m., but catch a Q&A session 15 minutes before. “It’s called beekeeping for a reason,” president Ryan Giesecke says. “On some level it’s animal husbandry.” Enroll in the five-class series in the spring, and follow with a fall class on winter maintenance. tvbees.org
Texas Honeybee Guild
Husband-and-wife team Susan and Brandon Pollard are well known for their advocacy of single-family beekeeping, in addition to chicken care and other at-home food solutions. “We’re eating our own honey and our own eggs. It helps people be more vocal in local food and nutrition,” she says. “It’s a different approach to food—families living together and eating together.” Look them up on Facebook to take advantage of their wealth of knowledge. 214-826-8696
Garland resident Christi Baughman has been beekeeping for 12 years. She teaches five-session classes at the John Bunker Sands Wetlands Center in Seagoville. Her next series will begin in January at $235 for an individual and $150 for a second family member. “There is a great public interest in helping bees and beekeepers. And we need help—the national rate of loss is 35 to 40 percent of hives per year,” she says. “That’s alarming and expensive. Even by just planting more flowers, we’re making a difference.” beegirl.biz 972-822-4262
Round Rock Honey
This company’s home base is in the Austin area, but they teach classes in Rowlett. “Our lives depend on the survival of the honeybee because honeybees pollinate at least 85 percent of what we eat,” says owner Konrad Bouffard, who started the company from his backyard garden 14 years ago. “This is why [we educate people] in the art of keeping bees.” Look for the fall schedule of classes, each one a three-hour introductory course, to be posted online soon. roundrockhoney.com 512-828-5416
What’s the Buzz
Vendors around Dallas are happy to help you get started with all the gear you need for your chicken coop or beehive—or both.
North Haven Gardens
7700 Northaven Rd. | 214-363-5316 | nhg.com
This may already be a favorite nursery and garden center of yours, but did you know they also teach chicken coop classes? Call or go online for more.
Rooster Home and Hardware
10233 E. Northwest Hwy., Ste. | 409 214-343-1971
Located in the L Streets, go here for coops, rain barrels, tools, hardware, and other garden supplies—not to mention native and adaptive plants.
Texas Bee Supply
14665 County Road 633, Blue Ridge | 469-500-1473 | texasbeesupply.com
Buy worker bees and queens here, in addition to supplies and equipment. At no cost, they’ll bring your order to the monthly Trinity Valley Beekeeping Association meetings.
The Boyce Feed & Grain Corp.
441 S. College St., Waxahachie | 972-937-1541 | boycefeed.com
Interested in both bees and chickens? Get feed for your hens and stock up on beekeeping supplies in one stop.
Trinity Haymarket (Our pick for both!)
1715 Market Center Blvd. | 214-202-2163 | trinityhaymarket.com
Give Fred and Bill a visit. They’ll hook you up with all the supplies and knowledge you could possibly need. Keep an eye out for their workshop schedule.