Topics and Presenters

We’re still in the process of filling out this listing. It’ll be done soon! Go here for a grid view of the Schedule.

Room 1

8:00 - 9:10 am - Beekeeping 101 Basic Beekeeping Part 1 (Chris Doggett & Jim Colbert)

(Beginner, Intermediate)
Honey bee biology – all about the bee from birth to development, different castes of bee and the role of the bee in the hive.

  • Hives and equipment – a basic equipment list to get started.
  • Location of hive and hive maintenance – basic techniques to working a hive and how to identify honey, pollen and brood.
  • Swarming – reasons for swarming and how to prevent swarming.
  • A beekeeper’s calendar

Jim Colbert has been keeping bees since the late 1970’s. He started with one hive, no knowledge, and no mentor and admits that he made a lot of mistakes! He was out of beekeeping for a long time and then took it up again when he retired about 12 years ago. This time around he joined the Williamson County Area Beekeeping Association, read anything he could find and talked to anyone who would listen. In 2016 Jim was elected VP of Williamson County Area Beekeeping Association, served as President for two years in 2017 and 2018 and was on the board as past president in 2019.

Chris Doggett received a degree in Mathematics at Bristol University in England in 1967 and moved to the United States in 1984.  After a career in sales and management of electronics manufacturing companies, he retired in 2002.  He lives in Thrall, TX where he has been a beekeeper for ten years.  He is a past president of Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association and is a past director of the Texas Beekeepers Association (TBA).

9:40 - 10:50 am - Beekeeping 101 Basic Beekeeping Part 2 (Chris Doggett & Jim Colbert)

(Beginner, Intermediate)
Honey bee biology – all about the bee from birth to development, different castes of bee and the role of the bee in the hive.

  • Hives and equipment – a basic equipment list to get started.
  • Location of hive and hive maintenance – basic techniques to working a hive and how to identify honey, pollen and brood.
  • Swarming – reasons for swarming and how to prevent swarming.
  • A beekeeper’s calendar

Jim Colbert has been keeping bees since the late 1970’s. He started with one hive, no knowledge, and no mentor and admits that he made a lot of mistakes! He was out of beekeeping for a long time and then took it up again when he retired about 12 years ago. This time around he joined the Williamson County Area Beekeeping Association, read anything he could find and talked to anyone who would listen. In 2016 Jim was elected VP of Williamson County Area Beekeeping Association, served as President for two years in 2017 and 2018 and was on the board as past president in 2019.

Chris Doggett received a degree in Mathematics at Bristol University in England in 1967 and moved to the United States in 1984.  After a career in sales and management of electronics manufacturing companies, he retired in 2002.  He lives in Thrall, TX where he has been a beekeeper for ten years.  He is a past president of Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association and is a past director of the Texas Beekeepers Association (TBA).

12:00 - 12:50 am - Vegetable Gardening for Beekeepers (Michael Vidrine)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
We all know that bees & gardens go hand-in-hand but balancing the need for having a productive garden (using fertilizers and pesticides) is not usually compatible with maintaining healthy bees. This class talks about how to achieve the balance between the two objectives.

Michael Vidrine was born and raised on the Texas Gulf coast, but I’ve lived in several different locations and climates as my company moved me around. We have always had orchards and gardens wherever we have lived from Northern Brazil to the Upper Midwest (and 3 Locations in Texas. My wife and I retired to Brazos County in 2010. Currently we have a small acreage farm with 200 fruit trees, 100’s of grapes and berries, 50+ pecan trees and a large vegetable garden. I’ve been a beekeeper for 12 years with 10 colonies. I’m a certified Master Gardener and teach a variety of classes on gardening.

1:00 - 1:50 pm - How do I Inspect my Hive? (Danessa Yaschuk)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
The basis for all successful beekeepers is the ability to do a thorough hive inspection, and from it gather information needed to manage the hive effectively. Learn as we go through each of the steps needed to confidently make decisions based on what you observe.

Danessa Yaschuk, known by many as ‘Nes’ is a sideliner beekeeper and the owner of SweetNes Honey Apiaries & Beetique located in Damon, Texas. She and her husband Brent manage about 400 hives spread out over multiple counties. She has served 5 years as the Vice President for the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association and is a board member for the Real Texas Honey program as well. Her passion for honeybees began at a very young age, little did she know that she would turn that passion into a full-time beekeeping career as a Texas Honey producer and Beetique owner.

2:00 - 2:50 pm - Plants for You and Your Bees (Michael Vidine)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Plants for You and Your Bees – This session uses bee biology and foraging habits as the foundation for choosing plants for landscapes. Learn which plants you can use to create desirable landscapes that also provide healthy forage for honeybees.

Michael Vidrine was born and raised on the Texas Gulf coast, but I’ve lived in several different locations and climates as my company moved me around. We have always had orchards and gardens wherever we have lived from Northern Brazil to the Upper Midwest (and 3 Locations in Texas. My wife and I retired to Brazos County in 2010. Currently we have a small acreage farm with 200 fruit trees, 100’s of grapes and berries, 50+ pecan trees and a large vegetable garden. I’ve been a beekeeper for 12 years with 10 colonies. I’m a certified Master Gardener and teach a variety of classes on gardening.

3:10 - 4:00 pm - Annual Maintenance (Ashley Ralph)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

The basis for all successful beekeepers is the ability to do a thorough hive inspection, and from it gather information needed to manage the hive effectively. Learn as we go through each of the steps needed to confidently make decisions based on what you observe.

Danessa Yaschuk, known by many as ‘Nes’ is a sideliner beekeeper and the owner of SweetNes Honey Apiaries & Beetique located in Damon, Texas. She and her husband Brent manage about 400 hives spread out over multiple counties. She has served 5 years as the Vice President for the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association and is a board member for the Real Texas Honey program as well. Her passion for honeybees began at a very young age, little did she know that she would turn that passion into a full-time beekeeping career as a Texas Honey producer and Beetique owner.

Room 2

8:00 - 9:50 am - Beekeeping 201 Advanced Beekeeping Part 1 (Dodie Stillman)

(Intermediate, Advanced)
This will be a fast-paced whirlwind presentation discussing: the Golden Rules of Beekeeping, nutrition management, diseases control, comb rotation, colony combining, re-queening, Integrated Pest Management, swarm prevention and control techniques. You should bring a pen and paper and be prepared to cover a lot of material.

Dodie Stillman started attending the Austin Area Beekeepers (AABA) and Williamson County Area Beekeepers Associations meetings in 2011. She was in the inaugural class of the Texas Master Beekeepers Program and became one of the first seven official Master Beekeepers in the State of Texas, and now serves on the TMBP board.  Dodie spent a year as the President of the Texas Beekeepers Association and currently holds the position of Past President for both TBA and the Austin club where she served as president for several years. She teaches beekeeping classes at Texas Honey Bee Farm and The Bee Supply.

9:40 - 11:30 am - Beekeeping 201 Advanced Beekeeping Part 2 (Dodie Stillman)

(Intermediate, Advanced)
This will be a fast-paced whirlwind presentation discussing: the Golden Rules of Beekeeping, nutrition management, diseases control, comb rotation, colony combining, re-queening, Integrated Pest Management, swarm prevention and control techniques. You should bring a pen and paper and be prepared to cover a lot of material.

Dodie Stillman started attending the Austin Area Beekeepers (AABA) and Williamson County Area Beekeepers Associations meetings in 2011. She was in the inaugural class of the Texas Master Beekeepers Program and became one of the first seven official Master Beekeepers in the State of Texas, and now serves on the TMBP board.  Dodie spent a year as the President of the Texas Beekeepers Association and currently holds the position of Past President for both TBA and the Austin club where she served as president for several years. She teaches beekeeping classes at Texas Honey Bee Farm and The Bee Supply.

12:00 - 12:50 pm - One Million Ways to Kill Your Bees (Ryan Giesecke)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

While the title is a bit morbid (and likely a bit overstated numerically), this talk will address some of the things we can do as beekeepers that inadvertently harm our colony’s odds of survival.  This is a beekeeper-error-prevention talk, not a pest and disease talk. If you want to keep bees alive, knowing how you could kill them is a great place to start!

Ryan Giesecke owns and operates G-Bar Naturals, an urban homestead project located in East Dallas. From there he periodically offers homegrown products and learning opportunities, as well as performing bee-friendly removals of honeybees and bumble bees as “Honeybee Relocation Services”. Ryan loves to talk bees and has done so all across the state. He is president of Texas Association of Professional Bee Removers, past president of Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association in Dallas, past president of Metro Beekeepers Association in Fort Worth, and a Texas Master Beekeeper. He has also taught classes on bees at area colleges and is currently at work on a first book about bees.

1:00 - 1:50 pm - Bees for Ag. Exemptions (Dennis Herbert)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In 2012, the state of Texas changed the law to allow Beekeeping to qualify as an agricultural activity which can qualify the land for a 1-d-1 open space valuation (“exemption”) for your property taxes. This class details what this law requires, presented by the man who helped write the law.

Dennis Herbert drafted the original legislation for the current bee law that assists small landowners in receiving their agricultural valuation if they wish to raise bees on their property. He helped shepherd the bill through the legislature in 2011, it became law on January 1, 2012. He has been a beekeeper in Bell County for 18 years.

2:00 - 2:50 pm - Wax Moths, Beetles, & Mites, oh my! (Lauren Ward)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Lauren Ward is the owner of A Bar Beekeeping, providing hive management services, beekeeping lessons, and professional presentations. Lauren has had a lifelong interest in insects and agriculture, culminating in a Master’s degree in Entomology in 2014 and Board Certification in Entomology in 2015. Further experience includes serving as Texas A&M Apiary Manager, Honey Bee Biology Instructor, and working in commercial scale beekeeping operations. A Bar Beekeeping now services more than 500 hives across Central Texas.

3:10 - 4:00 pm - Keeping Bees Calm (Les Crowder)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Bees do not sting because they are mean, they sting because they are afraid. When we open a beehive there are subtle actions we can take and avoid that make our time more like dancing with our little buddies rather than working through a hive of mean bees. The bees, beekeepers, neighbors and family are all better off if we can notice the things we do that keep bees calm.

Les Crowder began keeping bees in Bernalillo, New Mexico 40+ years ago.  He began early on to search for ways to regularly renew the combs in beehives because research indicated that old cocoon laden combs become havens for pathogenic fungi and bacteria that stress the bee’s resistance to disease.  This led him to experiment with top bar hives and eventually begin using them exclusively for a small 100-200 hive honey and beeswax business in New Mexico.  He has taught beekeeping in many parts of the world for more than 30 years.  He and Heather Harrell co-authored the book Top-Bar Beekeeping published by Chelsea Green in 2012, soon to be published in Spanish.  He continues to teach and advocate non-toxic management of beehives near Austin.

Room 3

8:00 - 9:10 am - Top Bar Hives Part 1 (Brandon Fehrenkamp)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
is the owner of Austin Bees, specializing in bee removals, top bar hives and consulting.  Brandon began beekeeping on a whim in 2003 and started doing live removals in 2005.  He has extensive experience safely removing hives in densely populated areas.  He regularly speaks at schools and events to educate the public, is mentor to the UT Beekeeping Club, Beevo, and manages the glass observation hive at the Austin Nature & Science Center.

Brandon Fehrenkamp We will focus on Top Bar Hive beekeeping.  Brandon will focus on the underlying theory of top bar hives and address the correct way to build / select a top bar hive.  Brandon will also cover design flaws so that people don’t get stuck with an unworkable hive.  He loves lots of Q&A in his talks.

9:40 - 10:50 am - Top Bar Hives Part 2 (Brandon Fehrenkamp)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
is the owner of Austin Bees, specializing in bee removals, top bar hives and consulting.  Brandon began beekeeping on a whim in 2003 and started doing live removals in 2005.  He has extensive experience safely removing hives in densely populated areas.  He regularly speaks at schools and events to educate the public, is mentor to the UT Beekeeping Club, Beevo, and manages the glass observation hive at the Austin Nature & Science Center.

Brandon Fehrenkamp – We will focus on Top Bar Hive beekeeping.  Brandon will focus on the underlying theory of top bar hives and address the correct way to build / select a top bar hive.  Brandon will also cover design flaws so that people don’t get stuck with an unworkable hive.  He loves lots of Q&A in his talks.

11:10 - 12:00 am - Catching and Keeping Swarms (Justin Russell)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

We’ll discuss how to be prepared for swarm season, easily capture swarms and keep them alive. Get tips and tricks for capturing swarms as well as how to ensure they’ll be healthy and thrive.

Justin Russell owns and operates Prime Bees in College Station along with his wife, Ashley, where he manages between 1000-1500 colonies of bees and growing.  Justin is also the Operations Manager for Desert Creek Pollination who places 50-100,000 hives for beekeepers in the California almonds. When he first began keeping bees as a hobby, it didn’t take long for him to realize that beekeeping was his professional calling as well. He continues to grow his business where he sells live bees, educates, does professional bee removal, manages bees on others’ properties, raises queen bees, and everything in between. Justin’s desire to continue improving and learning led him to become a Master Beekeeper as well as learn from other beekeepers big and small along the way. Justin is a blunt and practical beekeeper that is focused on results.

12:00 - 12:50 pm - Medicinal Properties of Texas Honey, Part 1 (Farhat Ozturk)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
For millennia, honey has served as a medicinal treasure. Its pure form offers a spectrum of health benefits, including antioxidants, antimicrobial properties, immune modulation, and anti-inflammatory potency. Dive into Dr. Ozturk’s talk, as he delves into the contemporary medical applications of honey, spotlighting the unique healing potential of medical-grade TX honeys.

Ferhat Ozturk earned his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He served as the Director of the Honey Research Center in Turkey. He moved to San Antonio in 2018 and is an assistant professor of practice at UT San Antonio where he teaches Medicinal Properties of Honey. Dr. Ozturk recently established the HONEY Pathway as part of his USDA NextGen grant.

1:00 - 1:50 pm - Biology of Mating (Dr. Rangel)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In this course we will cover basic concepts of the biology of queens and drones, and the biology of mating, including some information about drone congregation areas, queen reproductive quality, and problems associated with poor queen mating. Understanding the basic biology of mating will inform all beekeepers about what they can expect to happen in their hives (or in feral colonies) during the swarming season, which in this part of Texas will begin to occur as early as February. 

Dr. Juliana Rangel obtained her PhD in 2009 from Cornell University.  In 2010 she joined the laboratory of Dr. David Tarpy at North Carolina State as the coordinator of the “Born and Bred in North Carolina: Queen -Rearing and Bee Breeding Program”.  In 2013 she joined the faculty Texas A&M University as Assistant Professor of Apiculture in the Department of Entomology. She obtained tenure in 2018, and in 2023 she was promoted to the rank of Professor.

2:00 - 2:50 pm - Medicinal Properties of Texas Honey, Part 2 (Farhat Ozturk)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
For millennia, honey has served as a medicinal treasure. Its pure form offers a spectrum of health benefits, including antioxidants, antimicrobial properties, immune modulation, and anti-inflammatory potency. Dive into Dr. Ozturk’s talk, as he delves into the contemporary medical applications of honey, spotlighting the unique healing potential of medical-grade TX honeys.

Ferhat Ozturk earned his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He served as the Director of the Honey Research Center in Turkey. He moved to San Antonio in 2018 and is an assistant professor of practice at UT San Antonio where he teaches Medicinal Properties of Honey. Dr. Ozturk recently established the HONEY Pathway as part of his USDA NextGen grant.

3:10 - 4:00 pm - Advanced Top Bar (Brandon Fehrenkamp)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Brandon Fehrenkamp is the owner of Austin Bees, specializing in bee removals, top bar hives and consulting.  Brandon began beekeeping on a whim in 2003 and started doing live removals in 2005.  He has extensive experience safely removing hives in densely populated areas.  He regularly speaks at schools and events to educate the public, is mentor to the UT Beekeeping Club, Beevo, and manages the glass observation hive at the Austin Nature & Science Center. 

Room 4

8:00 - 8:50 am - No Class Scheduled

9:00 - 9:50 am - Water Feature to Help Pollinators & Reduce Mosquitoes (Les Crowder)

(Beginer, Intermediate, Advanced)

Les Crowder began keeping bees in Bernalillo, New Mexico 40+ years ago.  He began early on to search for ways to regularly renew the combs in beehives because research indicated that old cocoon laden combs become havens for pathogenic fungi and bacteria that stress the bee’s resistance to disease.  This led him to experiment with top bar hives and eventually begin using them exclusively for a small 100-200 hive honey and beeswax business in New Mexico.  He has taught beekeeping in many parts of the world for more than 30 years.  He and Heather Harrell co-authored the book Top-Bar Beekeeping published by Chelsea Green in 2012, soon to be published in Spanish.  He continues to teach and advocate non-toxic management of beehives near Austin.

10:00 - 10:50 am - Texas Apiary Laws)

11:10 - 12:00 pm - Apis Melifera & Varroa Mites)

(Begining, Intermediate, Advanced)
In this class we will be covering when to replace your queen. Then cover a couple of ways to find your queen. Finally covering the process of requeening your colony with a purchased queen. 

Les Crowder began keeping bees in Bernalillo, New Mexico 40+ years ago.  He began early on to search for ways to regularly renew the combs in beehives because research indicated that old cocoon laden combs become havens for pathogenic fungi and bacteria that stress the bee’s resistance to disease.  This led him to experiment with top bar hives and eventually begin using them exclusively for a small 100-200 hive honey and beeswax business in New Mexico.  He has taught beekeeping in many parts of the world for more than 30 years.  He and Heather Harrell co-authored the book Top-Bar Beekeeping published by Chelsea Green in 2012, soon to be published in Spanish.  He continues to teach and advocate non-toxic management of beehives near Austin.

 

12:00 - 12:50 pm - Intergrated Pest Management (Bill Baxter)

(Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced)
This presentation will cover how to control different pests in a honeybee colony using an Integrated Pest Management approach.

Bill Baxter is a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in Animal Science.  Bill has had a 35-year career with the Texas Apiary Inspection Services.  During the course of Bill’s distinguished career, he has seen the introduction into Texas of tracheal mites, varroa mites and Africanized honey bee.

1:00 - 1:50 pm - What to Know Before Getting Started (Nathalie B.)

(Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced)

Nathalie B. is a Master Beekeeper and owner Bee-Mindful.com, where she leverages 12 years of experience to manage about 300 colonies through several counties. She offers beekeeping apprenticeships and classes in sustainable and natural beekeeping, professional AG exemption services, affordable horizontal hives, and treatment-free bees.  Nathalie is a contributor to Bee Culture magazine, the founder of the first natural beekeeping club in Texas, and of the World Bee Day Natural Beekeeping Webinar. She hosts the “Natural Beekeeping Corner” on the popular “Hive Jive” beekeeping podcast. She has served as President of the Hays County Beekeepers Association, VP of the Travis County Beekeepers Association, Director at the Texas Beekeepers Association, and Chairman of the Real Texas Honey non-profit.

2:00 - 2:50 pm - What Would I Order If Starting Over (Chris Barnes)

(Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced)
Deciding on which bee suit, hive boxes, & assorted equipment to buy can be a dizzying array of choices for a new beekeeper.  This class gives you a succinct list of the things you NEED to buy, the things you SHOULD buy, and the things you DON’T NEED.

Chris Barnes has been keeping bees now for 10+ years after being “forced” to come to the Central Texas Bee School back in 2013 by his wife. At that time, she wanted 2 hives – today they together run Cornerstone Honey Bees with over 70 hives, producing honey, wax products, giving hive tours, leasing hives for Ag Valuations, and have begun to dip their pinky toe into the world of almond pollination.  Chris & Dalene are founding members of the Brazos Valley Beekeepers in Bryan/College Station where together they have served in every position on the Board of Directors.  In addition, for the past 8 years Chris has served as the Director of club’s Youth Beekeeping Program.  Now that they are both retired from their jobs, they are hoping to scale back their beekeeping activities somewhat in order to focus on traveling, salmon fishing in Alaska, and grandbabies.

3:10 - 4:00 pm - How to Set Up Your Apiary (Chris Barnes)

(Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced)

This class talks about how to decide WHERE to put the hives on your property, as well as some detail on HOW to get them setup.

Chris Barnes has been keeping bees now for 10+ years after being “forced” to come to the Central Texas Bee School back in 2013 by his wife. At that time, she wanted 2 hives – today they together run Cornerstone Honey Bees with over 70 hives, producing honey, wax products, giving hive tours, leasing hives for Ag Valuations, and have begun to dip their pinky toe into the world of almond pollination.  Chris & Dalene are founding members of the Brazos Valley Beekeepers in Bryan/College Station where together they have served in every position on the Board of Directors.  In addition, for the past 8 years Chris has served as the Director of club’s Youth Beekeeping Program.  Now that they are both retired from their jobs, they are hoping to scale back their beekeeping activities somewhat in order to focus on traveling, salmon fishing in Alaska, and grandbabies.

Room 5

8:00 - 8:50 am - Sustainable, Budget Friendly Beekeeping for All (Nathalie B)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Nathalie B. holds an MBA from Ohio State and a Master Beekeeper degree from Texas A&M.  She owns Bee-Mindful.com, where she leverages 12 years of experience to manage about 300 colonies through several counties. She offers beekeeping apprenticeships and classes in sustainable and natural beekeeping, as well as professional AG exemption services, affordable horizontal hives, and treatment-free bees.  Nathalie is a contributor to Bee Culture magazine, the founder of the first natural beekeeping club in Texas, and of the World Bee Day Natural Beekeeping Webinar. She hosts the “Natural Beekeeping Corner” on the popular “Hive Jive” beekeeping podcast. She has served as President of the Hays County Beekeepers Association, VP of the Travis County Beekeepers Association, Director at the Texas Beekeepers Association, and Chairman of the Real Texas Honey non-profit.

Nathalie is passionate about community outreach and volunteering and has set up free training programs and teaching apiaries for refugees in the Congo, Nigeria, and Texas, donating and leveraging simple, cost conscious, easy to manage and sustainable horizontal frameless hives in the process.

9:40 - 10:50 am - A Practical Guide to Queen Rearing (Steve Brackmann)

(Intermediate, Advanced)
Re-queening hives is a common task that many beekeepers use to maintain the health of their hive.  But if you have more than a couple of hives, this can get somewhat expensive.  This class will show you how to raise your own queens.

Steve Brackman was raised on a dairy farm in Northern Illinois and lived there until 1985 when he moved to Texas.  Steve began his beekeeping career over 25 years ago; starting out by doing over 2400 removals.  Today he focuses on being a queen breeder which he’s been doing for the last 10 years. 

10:00 - 10:50 am - Hives for Heroes (Charlie McMaster)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Hives for Heroes is a non-profit veterans service & support organization that is continuing to grow as a network of beekeepers and veterans. Hives for Heroes relies upon establishing a personal connection between a mentor and a NewBEE, sustaining healthy relationships, a positive purpose for life for themselves, their families, and their communities.  We extend those experiences into fostering a lifelong hobby of beekeeping.  We actively request the support of local and state level beekeeping organizations as an access point, sharing our combined resources to provide an extension of their significant depth of local knowledge into another community.  

Charles McMaster became a beekeeper after his retirement from Army, he’s now refreshing his knowledge with the beekeeping school of hard knocks within the confines of one top bar and five Langstroth hives just a few yards away from the back door of his home in Copperas Cove, Texas.  Charlie is the President of the Bell / Coryell Beekeepers Association and is now contributing to Hives for Heroes in Current Operations and TBA as a member of the BoD

11:00 - 11:50 pm - Mead 101 (Wendy Rohan)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In this lecture, you will learn all about the most ancient of beverages, Mead or Honeywine.  What is mead? How old is it? How is it made? All these questions will be answered, and you will also learn how to make your own batch at home!

Wendy Rohan and her husband John moved out towards La Grange in 2008 where they founded Blissful Folly Farm and Rohan Meadery. The Meadery now makes cider, meads and grape wines. Rohan Meadery is Texas’ oldest meadery and the first to make Czech- German style meads. The Rohans have received over 40 awards for their meads & wines. 

12:00 - 12:50 pm - Making Splits (Chari & James Elam)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
There are dozens of ways to split a hive; most of them have specific uses for WHY you are wanting or needing to split a hive:  Increasing the number of hives, preventing swarming, calming down an aggressive hive are just some of those reasons.  This class will look at the reasons you might want to split your hives and different methods for accomplishing your goals.

James and Chari Elam – as owners of Blue Ribbon Honey Company and previously Bluebonnet Beekeeping (now part of “TBS” – The Bee Supply), James and Chari have circled the industry honored to have served on multiple board positions both in their local bee club and Texas Beekeepers Association. As they continue traveling the speaking circuit, although technically retired – James is still very active in the industry, writing articles, and part of the Trade Show advisory team for TBS. Chari is the co-creator and Editor/Writer/Content Manager of The Bee Supply Monthly magazine (formerly Texas Bee Supply Monthly). Between the two of them they make beekeeping FUN while they share their knowledge and enthusiasm as you learn!

1:00 - 1:50 pm - Where Do I Get My Bees (Nanette Davis)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
As a new beekeeper, one of the first challenges is getting your bees.  Should you buy a Package, Nuc, or complete hive?  Should you mail order your bees or buy them from one of our local suppliers?  This session will explore these options and provide you with a list of suppliers that you might want to consider as you enter the fascinating world of beekeeping.   

 

2:00 - 2:10 pm - Feeding Your Bees (Karl Cottrell)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In this course, you’ll learn about the nutritional needs of the colony, as we try to answer the age-old question “Should I be feeding my bees?”  We will learn the basics of honeybee nutrition, and how the needs of the colony change through the season.

Karl Cottrell and his wife are hobby beekeepers in Hempstead.  They got their start in beekeeping when Karl was looking for a Christmas present for Diane and came across the Flow Hive crowd funding campaign. Seven years later, they have 12 hives and continue to experiment on different hive configurations and hive equipment.

3:10 - 4:00 pm - Flow Hive (Nanette Davis)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
The Flow Hive is inspiring thousands of new beekeepers around the world.  It takes the hard work out of harvesting honey and makes it a lot less stressful for the bees.  Nanette will share her tips on using the Flow Hive and troubleshoot concerns. 

Room 6

8:00 - 11:00 am - No Classes Schedule

11:00 - 11:50 am - No Class Scheduled

12:00 - 12:50 pm - Medicinal Properties of Texan Honey Part 1 (Dr. Ferhat Ozturk)

(Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced)
This class is a demonstration with lots of practical information.  We will talk about how to get honey supers from the hive and demonstrate how to uncap and spin out the honey.

Shelly Rice is a mother, wife, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She is best known as the Bee Lady throughout Texas and has served as a railblazer in the urban bee-keeping industry for over 15 years. Her front yard apiary including apitherapy services evolved into the viable All Things Bees Texas Co. In addition to managing her business, Rice founded and continues to manage the Future Farmers of America Chapter at Lamar High School. She is a board member and treasurer for the Houston Beekeepers Association. She was the first apiarist in Texas to place hives onsite at the Rainbow Lodge, Discovery Green, the McGovern Centennial Gardens in Hermann Park and several restaurants and other public locations.

1:00 - 1:50 pm - Honey Extracting (Shelly Rice)

(Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced)
This class is a demonstration with lots of practical information.  We will talk about how to get honey supers from the hive and demonstrate how to uncap and spin out the honey.

Shelly Rice is a mother, wife, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She is best known as the Bee Lady throughout Texas and has served as a railblazer in the urban bee-keeping industry for over 15 years. Her front yard apiary including apitherapy services evolved into the viable All Things Bees Texas Co. In addition to managing her business, Rice founded and continues to manage the Future Farmers of America Chapter at Lamar High School. She is a board member and treasurer for the Houston Beekeepers Association. She was the first apiarist in Texas to place hives onsite at the Rainbow Lodge, Discovery Green, the McGovern Centennial Gardens in Hermann Park and several restaurants and other public locations.

2:00 - 2:50 pm - Honey Extracting (Shelly Rice)

(Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced)
This class is a demonstration with lots of practical information.  We will talk about how to get honey supers from the hive and demonstrate how to uncap and spin out the honey.

Shelly Rice is a mother, wife, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She is best known as the Bee Lady throughout Texas and has served as a railblazer in the urban bee-keeping industry for over 15 years. Her front yard apiary including apitherapy services evolved into the viable All Things Bees Texas Co. In addition to managing her business, Rice founded and continues to manage the Future Farmers of America Chapter at Lamar High School. She is a board member and treasurer for the Houston Beekeepers Association. She was the first apiarist in Texas to place hives onsite at the Rainbow Lodge, Discovery Green, the McGovern Centennial Gardens in Hermann Park and several restaurants and other public locations.

3:10 - 4:00 pm - What to do with your Wax? (Michelle Pankonien)

(Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced)

Michelle Pankonien lives in College Station. She is a Master Beekeeper in the Texas Master Beekeeping Program. Michelle utilizes beeswax for her Bee Natural Moisturizer and Heel Balms. She utilizes over 30 years of feeding livestock to help keep her bees have strong nervous systems through better nutrition.  She is a treatment free beekeeper who utilizes nutrition and genetic diversity to maintain over 40 honeybee colonies in 6 counties in & around Brazos County  

Room 7

8:00 - 8:50 am - Honey to Profit in 1 1/2 years (Justin Russell)

(Intermediate, Advanced)

Justin Russell owns and operates Prime Bees in College Station along with his wife, Ashley, where he manages between 1000-1500 colonies of bees and growing.  Justin is also the Operations Manager for Desert Creek Pollination who places 50-100,000 hives for beekeepers in the California almonds. When he first began keeping bees as a hobby, it didn’t take long for him to realize that beekeeping was his professional calling as well. He continues to grow his business where he sells live bees, educates, does professional bee removal, manages bees on others’ properties, raises queen bees, and everything in between. Justin’s desire to continue improving and learning led him to become a Master Beekeeper as well as learn from other beekeepers big and small along the way. Justin is a blunt and practical beekeeper that is focused on results.

9:00 - 9:50 am - Troubleshooting a Failing Hive (Ashley Ralph)

(Intermediate, Advanced)
Beekeepers lose about 40% of their colonies, on average, each year.  This class will help you look at these reasons, and help to identify what is going on and, if possible, how to correct the problem.

Lauren Ward is the owner of A Bar Beekeeping, providing hive management services, beekeeping lessons, and professional presentations. Lauren has had a lifelong interest in insects and agriculture, culminating in a Master’s degree in Entomology in 2014 and Board Certification in Entomology in 2015. Further experience includes serving as Texas A&M Apiary Manager, Honey Bee Biology Instructor, and working in commercial scale beekeeping operations. A Bar Beekeeping now services more than 500 hives across Central Texas.

10:10 - 11:00 pm - Apimaye Hive Beekeeping (Stan Gore)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Come explore raising bees successfully in APIMAYE INSULATED HIVES. APIMAYE’S innovated design and unique overwintering strategies will be discussed in depth. Stan Gore a beekeeper with years of successful beekeeping experience with over 100 Apimaye hives and 100 wood hives will demonstrate why APIMAYES are a substantial improvement in bee hives. You will learn how they are made and learn many techniques and applications that will help you be a successful beekeeper. One APIMAYE HIVE will be given away during class.

Stan Gore is a Disciple of Christ disguised as a Beekeeper. Currently works over 100 hives in 4 different counties. Stan is the owner of Texas Honeybee Rescue where he helps folks with their bee issues. Stan is On the Board of Advisors for Hives For Heroes. and Central Texas Beekeepers.  Stan is Owner/Admin and Chief Goober of Texas Friendly Beekeepers Facebook Private Page with over 10,400 members where they educate, encourage and equip beekeeper’s from all over the country especially new beekeeper’s. Its family.

11:10 - 12:00 pm - Selling Honey, Laws and Labels (Lynne Jones)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
As a beekeeper, you have the option to sell your honey under different food operations: Small Honey Producer, Cottage Food Operator, Licensed Food Manufacturer, and since July 16, 2020, Beekeeper Honey Producer. Each has its own requirements for who, what, where, and how, as well as different label requirements. This class will help you understand what you need to do in order to bottle and sell the honey you get from your hives.

Lynne Jones is a small-scale beekeeper in Sealy and owner of Brazos River Honey.  She serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association and is a member of the Central Texas Beekeepers Association.  She is an original member of the Real Texas Honey program and is currently at the Advanced level of the Texas Master Beekeeper program.

12:00 - 12:50 pm - Annual Maintenance (Ashley Ralph)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Let’s talk about beekeeping seasons. Learning the behaviors and goals of the honeybees helps lead to better management throughout the seasons. We’ll break down the seasons by discussing the best management practices and how to make decisions when inspecting your hives.

Ashley Ralph owns Prime Bees in College Station along with her husband, Justin, where she raises queens, hosts educational events, and manages bees throughout the surrounding areas. Her passion for bees grew rapidly after getting their first bee package and she enjoys learning and sharing about honeybees with anybody who will listen. Ashley is a Texas Master Beekeeper because she thought it would be an efficient and fun way to learn more about bees – she was right, it has led to an adventure in continuous learning. Ashley is a calm and curious beekeeper that enjoys spending time observing and learning from the bees.

1:00 - 1:50 pm - Catching and Keeping Swarms (Justin Russell)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
We’ll discuss how to be prepared for swarm season, easily capture swarms and keep them alive. Get tips and tricks for capturing swarms as well as how to ensure they’ll be healthy and thrive.

Justin Russell owns and operates Prime Bees in College Station along with his wife, Ashley, where he manages between 1000-1500 colonies of bees and growing.  Justin is also the Operations Manager for Desert Creek Pollination who places 50-100,000 hives for beekeepers in the California almonds. When he first began keeping bees as a hobby, it didn’t take long for him to realize that beekeeping was his professional calling as well. He continues to grow his business where he sells live bees, educates, does professional bee removal, manages bees on others’ properties, raises queen bees, and everything in between. Justin’s desire to continue improving and learning led him to become a Master Beekeeper as well as learn from other beekeepers big and small along the way. Justin is a blunt and practical beekeeper that is focused on results.

2:00 - 2:50 pm - Beekeepers Toolbox (Brandon Fehrenkamp)

(Beginner)
This class will focus on tools and accessories for the bee yard that make beekeeping easier, safer, cleaner, better organized and more enjoyable.  We will discuss hive tools, smoker accessories, feed transport and delivery setups, cool gadgets, general useful items and how to conveniently.

Brandon Fehrenkamp is the owner of Austin Bees, specializing in bee removals, top bar hives and consulting.  Brandon began beekeeping on a whim in 2003 and started doing live removals in 2005.  He has extensive experience safely removing hives in densely populated areas.  He regularly speaks at schools and events to educate the public, is mentor to the UT Beekeeping Club, Beevo, and manages the glass observation hive at the Austin Nature & Science Center. 

Room 8

8:00 - 8:50 am - No Class Scheduled

11:00 - 11:50 am - Biology of Honey Bee Associated Viruses (Dr. Tonya Shepherd)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This course will go over the most common honey bee viruses and their biology in relation to the honey bee host.  Although there aren’t any direct treatments for viral infection in honey bees, we will cover how to help prevent and deal with these viruses though available means such as nutrition, queen breeding, varroa treatments and discuss current research in prevention and treatment.

Tonya Shepherd received her B.S. from the University of Evansville (2009) in biochemistry and received her Ph.D. in Medical Science from Texas A&M University (2016), College of Medicine, Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology department. In 2017, she joined Dr. Juliana Rangel’s Honey Bee Lab in the Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, as an Associate and Assistant Lecturer.

10:10 - 11:00 am - Farhat Student

11:10 - 12:00 pm - Native Bees and Their Biology (Keegan Nichols)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Our bees face a diverse landscape of competing resources and anthropogenic threats. It is our job to provide suitable habitats and floral resources for their success. This course will cover the biodiversity and biology of native bees in your backyard along with how you can transform your landscape into a pollinator habitat that supports your honeybee colonies and wild native bees. By implementing these practices, we can help ensure the survival of native and honeybee populations.

Keegan Nichols – Howdy! My name is Keegan Nichols and I am a football player turned bee enthusiast from Cedar Park, TX. I am an entomology Ph.D. student in Dr. Rangel’s honey bee lab. Currently, I am working with Saudi Arabia to classify the diseases and reproductive behavior of their native honeybee subspecies in order to create a breeding program to increase queen quality.s a Beekeeper.

12:00 - 12:50 pm - Farhat Student

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

1:00 - 1:50 pm - Re Queening Your Hive (Dodie Stillman)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In this class we will be covering when to replace your queen. Then cover a couple of ways to find your queen. Finally covering the process of requeening your colony with a purchased queen. 

Dodie Stillman started attending the Austin Area Beekeepers (AABA) and Williamson County Area Beekeepers Associations meetings in 2011. She was in the inaugural class of the Texas Master Beekeepers Program and became one of the first seven official Master Beekeepers in the State of Texas, and now serves on the TMBP board.  Dodie spent a year as the President of the Texas Beekeepers Association and currently holds the position of Past President for both TBA and the Austin club where she served as president for several years. She teaches beekeeping classes at Texas Honey Bee Farm and The Bee Supply.

2:00 - 2:50 pm - Bee Biology (Lynne Jones)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This is a basic overview of beekeeping biology. Understanding the biology of bees can lead you to be a better beekeeper by giving you a better understanding of “how bees work” – the more you know about bee biology, the more you’ll understand how to make good management decisions as a beekeeper.

Lynne Jones is a small-scale beekeeper in Sealy and owner of Brazos River Honey.  She serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association and is a member of the Central Texas Beekeepers Association.  She is an original member of the Real Texas Honey program and is currently at the Advanced level of the Texas Master Beekeeper program.

Room 9

8:00 - 8:50 am - Managing Mean Bees (Tony Andric)

When Africanized bees were first brought to South America, it was because they had some traits that were desirable. This program looks at the useful properties that “hot bees” possess as well as how to live and work with them, safely.

Tony Andric is a recovering computer/electrical engineer, addicted beekeeper, makes doors for chickens?, has zero life insurance, lives near Lockhart, Texas (BBQ capital of Texas), old, fat, white, bald, bearded guy (1967 model), married, yet it’s lonely inside that suit, uses Langstroth mediums only with top entrance, survival genetics & is treatment free.

9:00 - 9:50 am - Zen and the Art of Bee Removals (Charlie Agar)

(Intermediate, Advanced)

Bee removal work is a fast track to advanced beekeeping.  Charlie will share his sometimes-painful and often-ridiculous experience as a bee removal pro. Using videos from live removals, he’ll go through some basic methods and approaches to capturing feral bees.

Charlie Agar got his first hive of bees in 2013, but when he started doing nuisance hive removals the following year, his beekeeping work blossomed into a sideline business that spawned new friendships, travel, and lots of crazy experiences. Today he does bee removals, manages over 100 colonies, teaches beekeeping, and leases bees to Ag clients all across Central Texas. His work with bees is the subject of a PBS reality TV show – Charlie Bee Company. Charlie lives in New Braunfels with wife Kaye, three dogs, and their backyard chickens.

10:10 - 11:00 pm - Success At Your Farmers Market (Danessa Yaschuk)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

 

Danessa Yaschuk, known by many as ‘Nes’ is a sideliner beekeeper and the owner of SweetNes Honey Apiaries & Beetique located in Damon, Texas. She and her husband Brent manage about 400 hives spread out over multiple counties. She has served 5 years as the Vice President for the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association and is a board member for the Real Texas Honey program as well. Her passion for honeybees began at a very young age, little did she know that she would turn that passion into a full-time beekeeping career as a Texas Honey producer and Beetique owner.

11:10 - 12:00 pm - Bees for Ag Exemption (Dennis Hebert)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In 2012, the state of Texas changed the law to allow Beekeeping to qualify as an agricultural activity which can qualify the land for a 1-d-1 open space valuation (“exemption”) for your property taxes. This class details what this law requires, presented by the man who helped write the law.

Dennis Herbert drafted the original legislation for the current bee law that assists small landowners in receiving their agricultural valuation if they wish to raise bees on their property. He helped shepherd the bill through the legislature in 2011, it became law on January 1, 2012. He has been a beekeeper in Bell County for 18 years.

12:00 - 12:50 pm - Opportunities & Challenges of Managing Hives in Texas (Lauren Ward)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Lauren Ward is the owner of A Bar Beekeeping, providing hive management services, beekeeping lessons, and professional presentations. Lauren has had a lifelong interest in insects and agriculture, culminating in a Master’s degree in Entomology in 2014 and Board Certification in Entomology in 2015. Further experience includes serving as Texas A&M Apiary Manager, Honey Bee Biology Instructor, and working in commercial scale beekeeping operations. A Bar Beekeeping now services more than 500 hives across Central Texas.

1:00 - 1:50 pm - From Zero to Honey - How to Build a Sustainable Apiary in 3 Years (Charlie Agar)

(Beginner)
This class will focus on tools and accessories for the bee yard that make beekeeping easier, safer, cleaner, better organized and more enjoyable.  It’s aimed at the beginner, hobby and sideline beekeepers.  We will discuss hive tools, smoker accessories, feed transport and delivery setups, cool gadgets, general useful items and how to conveniently transport them to and from the bee yard.  Please feel free to voice any issues you have with your current setup, or tell us about any clever solutions you have.  Lots of Q&A welcomed!

Charlie Agar got his first hive of bees in 2013, but when he started doing nuisance hive removals the following year, his beekeeping work blossomed into a sideline business that spawned new friendships, travel, and lots of crazy experiences. Today he does bee removals, manages over 100 colonies, teaches beekeeping, and leases bees to Ag clients all across Central Texas. His work with bees is the subject of a PBS reality TV show – Charlie Bee Company. Charlie lives in New Braunfels with wife Kaye, three dogs, and their backyard chickenser. 

Room 10

10:00 - 11:00 am - Honey Production vs. Bee Production (James and Chari Elam)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)

Do you want to optimize bee production or honey production from your colonies?  What if you want both?  Is that doable?  Under what circumstances are both objectives feasible?

James and Chari Elam – as owners of Blue Ribbon Honey Company and previously Bluebonnet Beekeeping (now part of “TBS” – The Bee Supply), James and Chari have circled the industry honored to have served on multiple board positions both in their local bee club and Texas Beekeepers Association. As they continue traveling the speaking circuit, although technically retired – James is still very active in the industry, writing articles, and part of the Trade Show advisory team for TBS. Chari is the co-creator and Editor/Writer/Content Manager of The Bee Supply Monthly magazine (formerly Texas Bee Supply Monthly). Between the two of them they make beekeeping FUN while they share their knowledge and enthusiasm as you learn!

11:10 - 12:00 am - USDA Programs to Assist Beekeepers (Julie Gostzman)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
The USDA Farm Service Agency will touch on multiple programs that they offer to assist honeybee growers.  FSA’s Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program helps cover colony losses, honeybee hive losses, and honeybee feed losses in instances where theses losses have been caused by an eligible natural disaster or, in the case of colony losses, because of Colony Collapse Disorder.  The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program provides financial assistance to producers of table and non-table honey produced commercially for human consumption.  This session is meant to provide beekeepers information about how to sign up for these programs and what records are required to qualify for the programs.

12:00 - 12:50 pm - Bee Behavior (Carla Salas)

(Advanced)
We’ll discuss some of the most fascinating and telling bee behaviors within the colony so that you can recognize what’s happening in your hive, react when needed, and even prevent unwanted behaviors through anticipatory beekeeping.

 

Carla Sala started beekeeping as a hobby with 6 hives in Hutto, TX in April 2021, Carla started beekeeping as a hobby with 6 hives.  She fell in love with bees and wanted to learn all she could about them. She took an apprenticeship class at Two Hives Honey in the fall of 2021.  This eventually led to her part time job as a Tour Guide at Two Hives Honey in the Spring of 2023. As a tour guide at Two Hives, Carla shares her love of honeybees by leading hive tours.  She also served as the 2023 Vice President for Austin Area Beekeepers Association. When Carla is not working, talking or thinking about bees, she is taking care of her chickens and garden.

1:00 - 1:50 pm - A Comparison of Hive Styles (Robert Peoples)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Selecting what type of hive to use is an expensive choice, but one that must be made at the beginning of starting the journey into beekeeping.  This is an unbiased look at the pros & cons of the different types of hives with a focus on helping you pick the one that is right for YOUR goals & objectives. 

Robert Peebles is a graduate of Texas A&M University (pause for whoop). He is a Systems Engineer by trade with over 30 years of experience and has been building “stuff” for over 40 years. He has built hundreds of beehives including standard langstroth, layens, and dozens of long langstroth hives. He calls himself a “newbee beekeeper”, but has successfully kept bees for 5 years and has over 40 hives.

2:00 - 2:50 pm - Intergrated Pest Management (Bill Baxter)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This presentation will cover how to control different pests in a honeybee colony using an Integrated Pest Management approach.

Bill Baxter is a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in Animal Science.  Bill has had a 35-year career with the Texas Apiary Inspection Services.  During the course of Bill’s distinguished career, he has seen the introduction into Texas of tracheal mites, varroa mites and Africanized honey bee.

3:10 - 4:00 pm - Common Sence Varroa Management (Randy Oakley)

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Varroa mites and the viruses they vector can keep bee colonies in a continual state of unhealth. Focused, proactive IPM for mites and viruses will enable our bees to produce vigorously once again.  Randy explains in detail the commonsense mite/virus management protocol that Oakley Family Apiaries has been employing over the past five years to promote healthy, productive hives.  

Randy Oakley has been practicing the art of beekeeping for over 40 years.  Three generations of the Oakley Family currently help in the family bee business producing local bees and beehive products as well as teaching others sustainable methods of beekeeping for central Texas.  They manage 400 plus beehives along the I35 corridor between Austin and Waco. More information about their bees, beekeeper training and beehive products can be found at: www.OakleyFamilyApiaries.com

Room 11A

1:00 - 4:00 pm - How to Light Your Smoker (Kevin Stillman & Billy Lawton)

A demonstration on how to light a smoker and keep it going. Included is a discussion of WHY beekeepers use smoke (as opposed to ‘other things’) and what fuels to use.

Kevin Stillman is a professional photographer. He retired from the Texas Highway Department and became a full-time honeybee assistant to his wife Dodie. She only lets him light the smoker, lift heavy boxes, and dispatch old queens, so he’s become very proficient.

Billy Lawton got his start in beekeeping from attending programs sponsored by the Central Texas Beekeepers Association.  He has been actively keeping or being kept by bees for over 10 years.  Mr. Lawton is actively engaged in introducing beekeeping to small property owners around the State.

Room 11B

1:00 - 4:00 pm - Live Bee Demonstration (Michelle Kerr Pankopnien & Saundra Smith)

(Michelle Pankonien, bees provided by Bear Creek Apiary) – Want to put on a bee suit and take a look inside a hive full of bees?  This is where it happens. Weather permitting. NO FLIP FLOPS, SANDLES OR OPEN-TOED SHOES.

Saundra Smith was an organizing member of both the Brazos Bee Club in College Station and the Denton Bee Club. She currently is a mentor to veterans with Hives for Heroes and is the beekeeper for the hives at the President George W Bush Library in Dallas.

Topic – in Alphabetic Order

A Comparison of Hive Styles

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Selecting what type of hive to use is an expensive choice, but one that must be made at the beginning of starting the journey into beekeeping.  This is an unbiased look at the pros & cons of the different types of hives with a focus on helping you pick the one that is right for YOUR goals & objectives.

Time/Room
2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 1

Robert Peebles

Robert Peebles is a graduate of Texas A&M University (pause for whoop) with a degree in Accounting. He is a Systems Engineer by trade with over 30 years of experience and has been building “stuff” for over 40 years. He has built hundreds of beehives including standard langstroth, layens, and dozens of long langstroth hives. He calls himself a “newbee beekeeper”, but has successfully kept bees for 3 years and has 32 hives.

A Practical Guide to Queen Rearing

(Intermediate, Advanced)
Re-queening hives is a common task that many beekeepers use to maintain the health of their hive. But if you have more than a couple of hives, this can get somewhat expensive. This class will show you how to raise your own queens.

Time/Room
9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 5

Steve Brackman

Steve Brackman was raised on a dairy farm in Northern Illinois and lived there until 1985 when he moved to Texas. Steve began his beekeeping career over 25 years ago; starting out by doing over 2400 removals. Today he focuses on being a queen breeder which he’s been doing for the last 10 years.

Annual Maintenance

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Let’s talk about beekeeping seasons. Learning the behaviors and goals of the honeybees helps lead to better management throughout the seasons. We’ll break down the seasons by discussing the best management practices and how to make decisions when inspecting your hives.

Time/Room
3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 1
 12:00 – 12:50 pm – Room 3

Ashley Ralph

Ashley Ralph owns Prime Bees in College Station along with her husband, Justin, where she raises queens, hosts educational events, and manages bees throughout the surrounding areas. Her passion for bees grew rapidly after getting their first bee package and she enjoys learning and sharing about honeybees with anybody who will listen. Ashley is a Texas Master Beekeeper because she thought it would be an efficient and fun way to learn more about bees – she was right, it has led to an adventure in continuous learning. Ashley is a calm and curious beekeeper that enjoys spending time observing and learning from the bees.

Beat The Texas Heat

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Working bees in the Texas summer heat and humidity can be a serious challenge. Come learn some of the tools and techniques that Dan uses to stay healthy while doing cut-outs during the heat of the summer.

Time/Room
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 6
 3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 10

Dan Jones

Dan Jones began his beekeeping journey in 2010 when his neighbor had a colony of bees take up residence within the eaves of his home.  From that moment he became curious about the species and their habitat. Soon after, a beekeeper friend invited Dan to join him as he inspected his hives. Two days later Dan assisted in removing a colony of bees from under a trailer house.  He was amazed by the entire experience and has been hooked ever since.

Bee Behavior

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
We’ll discuss some of the most fascinating and telling bee behaviors within the colony so that you can recognize what’s happening in your hive, react when needed, and even prevent unwanted behaviors through anticipatory beekeeping.

Time/Room
2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 8

Tara Chapman

Tara Chapman is the founder and owner of Two Hives Honey.  After almost 10 years working for the U.S. Government in intelligence and oversight in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she took a chance and attended a beekeeping class and fell in love with bees.  Six months later, she quit her job to work for Bee Weaver during the spring queen rearing season.  Shortly thereafter she started Two Hives Honey, a full-service beekeeping and honey business in Austin.  Two Hives Honey sells honey and provides educational opportunities and beekeeping equipment to beekeepers.

Bee Biology

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This is a basic overview of beekeeping biology. Understanding the biology of bees can lead you to be a better beekeeper by giving you a better understanding of “how bees work” – the more you know about bee biology, the more you’ll understand how to make good management decisions as a beekeeper.

Time/Room
2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 5

Ashley Ralph

Ashley Ralph owns Prime Bees in College Station along with her husband, Justin, where she raises queens, hosts educational events, and manages bees throughout the surrounding areas. Her passion for bees grew rapidly after getting their first bee package and she enjoys learning and sharing about honeybees with anybody who will listen. Ashley is a Texas Master Beekeeper because she thought it would be an efficient and fun way to learn more about bees – she was right, it has led to an adventure in continuous learning. Ashley is a calm and curious beekeeper that enjoys spending time observing and learning from the bees.

Beekeeping on a Budget

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
How to start keeping bees without breaking the bank, where to save money, and how beekeeping can be accessible to everyone regardless of budgets. This class evaluates everything from sourcing bees, equipment, how to acquire and negotiating for used equipment, and creating a financially sustainable apiary.

Time/Room
3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 8

Justin Russell

Justin Russell owns and operates Prime Bees in College Station along with his wife, Ashley, where he manages between 1000-1500 colonies of bees and growing. When he first began keeping bees as a hobby, it didn’t take long for him to realize that beekeeping was his professional calling as well. He continues to grow his business where he sells live bees, educates, does professional bee removal, manages bees on others’ properties, raises queen bees, and everything in between. Justin’s desire to continue improving and learning led him to become a Master Beekeeper as well as learn from other beekeepers big and small along the way. Justin is a blunt and practical beekeeper that is focused on results.

Beekeepers Toolbox

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This class will focus on tools and accessories for the bee yard that make beekeeping easier, safer, cleaner, better organized and more enjoyable.  It’s aimed at the beginner, hobby and sideline beekeepers.  We will discuss hive tools, smoker accessories, feed transport and delivery setups, cool gadgets, general useful items and how to conveniently transport them to and from the bee yard.  Please feel free to voice any issues you have with your current setup, or tell us about any clever solutions you have.  Lots of Q&A welcomed!

Time/Room
12:00 – 12:50 pm – Room 5
 4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 9

Brandon Fehrenkamp

Brandon Fehrenkamp is the owner of Austin Bees, specializing in bee removals, top bar hives and consulting.  Brandon began beekeeping on a whim in 2003 and started doing live removals in 2005.  He has extensive experience safely removing hives in densely populated areas.  He regularly speaks at schools and events to educate the public, is mentor to the UT Beekeeping Club, Beevo, and manages the glass observation hive at the Austin Nature & Science Center.  learning led him to become a Master Beekeeper as well as learn from other beekeepers big and small along the way. Justin is a blunt and practical beekeeper that is focused on results.

Beekeeping 101 Basic Beekeeping Parts 1 & 2

(Beginner, Intermediate)
Honey bee biology – all about the bee from birth to development, different castes of bee and the role of the bee in the hive.

  • Hives and equipment – a basic equipment list to get started.
  • Location of hive and hive maintenance – basic techniques to working a hive and how to identify honey, pollen and brood.
  • Swarming – reasons for swarming and how to prevent swarming.
  • A beekeeper’s calendar

Time/Room
Part 1 – 8:00 – 9:10 am – Room 1
Part 2 – 9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 1

Chris Doggett

Chris Doggett received a degree in Mathematics at Bristol University in England in 1967 and moved to the United States in 1984.  After a career in sales and management of electronics manufacturing companies, he retired in 2002.  He lives in Thrall, TX where he has been a beekeeper for ten years.  He is a past president of Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association and is a past director of the Texas Beekeepers Association (TBA).

Jim Colbert

Jim Colbert has been keeping bees since the late 1970’s. He started with one hive, no knowledge, and no mentor and admits that he made a lot of mistakes! He was out of beekeeping for a long time and then took it up again when he retired about 12 years ago. This time around he joined the Williamson County Area Beekeeping Association, read anything he could find and talked to anyone who would listen.  In 2016 Jim was elected VP of Williamson County Area Beekeeping Association, served as President for two years in 2017 and 2018 and was on the board as past president in 2019.

Beekeeping 201 – Advanced Beekeeping – Parts 1 & 2

(Intermediate, Advanced)
This will be a fast-paced whirlwind presentation discussing: the Golden Rules of Beekeeping, nutrition management, diseases control, comb rotation, colony combining, re-queening, Integrated Pest Management, swarm prevention and control techniques. You should bring a pen and paper and be prepared to cover a lot of material.

Time/Room
Part 1 – 8:00 – 9:10 am – Room 2
Part 2 – 9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 2

Dodie Stillman

Dodie Stillman started attending the Austin Area Beekeepers (AABA) and Williamson Country Area Beekeepers Associations meetings in 2011. She was in the inaugural class of the Texas Master Beekeepers Program and became one of the first seven official Master Beekeepers in the State of Texas, and now serves on the TMBP board. Dodie is currently serving as the President of the Texas Beekeepers Association and holds the past President role for AABA.

Beekeeping as a Source of Income

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Nathalie B. offers a fresh perspective on beekeeping as a source of income by drawing on her business expertise to introduce alternative ways of making a profit, even for small-scale beekeeping operations. Rather than sticking to the typical large-scale honey production and migratory beekeeping methods, she advocates using smart strategies to be profitable starting with limited resources, such as creating niche markets, developing unique, innovative products and services, and employing creative marketing tactics. With these tactics, beekeepers of any size can jumpstart a successful beekeeping business without the need for extensive resources.

Time/Room
8:00 – 9:10 am – Room 5

Nathalie B.

Nathalie B. holds an MBA from Ohio State and a Master Beekeeper degree from Texas A&M.  She owns Bee-Mindful.com, where she leverages 12 years of experience to manage about 300 colonies through several counties. She offers beekeeping apprenticeships and classes in sustainable and natural beekeeping, as well as professional AG exemption services, affordable horizontal hives, and treatment-free bees.  Nathalie is a contributor to Bee Culture magazine, the founder of the first natural beekeeping club in Texas, and of the World Bee Day Natural Beekeeping Webinar. She hosts the “Natural Beekeeping Corner” on the popular “Hive Jive” beekeeping podcast. She has served as President of the Hays County Beekeepers Association, VP of the Travis County Beekeepers Association, Director at the Texas Beekeepers Association, and Chairman of the Real Texas Honey non-profit.

Nathalie is passionate about community outreach and volunteering and has set up free training programs and teaching apiaries for refugees in the Congo, Nigeria, and Texas, donating and leveraging simple, cost conscious, easy to manage and sustainable horizontal frameless hives in the process.

www.Bee-Mindful.com

Bees for Ag. Exemption

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In 2012, the state of Texas changed the law to allow Beekeeping to qualify as an agricultural activity which can qualify the land for a 1-d-1 open space valuation (“exemption”) for your property taxes. This class details what this law requires, presented by the man who helped write the law.

Time/Room
12:00 – 12:50 pm – Room 2
 2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 4

Dennis Herbert

Dennis Herbert is a native central Texan and drafted the original legislation for the current bee law that assists small landowners in receiving their agricultural valuation if they wish to raise bees on their property. He helped shepherd the bill through the legislature in 2011, it became law on January 1, 2012. He has been a beekeeper in Bell County for 18 years.

Bee Insurance

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Come and find out all about Bee Insurance:

  • What types of Insurance are there that Beekeepers may need?
  • Property Insurance
  • Mobile Equipment Insurance (includes bee boxes)
  • Apiary Policy (drought coverage)
  • Commercial General Liability Insurance

What insurance does NOT cover:  BEES & STINGS

Time/Room
9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 10

Gordon Sorrel

Gordon Sorrel has been in the insurance business for over 42 years starting in Houston in 1977 after his military service.  He is located in El Campo and has been certified as an Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist by the Insurance Risk Management Institute.

Biology Of Honeybee Associated Viruses

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This course will go over the most common honey bee viruses and their biology in relation to the honey bee host.  Although there aren’t any direct treatments for viral infection in honey bees, we will cover how to help prevent and deal with these viruses though available means such as nutrition, queen breeding, varroa treatments and discuss current research in prevention and treatment.

Time/Room
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 8

Dr. Tonya Shepherd

Dr. Tonya Shepherd received her B.S. from the University of Evansville (2009) in biochemistry and received her Ph.D. in Medical Science from Texas A&M University (2016), College of Medicine, Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology department. In 2017, she joined Dr. Juliana Rangel’s Honey Bee Lab in the Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, as an Associate and Assistant Lecturer.

Biology Of Mating

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This course will go over the most common honey bee viruses and their biology in relation to the honey bee host.  Although there aren’t any direct treatments for viral infection in honey bees, we will cover how to help prevent and deal with these viruses though available means such as nutrition, queen breeding, varroa treatments and discuss current research in prevention and treatment.

Time/Room
12:00 – 12:50 pm – Room 8
 9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 9

Dr. Juliana Rangel

Dr. Juliana Rangel received her B.S. from the University of Evansville (2009) in biochemistry and received her Ph.D. in Medical Science from Texas A&M University (2016), College of Medicine, Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology department. In 2017, she joined Dr. Juliana Rangel’s Honey Bee Lab in the Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, as an Associate and Assistant Lecturer.

Catching and Keeping Swarms

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
We’ll discuss how to be prepared for swarm season, easily capture swarms and keep them alive. Get tips and tricks for capturing swarms as well as how to ensure they’ll be healthy and thrive.

Time/Room
2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 2

Justin Russell

Justin Russell owns and operates Prime Bees in College Station along with his wife, Ashley, where he manages between 1000-1500 colonies of bees and growing. When he first began keeping bees as a hobby, it didn’t take long for him to realize that beekeeping was his professional calling as well. He continues to grow his business where he sells live bees, educates, does professional bee removal, manages bees on others’ properties, raises queen bees, and everything in between. Justin’s desire to continue improving and learning led him to become a Master Beekeeper as well as learn from other beekeepers big and small along the way. Justin is a blunt and practical beekeeper that is focused on results.

Common Sense Varroa Management for Texas Beekeeping

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Varroa mites and the viruses they vector can keep bee colonies in a continual state of unhealth. Focused, proactive IPM for mites and viruses will enable our bees to produce vigorously once again.  Randy explains in detail the commonsense mite/virus management protocol that Oakley Family Apiaries has been employing over the past five years to promote healthy, productive hives.  

Time/Room
3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 5

Randy Oakley

Randy Oakley has been practicing the art of beekeeping for over 40 years.  Three generations of the Oakley Family currently help out in the family bee business producing local bees and beehive products as well as teaching others sustainable methods of beekeeping for central Texas.  They manage 200 plus beehives along the I35 corridor between Austin and Waco. More information about their bees, beekeeper training and beehive products can be found at: www.OakleyFamilyApiaries.com

Drone Layers

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Who’s the culprit; Queen or Worker – We teach you how to identify which one and provide you with several options on how to correct it!

Time/Room
3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 4

James & Chari Elam

As owners of Blue Ribbon  Honey Company and previously Bluebonnet Beekeeping (now part of “TBS” – The Bee Supply), James and Chari have circled the industry and have served multiple board positions both in their local bee club and Texas Beekeepers Association. As they continue traveling the speaking circuit, although technically retired – James is still very active in the industry, writing articles, scoping out new products and is part of the advisory team for TBS. Chari is the co-creator and Editor/Writer/Content Director of The Bee Supply Monthly magazine (formerly known as Texas Bee Supply Monthly).

Fights About Mites

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Fights About Mites” is a somewhat satirical take on the finger-pointing that can result from different styles of varroa management in the beekeeping community. This talk will introduce the varroa blame game, from the historical to the present day, from the rational to the absurd, and attempt to show how much we can stand to learn from a friendly examination of opposing approaches and perspectives, while in the process building a solid groundwork of knowledge and understanding on which to base our decisions regarding dealing with mites in our hives.

Time/Room
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 3

Ryan Gliesecke

Ryan Giesecke owns and operates G-Bar Naturals, an urban homestead project located in East Dallas. From there he periodically offers homegrown products and learning opportunities, as well as performing bee-friendly removals of honeybees and bumble bees as “Honey Bee Relocation Services”. Ryan loves to talk bees and has done so all across the state. He is president of Texas Association of Professional Bee Removers, past president of Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association in Dallas, past president of Metro Beekeepers Association in Fort Worth, and a Texas Master Beekeeper. He has also taught classes on bees at area colleges, and is currently at work on a first book about bees.

Flow Hive – live video call from Flow Hive inventor Stuart Anderson

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
The Flow Hive is inspiring thousands of new beekeepers around the world.  It takes the hard work out of harvesting honey and makes it a lot less stressful for the bees.  This session will include a live video call Question & Answer session from Australia.  Stuart will share his tips on using the Flow Hive and troubleshoot concerns.  Join in to have your questions answered as only Stuart can.

Time/Room
4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 1

Stuart Anderson

Stuart Anderson is co-inventor of the revolutionary honey extraction system, the Flow® Hive, which took a lifelong love of bees and a decade of work with his son, Cedar, to create.

Nanett Davis

Nanette Davis, Texas Master Beekeeper, will be giving a Flow Hive extraction demonstration and moderate the live video call.

Forced Abscondments from Trees

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
A Forced Abscond is a specific method used to get bees out of structures where performing a “cut-out” is not possible (such as a tree you cannot cut down, brick columns, & decorative art sculptures).  These usually require only very basic tools and patience, making this method available to a wider range of beekeepers.

Time/Room
9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 6

Stan Gore

Currently works over 100 hives in 4 different counties. Stan is the owner of Texas Honey Bee Rescue where he helps folks with their bee issues. He rescues bees, swarms and puts them in a box and nurtures them. Part of the end process is to mentor/train new beekeepers in order to keep bees alive. On the Board of Advisors for Central Texas Beekeepers and Hives For Heroes. Owner/Admin and Chief Goober of Texas Friendly Beekeepers with over 8,400 members. Beekeeping is his calling, his passion, and is not a hobby. I am a Disciple of Christ disguised as a Beekeeper.

Medicinal Properties of Texan Honey, Parts 1 & 2

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Honey has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. The health benefits of pure honey range from antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory qualities, to antitumor actions, metabolic and cardiovascular benefits, prebiotic potentials, human pathogen control, and antiviral activity. In his talk, Dr. Ozturk will focus on the therapeutic use of honey throughout the history and current medicine.

Time/Room
12:00 – 12:50 pm – Room 6
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 6

Ferhat Ozturk

Ferhat Ozturk earned his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology, focusing on gene therapy, from the University of Nevada, Reno. He was also the Director of the Honey Research Center in Turkey.  He moved to San Antonio in 2018 and is an assistant professor of practice at UT San Antonio where he teaches Biomedical Sciences at the School of Science & Technology. 

Healing With Honey & Propolis

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Come explore:

  • The anti-bacterial activity of honey
  • How honey healing benefits works through:  Osmosis, Acidity, & Hydrogen Peroxide production
  • How honey is used in hospitals
  • How honey is used for wounds, burns, shingles & eye infections
  • The healing benefits of propolis
  • Using propolis for skin conditions, bee stings & warts

And don’t miss her recipe for Burn and Wound Spray made with Aloe Vera, Honey and Propolis. 

Time/Room
2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 3

Carolyn Gibson

Carolyn Gibson is an author, family herbalist, organic farmer, and massage therapist. Carolyn and her husband Gerald have owned Dogwood Gardens Organic Farm since 1991. Carolyn fell in love with organics and herbs in the ‘70s and has been growing and making herbal remedies since then.  Carolyn teaches classes on making natural skin care with honey, beeswax and propolis and using and making herbal remedies on YOUTUBE.  Her Channel name is Carolyn Gibson, Herbalist.

Hives for Heroes

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Hives for Heroes is a non-profit veterans service & support organization that is continuing to grow as a network of beekeepers and veterans. Hives for Heroes relies upon establishing a personal connection between a mentor and a NewBEE, sustaining healthy relationships, a positive purpose for life for themselves, their families and their communities.  We extend those experiences into fostering a lifelong hobby of beekeeping.  We actively request the support of local and state level beekeeping organizations as an access point, sharing our combined resources to provide an extension of their significant depth of local knowledge into another community.  

Time/Room
2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 6

Charlie McMaster

Charles McMaster became a beekeeper after his retirement from Army, he’s now refreshing his knowledge with the beekeeping school of hard knocks within the confines of one top bar and five Langstroth hives just a few yards away from the back door of his home in Copperas Cove, Texas.  Charlie is the President of the Bell / Coryell Beekeepers Association and is now contributing to Hives for Heroes in Current Operations and TBA as a member of the BoD.

Honeybee Anatomy: Form to Function

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This class will give a quick overview of basic insect anatomy before focusing in on the special adaptations found in honey bees. Emphasis will be placed on how this highly specialized anatomy allows bees to function so efficiently as well as its relevance to beekeeping.

Time/Room
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 7
4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 8

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward is the owner of A Bar Beekeeping, providing hive management services, beekeeping lessons, and professional presentations. Lauren has had a lifelong interest in insects and agriculture, culminating in a Master’s degree in Entomology in 2014 and Board Certification in Entomology in 2015. Further experience includes serving as Texas A&M Apiary Manager, Honey Bee Biology Instructor, and working in commercial scale beekeeping operations. A Bar Beekeeping now services more than 500 hives across Central Texas.

Honeybee Nutrition

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In this course, you’ll learn about the nutritional needs of the colony, as we try to answer the age-old question “Should I be feeding my bees?”  We will learn the basics of honeybee nutrition, and how the needs of the colony change through the season.  

Time/Room
4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 5

Tara Chapman

Tara Chapman is the founder and owner of Two Hives Honey.  After almost 10 years working for the U.S. Government in intelligence and oversight in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she took a chance and attended a beekeeping class and fell in love with bees.  Six months later, she quit her job to work for Bee Weaver during the spring queen rearing season.  Shortly thereafter she started Two Hives Honey, a full-service beekeeping and honey business in Austin.  Two Hives Honey sells honey and provides educational opportunities and beekeeping equipment to beekeepers. 

Honey Extracting

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This class is a demonstration with lots of practical information.  We will talk about how to get honey supers from the hive and demonstrate how to uncap and spin out the honey.

Time/Room
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 9
2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 9

Lynne Jones

Lynne Jones is a small-scale beekeeper in Sealy and owner of Brazos River Honey.  She serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association and is a member of the Central Texas Beekeepers Association.  She is an original member of the Real Texas Honey program and is currently at the Advanced level of the Texas Master Beekeeper program. 

Danessa Yaschuk

Danessa Yaschuk, known by many as ‘Nes’ is a sideliner beekeeper and the owner of SweetNes Honey Apiaries & Beetique located in Damon, Texas. She and her husband Brent manage about 400 hives spread out over multiple counties. She has served 5 years as the Vice President for the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association and is a board member for the Real Texas Honey program as well. Her passion for honeybees began at a very young age, little did she know that she would turn that passion into a full-time beekeeping career as a Texas Honey producer and Beetique owner.

Honey Production Vs. Bee Production

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Do you want to optimize bee production or honey production from your colonies?  What if you want both? Is that doable? Under what circumstances are both objectives feasible?

  • Advanced strategies and techniques to maximize honey production.
  • Advanced strategies and techniques to maximize bee production.
  • Tips and hints to help you hit your peak production potential without wreaking havoc.
Time/Room
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 5
4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 6

Justin & Phyllis Perry

Justin and Phyllis Perry are owners of The Snow Bees Company that offers many services located in Washington County and surrounding counties. Justin and Phyllis caught their first swarm with Phyllis’ father’s old bee equipment. After  studying about beekeeping, the two of them realized that that there is a shortage in honeybees and pollinators in the current ecosystem. Together Justin and Phyllis started Snow Bees in 2018. Both are second generation beekeepers that tribute Snow Bees to the late Floyd Snow.

How Do I Inspect My Hive

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
The basis for all successful beekeepers is the ability to do a thorough hive inspection, and from it gather information needed to manage the hive effectively. Learn as we go through each of the steps needed to confidently make decisions based on what you observe. 

Time/Room
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 1
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 1

James & Chari Elam

As owners of Blue Ribbon  Honey Company and previously Bluebonnet Beekeeping (now part of “TBS” – The Bee Supply), James and Chari have circled the industry and have served multiple board positions both in their local bee club and Texas Beekeepers Association. As they continue traveling the speaking circuit, although technically retired – James is still very active in the industry, writing articles, scoping out new products and is part of the advisory team for TBS. Chari is the co-creator and Editor/Writer/Content Director of The Bee Supply Monthly magazine (formerly known as Texas Bee Supply Monthly).

How to Light Your Smoker

A demonstration on how to light a smoker and keep it going. Included is a discussion of WHY beekeepers use smoke (as opposed to ‘other things’) and what fuels to use.

Time/Room
1:00 – 5:00 pm – Room 11A

Billy Lawton

Billy Lawton got his start in beekeeping from attending programs sponsored by the Central Texas Beekeepers Association.  He has been actively keeping or being kept by bees for over 10 years.  Mr. Lawton is actively engaged in introducing beekeeping to small property owners around the State.

Kevin Stillman

Kevin Stillman is a professional photographer. He retired from the Texas Highway Department and became a full-time honeybee assistant to his wife Dodie. She only lets him light the smoker, lift heavy boxes, and dispatch old queens, so he’s become very proficient.

Making Vertical Splits – A Key to Sustainable Beekeeping

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This presentation covers the why and how-to of making vertical beehive splits.  Randy will give the details of how he has used this beekeeping technique to:

  • Increase his colony numbers and honey production.
  • Annually requeen each colony
  • Successfully requeen Africanized colonies.
  • Manage Varroa mite populations.
  • Prevent swarming.
  • Produce two queen colonies.

Time/Room
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 4

Randy Oakley

Randy Oakley has been practicing the art of beekeeping for over 40 years.  Three generations of the Oakley Family currently help out in the family bee business producing local bees and beehive products as well as teaching others sustainable methods of beekeeping for central Texas.  They manage 200 plus beehives along the I35 corridor between Austin and Waco. More information about their bees, beekeeper training and beehive products can be found at: www.OakleyFamilyApiaries.com

How To Set Up Your Apiary

(Beginner)
What factors do you need to consider in where to place your hives on your property?  How close to the house? Shade or full sun? What kind of hive stand do I set the hives on?  Is the property suitable for a hive? What to do if you’re in an urban neighborhood?

Time/Room
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 4

Chris Barnes

Chris Barnes began keeping bees after his wife forced him to attend the Central Texas Bee School in 2013.  Today he runs over 75 hives, focusing on Ag Valuations, removals, cutouts and honey sales. In 2023 he dipped his big toe into the commercial side by sending 32 hives to California for almond pollination. 

Soon after getting into beekeeping, he helped start the Brazos Valley Beekeepers Association, serving as the club’s first president.  He now serves as the club’s Youth Program Director, a position he has held for 7 years.  Chris also helped create the Texas Association of Professional Bee Removers, a trade organization for people who perform removals and swarm captures in Texas.

Integrated Pest Management

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This presentation will cover how to control different pests in a honeybee colony using an Integrated Pest Management approach.

Time/Room
3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 6

Bill Baxter

Bill Baxter is a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in Animal Science.  Bill has had a 35-year career with the Texas Apiary Inspection Services.  During the course of Bill’s distinguished career, he has seen the introduction into Texas of tracheal mites, varroa mites and Africanized honey bee.

Keeping Bees Calm

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Bees do not sting because they are mean, they sting because they are afraid. When we open a beehive there are subtle actions we can take and avoid that make our time more like dancing with our little buddies rather than working through a hive of mean bees. The bees, beekeepers, neighbors and family are all better off if we can notice the things we do that keep bees calm.

Time/Room
12:00 – 12:50 pm – Room 7
2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 7

Les Crowder

Les Crowder began keeping bees (he often states they began keeping him) in Bernalillo, New Mexico 40+ years ago.  He began early on to search for ways to regularly renew the combs in beehives because research indicated that old cocoon laden combs become havens for pathogenic fungi and bacteria that stress the bee’s resistance to disease.  This led him to experiment with top bar hives and eventually begin using them exclusively for a small 100-200 hive honey and beeswax business in New Mexico.  He has taught beekeeping in many parts of the world for more than 30 years.  He and Heather Harrell coauthored the book Top-Bar Beekeeping published by Chelsea Green in 2012, soon to be published in Spanish.  He continues to teach and advocate non-toxic management of beehives near Austin.

Live Bee Demonstration

Hive Inspection WITH LIVE BEES (Michelle Pankonien, bees provided by Bear Creek Apiary) – Want to put on a bee suit and take a look inside a hive full of bees?  This is where it happens. Weather permitting.

NO FLIP FLOPS, SANDLES OR OPEN-TOED SHOES.

Time/Room
1:00 – 5:00 pm – Room 11B

Michelle Kerr Pankopnien

Michelle Kerr-Pankonien lives in College Station. She is a Master Beekeeper in the Texas Master Beekeeping Program. Michelle utilizes beeswax for her Bee Natural Moisturizer and Heel Balms. She utilizes over 30 years of feeding livestock to help keep her bees have strong nervous systems through better nutrition.  She is a treatment free beekeeper who utilizes nutrition and genetic diversity to maintain over 40 honey bee colonies in 6 counties in & around Brazos County.

Saundra Smith

Saundra Smith was an organizing member of both the Brazos Bee Club in College Station and the Denton Bee Club. She currently is a mentor to veterans with Hives for Heroes and is the beekeeper for the hives at the President George W Bush Library in Dallas.

Making Splits

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
There are dozens of ways to split a hive; most of them have specific uses for WHY you are wanting or needing to split a hive:  Increasing the number of hives, preventing swarming, calming down an aggressive hive are just some of those reasons.  This class will look at the reasons you might want to split your hives and different methods for accomplishing your goals.

Time/Room
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 3
3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 3

Rex Smith

Rex Smith has been beekeeping for 13 years; and for the last 11 years as his full-time vocation. His passion for bees started after being challenged to make his garden produce more – without using chemicals. Seeing the differences himself – of a crop without pollinators vs a crop WITH pollinators – he fell in love with the bugs. Rex provides beekeeping services in the form of bees for land ag. evaluation, honey production and sales, colony sales, and removal of bees from structures. He resides in N. Texas and is the past President of the Texas Association of Professional Bee Removers trade organization.

Managing Mean Bees

(Advanced)
When Africanized bees were first brought to South America, it was because they had some traits that were desirable. This program looks at the useful properties that “hot bees” possess as well as how to live and work with them, safely.

Time/Room
9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 8
12:00 – 12:50 pm – Room 10

Tony Andric

Tony Andric is a recovering computer/electrical engineer, addicted beekeeper, makes doors for chickens?, has zero life insurance, lives near Lockhart, Texas (BBQ capital of Texas), old, fat, white, bald, bearded guy (1967 model), married, yet it’s lonely inside that suit, uses Langstroth mediums only with top entrance, survival genetics & is treatment free.

Mead 101

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In this session, you will learn all about the most ancient of beverages, Mead or Honeywine.  What is mead? How old is it? How is it made? All these questions will be answered, and you will also learn how to make your own batch at home!

Time/Room
3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 9
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 10

Jeff Murray

Tony Andric is a recovering computer/electrical engineer, addicted beekeeper, makes doors for chickens?, has zero life insurance, lives near Lockhart, Texas (BBQ capital of Texas), old, fat, white, bald, bearded guy (1967 model), married, yet it’s lonely inside that suit, uses Langstroth mediums only with top entrance, survival genetics & is treatment free.

Misinformation & Tall Tales in The Bee Yard

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This class will discuss the longevity of queens, insights to walk-away splits, proper installation of package bees and how to assist them, the value of rain (it’s not your enemy), 1st year expectations of packages or nucs, myths about the production capabilities of violent bees vs. gentle bees.

Time/Room
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 10

Art Thomas

Art Thomas is the owner of At It Again Apiaries LLC in Rockdale, TX and is a 3rd generation beekeeper.  He produces and sells queens, nucs, packages, honey, and stuff.  Stuff being the operative word for his skill at reproducing systems used to wire deep frames with the 4 wires for beeswax embedding.  Art and his team also designed and improved an embedding device to melt the beeswax to the wired frame.  Art also developed a mold to produce wax queen cups for queen grafting and frames to hold these grafts.   His presentations include his tidbits on common sense beekeeping. 

More Biology & Less Chemistry to Reduce Varroa

(Intermediate, Advanced)
When we use toxic chemistry to kill varroa we damage bees and varroa begins breeding resistance to the toxin. We fight nature’s amazing resistance. When we help bees breed resistance to the mites, we reduce varroa WITH nature’s resistance. Toxic chemistry can be necessary, but biology will give us long term, nontoxic solutions.

Time/Room
9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 7

Les Crowder

Les Crowder began keeping bees (he often states they began keeping him) in Bernalillo, New Mexico 40+ years ago.  He began early on to search for ways to regularly renew the combs in beehives because research indicated that old cocoon laden combs become havens for pathogenic fungi and bacteria that stress the bee’s resistance to disease.  This led him to experiment with top bar hives and eventually begin using them exclusively for a small 100-200 hive honey and beeswax business in New Mexico.  He has taught beekeeping in many parts of the world for more than 30 years.  He and Heather Harrell coauthored the book Top-Bar Beekeeping published by Chelsea Green in 2012, soon to be published in Spanish.  He continues to teach and advocate non-toxic management of beehives near Austin.

Native Bees and Their Biology

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
With native and managed bee populations declining globally, we are faced with the challenge of supporting both populations. Our bees face a diverse landscape of competing resources and anthropogenic threats. It is our job to provide suitable habitats and floral resources for their success. This course will cover the biodiversity and biology of native bees in your backyard. Along with how you can transform your landscape into a pollinator habitat that supports your honeybee colonies and wild native bees. By implementing these practices, we can help ensure the survival of native and honeybee populations for generations to come.

Time/Room
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 5

Keegan Nichols

Howdy! My name is Keegan Nichols, and I am a football player turned bee enthusiast from Cedar Park, TX. I discovered my passion for entomology while studying the biodiversity and biology of native bees. Now, I am an entomology Ph.D. student in Dr. Rangel’s honeybee lab. Currently, I am working with Saudi Arabia to classify the diseases and reproductive behavior of their native honeybee subspecies. My future research interests include factors that affect queen reproductive success and quality, as well as native and honeybee interactions.

Natural Beekeeping

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
95% of American beekeepers are backyard or small-scale operations, who have the opportunity to maintain their bees in a natural and sustainable manner, without adhering to conventional commercial beekeeping practices. Nathalie B. will share effective natural beekeeping methods, sustainable Integrated Pest Management strategies, and mindful guidance to improve bee health, produce cleaner comb and honey, and achieve cost-effective beekeeping without chemical intervention.

Time/Room
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 2

Nathalie B.

Nathalie B. holds an MBA from Ohio State and a Master Beekeeper degree from Texas A&M.  She owns Bee-Mindful.com, where she leverages 12 years of experience to manage about 300 colonies through several counties. She offers beekeeping apprenticeships and classes in sustainable and natural beekeeping, as well as professional AG exemption services, affordable horizontal hives, and treatment-free bees.  Nathalie is a contributor to Bee Culture magazine, the founder of the first natural beekeeping club in Texas, and of the World Bee Day Natural Beekeeping Webinar. She hosts the “Natural Beekeeping Corner” on the popular “Hive Jive” beekeeping podcast. She has served as President of the Hays County Beekeepers Association, VP of the Travis County Beekeepers Association, Director at the Texas Beekeepers Association, and Chairman of the Real Texas Honey non-profit.

Nathalie is passionate about community outreach and volunteering and has set up free training programs and teaching apiaries for refugees in the Congo, Nigeria, and Texas, donating and leveraging simple, cost conscious, easy to manage and sustainable horizontal frameless hives in the process.

www.Bee-Mindful.com

One Million Ways to Kill Your Bees

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
While the title is a bit morbid (and likely a bit overstated numerically), this talk will address some of the things we can do as beekeepers that inadvertently harm our colony’s odds of survival.  This is a beekeeper-error-prevention talk, not a pest and disease talk. If you want to keep bees alive, knowing how you could kill them is a great place to start!

Time/Room
4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 10

Ryan Giesecke

Ryan Giesecke owns and operates G-Bar Naturals, an urban homestead project located in East Dallas. From there he periodically offers homegrown products and learning opportunities, as well as performing bee-friendly removals of honeybees and bumble bees as “Honey Bee Relocation Services”. Ryan loves to talk bees and has done so all across the state. He is president of Texas Association of Professional Bee Removers, past president of Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association in Dallas, past president of Metro Beekeepers Association in Fort Worth, and a Texas Master Beekeeper. He has also taught classes on bees at area colleges, and is currently at work on a first book about bees.

Panel Discussion – Ask the Pro’s

(Intermediate, Advanced)
Have a question?  Ask our expert panel for their advice and opinions.

Time/Room
9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 4

Tara Chapman

Tara Chapman is the founder and owner of Two Hives Honey.  After almost 10 years working for the U.S. Government in intelligence and oversight in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she took a chance and attended a beekeeping class and fell in love with bees.  Six months later, she quit her job to work for Bee Weaver during the spring queen rearing season.  Shortly thereafter she started Two Hives Honey, a full-service beekeeping and honey business in Austin.  Two Hives Honey sells honey and provides educational opportunities and beekeeping equipment to beekeepers.

Ashley Ralph

Ashley Ralph owns Prime Bees in College Station along with her husband, Justin, where she raises queens, hosts educational events, and manages bees throughout the surrounding areas. Her passion for bees grew rapidly after getting their first bee package and she enjoys learning and sharing about honeybees with anybody who will listen. Ashley is a Texas Master Beekeeper because she thought it would be an efficient and fun way to learn more about bees – she was right, it has led to an adventure in continuous learning. Ashley is a calm and curious beekeeper that enjoys spending time observing and learning from the bees.

Justin Russell

Justin Russell owns and operates Prime Bees in College Station along with his wife, Ashley, where he manages between 1000-1500 colonies of bees and growing. When he first began keeping bees as a hobby, it didn’t take long for him to realize that beekeeping was his professional calling as well. He continues to grow his business where he sells live bees, educates, does professional bee removal, manages bees on others’ properties, raises queen bees, and everything in between. Justin’s desire to continue improving and learning led him to become a Master Beekeeper as well as learn from other beekeepers big and small along the way. Justin is a blunt and practical beekeeper that is focused on results.

Panel Discussion – Removing Bees from Structures (Cutouts)

(Advanced)
Come learn how to perform safe cut-outs from our expert panel.  Ask them what’s gone well and what’s gone wrong with some of their jobs and what they’d do differently.

Time/Room
8:00 – 9:10 am – Room 4

Justin Russell

Justin Russell owns and operates Prime Bees in College Station along with his wife, Ashley, where he manages between 1000-1500 colonies of bees and growing. When he first began keeping bees as a hobby, it didn’t take long for him to realize that beekeeping was his professional calling as well. He continues to grow his business where he sells live bees, educates, does professional bee removal, manages bees on others’ properties, raises queen bees, and everything in between. Justin’s desire to continue improving and learning led him to become a Master Beekeeper as well as learn from other beekeepers big and small along the way. Justin is a blunt and practical beekeeper that is focused on results.

Rex Smith

Rex Smith has been beekeeping for 13 years; and for the last 11 years as his full-time vocation. His passion for bees started after being challenged to make his garden produce more – without using chemicals. Seeing the differences himself – of a crop without pollinators vs a crop WITH pollinators – he fell in love with the bugs. Rex provides beekeeping services in the form of bees for land ag. evaluation, honey production and sales, colony sales, and removal of bees from structures. He resides in N. Texas and is the past President of the Texas Association of Professional Bee Removers trade organization.

Chris Barnes

Chris Barnes began keeping bees after his wife forced him to attend the Central Texas Bee School in 2013.  Today he runs over 75 hives, focusing on Ag Valuations, removals, cutouts and honey sales. In 2023 he dipped his big toe into the commercial side by sending 32 hives to California for almond pollination. 

Soon after getting into beekeeping, he helped start the Brazos Valley Beekeepers Association, serving as the club’s first president.  He now serves as the club’s Youth Program Director, a position he has held for 7 years.  Chris also helped create the Texas Association of Professional Bee Removers, a trade organization for people who perform removals and swarm captures in Texas.

Dan Jones

Dan Jones began his beekeeping journey in 2010 when his neighbor had a colony of bees take up residence within the eaves of his home.  From that moment he became curious about the species and their habitat. Soon after, a beekeeper friend invited Dan to join him as he inspected his hives. Two days later Dan assisted in removing a colony of bees from under a trailer house.  He was amazed by the entire experience and has been hooked ever since.

Planting For Pollinators

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
The class will address:

  • A brief history of the land uses of Washington and surrounding counties which got us where we are today.
  • Reasons to think twice about the use of herbicides on restoration projects.
  • The benefits of using native plants and methods for your honeybees.
  • Easy and affordable native pollinator ideas for your bees – no matter how big or small your property, city, or county.
  • Ways to extend nectar sources into fall.
  • How to change history today with native plants and restoration projects. 

Time/Room
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 2
3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 2

Amy Thomsen

Amy Thomsen is a landowner in Washington County where she and her ex-husband have been beekeepers for 10 years.  In 2012 she began her journey to restore her “Post Oak Savannah Ecoregion” property near Burton using native plants and ecological principles.  She does private consulting through her company, Gone Native. Amy highlights one honey bee “Plant of the Month” for the CTBA, is vice director of the Sand Town Wildlife Management Association for Washington County, and her property is featured in a TPWD video on YouTube “Creating Habitat for Native Bees in Texas” https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rGRqeN3PCNw

Practical Considerations on The Race of Bees To Raise

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Russians, carniolans, or maybe good old Italians, which bees are the best for your place? What is the best way to try a new line of bees in your apiary? We will look at the charts and some numbers and discuss some options for trying any exotic or mundane but practical variety of honey bees that call to you.

Time/Room
3:10 – 4:00 pm – Room 7

Les Crowder

Les Crowder began keeping bees (he often states they began keeping him) in Bernalillo, New Mexico 40+ years ago.  He began early on to search for ways to regularly renew the combs in beehives because research indicated that old cocoon laden combs become havens for pathogenic fungi and bacteria that stress the bee’s resistance to disease.  This led him to experiment with top bar hives and eventually begin using them exclusively for a small 100-200 hive honey and beeswax business in New Mexico.  He has taught beekeeping in many parts of the world for more than 30 years.  He and Heather Harrell coauthored the book Top-Bar Beekeeping published by Chelsea Green in 2012, soon to be published in Spanish.  He continues to teach and advocate non-toxic management of beehives near Austin.

Products of the Hive

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
In this class we will be covering when to replace your queen. Then cover a couple of ways to find your queen. Finally covering the process of requeening your colony with a purchased queen. 

Time/Room
4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 4

Carolyn Gibson

Carolyn Gibson is an author, family herbalist, organic farmer, and massage therapist. Carolyn and her husband Gerald have owned Dogwood Gardens Organic Farm since 1991. Carolyn fell in love with organics and herbs in the ‘70s and has been growing and making herbal remedies since then.  Carolyn teaches classes on making natural skin care with honey, beeswax and propolis and using and making herbal remedies on YOUTUBE.  Her Channel name is Carolyn Gibson, Herbalist.

Re Queening Your Hive

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Learn how to make usable beeswax from your honey clippings with a skillet, cheesecloth and a milk carton.  Learn to make menthol rub “Vicks” with castor oil, menthol crystals and beeswax, and learn to make kitchen utensils conditioner with mineral oil and beeswax.  We’ll also explore making Chai tea infused honey.

Time/Room
4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 3
12:00 – 12:50 pm – Room 4

Dodie Stillman

Dodie Stillman started attending the Austin Area Beekeepers (AABA) and Williamson Country Area Beekeepers Associations meetings in 2011. She was in the inaugural class of the Texas Master Beekeepers Program and became one of the first seven official Master Beekeepers in the State of Texas, and now serves on the TMBP board. Dodie is currently serving as the President of the Texas Beekeepers Association and holds the past President role for AABA. 

Selling Honey, Laws and Labels

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
As a beekeeper, you have the option to sell your honey under different food operations: Beekeeper Honey Producer, Cottage Food Operator, and Licensed Food Manufacturer. Each has its own requirements for who, what, where, and how, as well as different label requirements. This class will help you understand what you need to do in order to bottle and sell the honey you get from your hives.

Time/Room
11:00 – 11:50 am – Room 9

Lynne Jones

Lynne Jones is a small-scale beekeeper in Sealy and owner of Brazos River Honey.  She serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Fort Bend Beekeepers Association and is a member of the Central Texas Beekeepers Association.  She is an original member of the Real Texas Honey program and is currently at the Advanced level of the Texas Master Beekeeper program.

Texas Apiary Laws

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This presentation will provide a general introduction to the beekeeping laws of Texas as well as a brief overview of the Texas Apiary Inspection Service.

Time/Room
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 7

Bill Baxter

Bill Baxter is a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in Animal Science.  Bill has had a 35-year career with the Texas Apiary Inspection Services.  During the course of Bill’s distinguished career, he has seen the introduction into Texas of tracheal mites, varroa mites and Africanized honey bee.

Top Bar Part 1 & 2

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
We will focus on Top Bar Hive beekeeping.  Brandon will focus on the underlying theory of top bar hives and address the correct way to build / select a top bar hive.  Brandon will also cover design flaws so that people don’t get stuck with an unworkable hive.  He loves lots of Q&A in his talks.

Time/Room
8:00 – 9:10 am – Room 3
9:40 – 10:50 am – Room 3

Brandon Fehrenkamp

Brandon Fehrenkamp is the owner of Austin Bees, specializing in bee removals, top bar hives and consulting.  Brandon began beekeeping on a whim in 2003 and started doing live removals in 2005.  He has extensive experience safely removing hives in densely populated areas.  He regularly speaks at schools and events to educate the public, is mentor to the UT Beekeeping Club, Beevo, and manages the glass observation hive at the Austin Nature & Science Center.

What Would I Order If I Was Starting Over?

(Beginner)
This presentation will provide a general introduction to the beekeeping laws of Texas as well as a brief overview of the Texas Apiary Inspection Service.

Time/Room
4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 7

Chris Barnes

Bill Baxter is a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in Animal Science.  Bill has had a 35-year career with the Texas Apiary Inspection Services.  During the course of Bill’s distinguished career, he has seen the introduction into Texas of tracheal mites, varroa mites and Africanized honey bee.

Where Do I Get My Bees?

(Beginner)
As a new beekeeper, one of the first challenges is getting your bees. Should you buy a Package, Nuc, or complete hive? Should you mail order your bees or buy them from one of our local suppliers? This session will explore these options and provide you with a list of suppliers that you might want to consider as you enter the fascinating world of beekeeping.

Time/Room
12:00 – 12:50 pm – Room 1
4:10 – 5:00 pm – Room 2

Karl Cottrell

Karl Cottrell and his wife are hobby beekeepers in Hempstead.  They got their start in beekeeping when Karl was looking for a Christmas present for Diane and came across the Flow Hive crowd funding campaign. Seven years later, they have 12 hives and continue to experiment on different hive configurations and hive equipment.

Why Do 80% Of New Beekeepers Not Have Bees In 3 Yrs.

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
Come learn why most new beekeepers don’t have bees 3 years after they start and learn what it takes to be a successful beekeeper.

Time/Room
1:00 – 1:50 pm – Room 8

Stan Gore

Currently works over 100 hives in 4 different counties. Stan is the owner of Texas Honey Bee Rescue where he helps folks with their bee issues. He rescues bees, swarms and puts them in a box and nurtures them. Part of the end process is to mentor/train new beekeepers in order to keep bees alive. On the Board of Advisors for Central Texas Beekeepers and Hives For Heroes. Owner/Admin and Chief Goober of Texas Friendly Beekeepers with over 8,400 members. Beekeeping is his calling, his passion, and is not a hobby. I am a Disciple of Christ disguised as a Beekeeper.

Why Don’t Worker Bees Revolt?

(Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced)
This bee biology talk takes an in-depth look at the idea that the behavior of members of a eusocial honeybee colony towards other colony members may be determined to a substantial degree by degree of relatedness between individuals. This theory can explain the (deceptive) appearance of a lack of reproductive drive in workers, why mating competition works, and why the sex ratio of a honeybee colony differs so dramatically from the standard expectations of populations in biology. This is an intro-level talk on an advanced topic that will also provide abbreviated introduction to the caste system, mating biology, swarm biology, and honeybee genetics.

Time/Room
2:00 – 2:50 pm – Room 10

Ryan Giesecke

Ryan Giesecke owns and operates G-Bar Naturals, an urban homestead project located in East Dallas. From there he periodically offers homegrown products and learning opportunities, as well as performing bee-friendly removals of honeybees and bumble bees as “Honey Bee Relocation Services”. Ryan loves to talk bees and has done so all across the state. He is president of Texas Association of Professional Bee Removers, past president of Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association in Dallas, past president of Metro Beekeepers Association in Fort Worth, and a Texas Master Beekeeper. He has also taught classes on bees at area colleges, and is currently at work on a first book about bees.

Sign up for our Monthly Newsletter

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Central Texas Beekeepers Association, P. O. Box 1875, Brenham, TX, 77834. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Central Texas Beekeepers. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

The Central Texas Beekeepers Association is a registered (501)(c)(3) organization.