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Honey bees do more than just provide a sweet treat, local beekeepers say

Posted at 9:42 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 22:42:40-04

COLLEGE STATION, TX — September is National Honey Month, and there are tons of sweet reasons to promote the Brazos Valley bee industry.

The next time you sit down to enjoy a meal, besides thanking the cook, you may also want to be thankful for honey bees and their role in making your meal. September is Honey Month and local Brazos Valley beekeepers say these insects do a lot for our agriculture.

"We deal with one of the most fascinating insects there is on the planet- the honeybee. We should celebrate honey bees because they help us with the variety of food crops and they also give us a great natural-occurring sugar," said owner of Prime Bees, Justin Russell.

President of the Texas Beekeepers Association and co-owner of Prime Bees, Ashley Ralph, says honey bees are essential to the area's agriculture.

"While there are a lot of native pollinators that we don't think about. Honey bees are super beneficial because not only do they provide wax and honey to humans, they can pollinate farms very efficiently and they get the benefit of those flowers and the farmers get the benefit of pollinating their crops," she said.

Prime Bees serves as a one-stop shop for all things bees, except they do not sell equipment.

"We sell bees, we sell honey, we do pollination services for farmers and we do extractions out of homes," Russell added.

Ralph says honey bees go out and look for pollen and nectar.

"So when they go out and get those things, they are bringing them back to the hive. The pollen goes straight to the baby bees, so they can make more bees and that nectar is going to get passes along and dehydrated and put into the colony and stored for later," Ralph said.

Once the nectar is dehydrated, Ralph says the liquid gold is formed.

"That liquidy-bitter nectar substance is going to turn into what we all love... that sweet honey," Ralph said.

A new survey from Bee Informed found this winter, more than 22% of all managed honey bee colonies in the United States were lost, which is down 15% from last year. Saving the bees has become an important initiative now more than ever.

"I am a firm believer that if we save the beekeepers that we are a steward for bees and we won't lose bees as long as we keep beekeepers around and the main way to do that is to buy local honey and support your local beekeepers," Russell added.

Beekeepers say honey bees deserve more credit for their role they play in our lives, and it's our job to care for them and protect them for years to come.

Beekeeping can also qualify you for an agriculture exemption on your property taxes depending on how much acreage you own.

You can find local honey from Prime Bees at The Village Cafe in Bryan.