Heart of Texas Honey®

Honey Where Your Heart Is

Picture of Bee on Horsemint flower

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Heart of Texas Honey, born in June of 2017, was given by God to Carolyn in spite of herself. Carolyn's beekeeping journey started when her daughter, after hearing her express interest in beekeeping, paid for her to go to a beekeeping conference with one of her daughter's co-workers. From that date, Carolyn attended every bee conference she could, learning and researching in the hope of keeping bees some day.

In 2016, Carolyn began purchasing and building wooden ware in anticipation of getting bees the next year. God put her on a property where she was able to pursue swarm collection. Researching all best practices in swarm collection, she put out 21 traps the next year and had 14 or 15 hives by the end of the year. The first swarm caught violated almost all of the recommended best practices for catching swarms. For more information about her journey, including pictures and videos, go to WannaBeeKeeper.com (under construction at this time).

Currently located in Grimes County, Texas, she has +- 17 hives. The location of the Apiary is ideal because of the low agricultural chemical use on the surrounding land. Proximity to the Navasota river provides abundant forage for the bees.

Carolyn is a chemical free beekeeper, her bees are "hygienic" and/or resistant. This means they have certain behaviors that eliminate or reduce pests in the hive. All but one of her hives are "Africanized" but they are surprisingly calm. TAMU used her bees for a research project and she was given their genetic information from that research; hence the certain knowledge that they are "Africanized."

Care and Keeping

Bees have been taking care of themselves since the beginning of time. Like all animals we "domesticate," some interventions help when we confine and attempt to control them. However, minimal intervention is my strategy. Keeping an eye on the bees and noticing when activity declines can be critical to saving a hive which has undergone some negative event. When hives swarm, the old queen leaves with about half of the workers and a new virgin queen replaces her mother. The virgin queen must go on mating flights and approximately 10% of queens do not return. In this case, the remaining bees are doomed. They have no brood because the former queen quit laying some time ago to "slim up" and get ready to swarm with her girls. This means there are no more suitable aged larvae to make a new queen. Timely intervention can save that hive.

Very Full Hive "Bearding"

Typical guest room

Bees "beard" in the summer when their population is robust and it is hot.

More Bearding

Indoor pool

This hive was quite robust in the summer and they were "showing their stuff" on a warm summer evening. This population level is highly desirable in terms of the amount of honey they can collect.

2017 Honey Crop

Bride and groom

2017 Harvested enough to send to TAMU for pollen analysis. My first honey crop!