If you know me, you know I’m all about a new experience. I like to try new things, and will most likely jump at an opportunity to do just that. My interests vary and change, and around Christmas 2014, I saw a groupon for Beekeeping and purchased it as a present for my husband (AND secretly myself as well!). It wasn’t a spur of the moment buy, as earlier in the summer I had thought it might be something I was interested in learning more about, and learn I did.
As the groupon was nearing its 6 month expiration, I thought, “no better time to check this out, than on my husband’s 30th birthday!”. So, the morning of his big 3-0, we arose and headed to a discreet, weedy, and chigger infested location within the city of Rowlett,TX. Lets just say, had i doused myself in DEET bugspray prior, my overall experience would get a 10 out of 10!
- Groupon: $79 for two adults
- Beekeeping: Round Rock Honey, 10am on a Saturday morning.
- Expectations: wear badass bee suit, get near bee hives (actually boxes), and taste the honey. Check mark for ALL 3: this girl did it all AND, got to hold several bee frames that had combs on it!
*We arrived, parking in a small field, easily accessible by a nearby main road. After walking a short distance, we were greeted warmly by our beekeeping guru, a zany but confident woman. Our expert had many years experience with bees AND absolutely zero fear of the flying striped bandits. Upon signing in, we were directed to tubs containing protective gear and gloves, in many sizes. Following our desired size pick, we continued down a short overgrown path, to a clearing in a field. We personally (along with everybody and their brother) had forgotten chairs to sit in, but our expert beekeeper pulled up her truck, as did another hardcore beekeeper, and we “tailgated” as we learned more about bee species, habits, and the importance of their existence in our lives.
Interesting things learned:
- bees don’t live long (workers- 6-8 weeks, queen- 2-3 years)
- each box contains 1 queen
- bees occassionally are transported across country, via semi-trucks. These semi trucks transport the hives on the truck bed, and are all enveloped by a huge lightweight mesh covering. Literally 1 week after my class, I was on a road trip to NE, and saw this very thing!
- after purchasing pure honey, it can harden/crystallize-but this doesn’t mean it has gone rotten. You can actually microwave it, to be good as new!
- honeys taste is reflected by the pollen and nectar gathered from the flowers and plants near the hive
While I cannot speak for other classes Round Rock Honey offers in different cities, I can commend the one I attended. I would highly recommend a similar introductory class for those that are just curious, interested in learning, and especially those interested in starting a hive.