ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – When people encounter a bee, they usually run away. However, the Big Country Beekeepers Association aims to educate the community on these creatures’ importance and their valuable work.

President of the Big Country Bee Keepers Association, Crissy Ward, said their motto is “education, resources, community, and services.”

Founded in 2019, the association provides services for beekeeping, removal, and hosting classes in the Big Country. Contrary to common belief, bees are not always aggressive and ready to sting.

“Misconceptions… I have a shirt that says if I’m running, you need to be running,” Ward said. “The main thing is most people think that bees are aggressive, and they are really not; they’re pretty calm.”

Ward emphasized that these creatures essentially want to pollinate and protect their colony, but most importantly, they are not out to get you as you might think. So what happens if you find a home in the Big Country filled with bees?

“We’ll go to that place. We’ll take those bees out for the homeowner,” Ward explained.

However, instead of killing these animals, they relocate them to what they call ‘apiaries.’ There, these bees can do things like pollinate and make honey, which therefore benefits the community. 

“They pollinate, and that’s one of the biggest things they do, especially for farmers and people who have crops… They pollinate about 1/3 of the food we eat,” Ward shared. “They make the honey, of course… it’s good for coughs, congestion, allergies, eczema.” 

These busy bees and beekeepers right here in the Big Country provide education and resources for the community. The group has monthly meetings to grow and help each other become better beekeepers. This past week, the group discussed how to care for the bees and their hives in the winter.