Intro to beekeeping: Big Country beekeepers teach hands-on classes

Local News

HAWLEY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Buzzing can be heard plenty this time of year, meaning fresh honey is on the way, but for local beekeepers teaching about the importance of bees remains at the forefront. 

These local bees have helped pollinate cotton, mesquite, and other big country wildflowers, but they are also making something much sweeter. Raw honey.

Local beekeeper and pastor Tommy Rosenblad keeps his bees on the outskirts of Rotan in Fisher County.

Driving down a long, dirt road, you’ll eventually stumble on a few dozen of his colorful beehives, where he extracts honey and manages his bee population.

Rosenblad re-queened several of his hives, meaning he switched out the old queen for a new one. Queens become less productive the older they get.

However, making honey isn’t bee’s only specialty. They make most of the agricultural world go round.

With some fearing bees, Rosenblad partnered up with a Hawley store owner to create beekeeping classes that not only inform on beekeeping but also give insight as to why bees are so important.

Buddy’s Bulk Food Store in Hawley is co-owned by Paul Cornelius and his wife, where they sell local raw honey, including Rosenblad’s.

The two came together and are collectively using the back half of Cornelius’ shop as a classroom, while Rosenblad teaches.

The 8-hour class is spent between the makeshift classroom and a bee farm, where students can get up close and personal, hands-on experience with the bees that produce this local honey.

Students can also learn of the health benefits that come from honey, especially for allergy sufferers.

Because bees carry pollen, the local honey can help build the immune system from some of the local pollen allergens.

When it’s all said and done, both Tommy Rosenblad and Paul Cornelius know that the bees are here to help and want to replace any fear with knowledge. As well as give good advice when it comes to selecting what local honey goes good with.

“They’re great on biscuits, put it on some buttered biscuits and it’s good,” Cornelius said.

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