Class topic synopsis & descriptions
Ag Exemption (Property Taxes) Laws (Dennis Herbert) & Land Valuation (Joe & Lolita Bader)
These 2 classes really deal with the same subject matter – in 2012 Dennis Herbert helped the Texas Legislature amend the laws, allowing beekeeping as an activity to qualify for Ag Valuation for property taxes. His portion of this class talks about the law as it is written, and the requirements a beekeeper must meet in order to obtain the Ag Valuation on their property.
Joe & Lolita Bader’s portion of the class deals with the Texas Beekeepers Association’s efforts to make sure the appraisal districts in each county use a proper valuation method (hint: many counties do not).
Beekeeping 101, 102, & 103 (Chris Doggett & Laura Colburn)
The combination of these 3 classes make up the backbone of the “brand new beekeepers” (and prospective beekeepers) class. The subjects covered are intended to give a person the basic tools needed to jump in and begin beekeeping. Topics covered will include basic bee biology, hive & equipment, where to place your hive on your property, hive maintenance (including how to identify honey, pollen, & brood), a discussion on swarming, and an introduction to a “beekeeper’s calendar”.
Note that it does not matter which of these classes you attend – Chris & Laura are coordinating the class such that the material being taught is identical.
Beekeeping Laws (Bill Baxter)
Mr. Baxter is the former Chief Apiary Inspector for the state of Texas. His class will go over the various state laws required of beekeepers. Items discussed are requirements for registering your hives, permits required for transportation of hives both within and outside of the state, inspection requirements, and more.
Beescapes: Texas plants for bees (Becky Bender)
This program uses bee biology and foraging habits as the foundation for choosing honey plants for landscapes and rural land. Learn how the science of pollen analysis provides clues to plants our bees forage and habitat worth conserving. The focus is on native Texas plants that provide attractive, nutritious and responsible bee forage for all seasons.
Bottling & Selling Honey Laws (Leesa Hyder)
A recent change in the laws regulating what kind of facility was required to bottle honey in the state of Texas and how that bottled honey may be sold is discussed. No longer is a kitchen which has been inspected by a county Health Department (always) required. Included are also the requirements for what must appear on the label of bottled honey.
Catching & Keeping Swarms (Jay Poindexter)
Catching a swarm of bees in the spring can be a very easy, cost effective way to add a hive to your apiary. Jay will discuss the tools and techniques you can use to safely and quickly catch a swarm, as well as things you can do to make sure they stay in the hive after you get them home.
Dealing w/ Varroa using an OA Vaporizer (Patrick Logan)
The class begins with a history of Varroa mite infestation in the United States and the damage caused. Also discussed are State Laws concerning treatment, & mite count methods. The class culminates in a demonstration of treatment using an Oxcilic Acid Vaporizer.
Equipment Assembly (Kyle Patterson, Chris Paul, Brad Gose, & Tommy Odeski)
One of the unique things we did with the bee school this year was give people the opportunity to purchase the unassembled hive kits from Mann Lake. This class is a HANDS-ON time when we will help you assemble your hive kit (hive body & frames). We will have several assembly stations setup – approximate assembly time should be ~30 minutes.
Live Hive Inspections (Michael Lopez & Steve Butler)
These classes are short (~20 minute) demonstrations held “just down the road” at Cornerstone Honey Bees. This will give people a chance to put on a bee suit and observe real hives. Michael & Steve will go over the basics of performing a “hive inspection”, including what you could/should be looking for. We have loaner bee suits available where Michael and Steve can take small groups (up to ~8 people) to a hive.
Since this class involves live bees in a real environment, you must sign a liability waiver before attending the class (waiver forms will be available at CHB).
Making Money As A Sideliner (Tanya Phillips)
Tanya will share how they make money by selling honey (both their own and repackaged), beeswax and items made from beeswax (lip balm, lotion bars, soap), selling beehives, teaching classes, doing consulting work, going on swarm calls, and more.
Meade Making (Chuck Reburn)
Nectar of the gods and one more product of the hive. Learn the basics of making Meade and take away a few recipes.
Queen Finding & Re-queening Techniques (Del Brandt)
Being able to locate a queen in a hive can be a difficult task, even for an experienced beekeeper. Del goes through several techniques on how to quickly locate the queen in your hive. The class also goes through the steps on how to replace a queen in your hives.
Raising Queens (Jay Poindexter)
Jay has several years of experience raising queens for sale. This class will help the hobbyist beekeeper raise their own queens. Equipment needed, schedule for when to do things, and techniques are all discussed.
Setting up your Apiary (Chuck Reburn)
Face the hives North/South/East/West? Shade or full sun? This class will help you decide where to locate your hives in order to get a healthy, productive, and easy to work set of hives.
Splitting Your Hives (Chari & James Elam)
Splitting a large hive is one of the essential skills a beekeeper needs to have in their bag of tricks. Increasing the number of hives a beekeeper owns, help prevent swarming, and help settle an aggressive colony are just a few of the reasons a beekeeper may want to split their hives. James & Chari will go through the reasons and techniques for splitting your hives.
Structure Removals (Michael Lopez & Steve Butler)
This is a class designed for the advanced beekeeper – removing bees from structures (houses, sheds, trees, etc.) often has more to do with a person’s skills at construction and use of power tools than it does a person’s skill as a beekeeper. Michael & Steve both make their living at removing bees from structures – they will share their techniques, advice, and demonstrate the tools they use in safely removing bees.
Top Bar hives (Dean Cook)
This is essentially the same material as the Beekeeping 101-103, but for people who already know they are going to use Top Bar hives. Dean will start basic bee biology, then how to set up your hive, install bees, and how to take care of the hive for the first year.
Wax Processing & Uses for Wax Products (Tanya Phillips)
One of by-products of extracting honey are the wax cappings. Learn how to render the wax, then process it to produce just some of the hundreds of bee’s wax based products such as lip balms, ointments, soaps, leather treatments, etc.
What Equipment Do I Buy? (Chuck Durham)
This class guides the beekeeper through going through a vendor’s catalog, helping a person select what equipment they need vs what they can do without. Very good class for beginners as product selection can be an intimidating task.
Why should I join the TBA? (Leesa Hyder)
The Texas Beekeepers Association is THE statewide organization supporting beekeeping and beekeepers. Leesa Hyder is an Area Director from the TBA; she will discuss the reasons why all beekeepers should join the TBA, including available member benefits.