Large Event Turnout Shows Increased Awareness
On Saturday, July 18, the Liberty County Beekeepers (LCB) held its second annual Honey Harvest event at the AgriLife Extension office located in Liberty, Texas. This year’s even boasted a strong turnout, leading event planners to believe there is an increased interest from the public in learning more about bees and beekeeping. This annual event includes a lot of information and demonstrations to help educate the public about honeybees, beekeeping, and the role bees play in our daily lives.
Honey Harvest goers had the chance to experience a live demonstration of honey being extracted from a beehive, observe honeybees living inside an observation hive, view displays and presentations, learn about bees and beekeeping as well as take home souvenirs made with honey and beeswax. Ron Bentley, a local beekeeper, told YourHoustonNews.com that 70 people had signed in by 3p.m. and, if you included children and individuals who did not sign in, there was likely over 100 people in attendance.
The turnout for the event is further evidence that beekeeping is growing in popularity in the area. Bentley stated that there are dozens of non-commercial beekeeping operations in Liberty County as well as two commercial operations. Bentley himself only began beekeeping about two years ago but has already been able to involve three generations of family members in the hobby – Bentley’s son and granddaughter also enjoy beekeeping, and his granddaughter joined him at Saturday’s event.
Bees “don’t come out when it’s raining,” said Bentley’s granddaughter Rebekah who explained that honey production had suffered recently during some heavy rain. “We’re not going to get that much honey this year. It really does make a difference.” Rebekah has been keeping bees for a few years with her father, Bentley’s son, who couldn’t make the event since he is mentoring a new beekeeper in South Dakota. Rebekah says she enjoys beekeeping and has become “just fascinated with bees.”
“This was crazy,” said Miranda Smart, president of LCB, about the great turnout for the event. Liberty County Beekeepers became an organization two years ago and has grown quickly, now having 30 members. In addition to the annual Honey Harvest and monthly meetings, LCB also takes the time to give presentations at local schools.