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Beekeepers Association provides daily dose of sweetness

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SAMUEL TRUJILLO
@SamTrujillo

On Nov. 2, the Coastal Bend Beekeepers Association hosted its annual honey tasting event at the Garden Senior Center in Corpus Christi.

This free public event allowed attendees to sit in on one of the association’s monthly meetings while also giving them an opportunity to sample local honey from beekeepers around South Texas. This event drew large crowds of curious Corpus Christi residents who were interested in learning more about beekeeping and perhaps starting a hive of their own.

Upon entering the meeting hall, guests were signed in and seated in preparation for a presentation by guest speaker and beekeeper Eric Flores.

“This project represents a demonstration of how students can learn and experience animal husbandry through beekeeping,” association president Dennis Gray, Jr. said.

After a short welcome and introduction by Gray, Flores took the stage and  began giving insight on his personal beekeeping techniques and opinions.

“My dad and I said, ‘Let’s do it!’ but we had no clue what to do or who to start buying from or anything really,” Flores said.

He then went on to describe how he became interested in beekeeping in the first place and discussed the troubles he and his father encountered during the first winter of their keeping.

“Essentially everything died off that first year and we had no clue what it was,” Flores said. “We went to seek help from [a northern beekeeper] and they told me that I basically starved my hive by not feeding it on cold days.”

Flores said thankfully things got up and running for the Flores farm after that unproductive winter over the next few months.

“I bought several hives for dirt cheap, while also capturing several wild swarms and introducing them to the hive,” Flores said.

Flores then went into detail about his production methods and rates, which seemed to capture the interest of many guests.

Before bringing his speech to a conclusion, Flores asked audience members if they had any questions for him.

One of the most commonly asked questions the audience had for him was whether it was possible for everyday Corpus residents to start a hive without acres of land at their disposals. He said the City of Corpus Christi allows residents to own up to two bee hives per household, according to Corpus Christi city ordinance No. 026046.

After all questions were answered, Flores gave way to Gray, Jr. once more so he could close the meeting and gave guests an opportunity to sample honey.

“This is definitely something I’d be interested in doing at home,” Corpus Christi resident Pamela Joyce-Gonzales said. “I came in here curious about what beekeeping even was and left wanting to get in on the action.”

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