BRYAN, Texas—It’s a hobby that’s causing quite a buzz.
The Brazos Valley Beekeepers Association is a group of local enthusiasts who are on a mission to teach a younger generation the art of beekeeping.
“It was probably a little bit nerve wracking with all the big hum. And then you get kind of used to it,” said beekeeping student David Schilling.
The Youth Beekeepers Program is teaching a swarm of kids the tools of the trade.
“You have to learn what makes up the bee, what the bee does, and how the bees function. Then you have to look at the big picture and see how the hive functions as a whole,” said student beekeeper Aiden Loyd.
Chris Barnes began beekeeping around seven years ago, and that’s when he started a local club for bee enthusiasts.
“The very first meeting of the club we asked, ‘Well if we're going to be a club what do we want to do,’” said Barners.
“One of the other guys kind of looked around the room and we were all 50, 60, 70 years old and he said we need to be training the next generation of beekeepers,” Barnes added.
Since 2014, the youth school has been a busy hive of activity.
“It’s easily the largest program in Texas,” said Barnes.
Around 30 students attend classes once a month, and eventually take on their own hives.
Student beekeepers said that learning how to raise the bees also means a little extra cash on the side.
“It’s about ten dollars a pound for honey,” said Schilling.
“If you actually find real local honey, it tastes much better,” he added.
They’re learning lessons that extend way beyond the honeycomb.
“It is a profession that if they want to turn it into a full-time job they can. It's really up to them to see how far they want to take it,” said Barnes.
But, students still have to bee-careful.
“You have to learn how to be calm with the bees because if you get kind of anxious, the bees will get anxious too, and they'll start kind of getting mean and start stinging you,” said Schilling.
But Schilling and Loyd said they’ve only been stung a few times.
“It hurts for about a day and then it goes away,” said Schilling.
It’s the rewards that make this hobby the bee's knees.
“There’s a certain sense of pleasure in creating something and yielding tangible results,” said Loyd.
On September 22, the Brazos Valley Beekeepers are hosting a Beekeeping School for all ages.
Classes will be available for beginners to pros.
The one-day school is a fundraiser for the youth school.
Kids who enroll in the school program only pay $25 and receive about $700 worth of suits, equipment, and classes.
Follow this link for more information on the Beekeeping School being held next weekend.