Property taxes can be lowered by keeping bees

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Property taxes on small acreages can now be lowered by keeping bees on the property.

Texas law allows bees and beehives to qualify for reducing property taxes on plots ranging from five to 20 acres similar to livestock or raising hay.

Dennis Herbert drafted the original legislation for the current bee law that allows small acreage landowners to receive their agricultural valuation if they wish to raise bees on their property. He shepherded this bill through the legislature in 2011 and it became law on Jan. 1, 2012. He has been a beekeeper in Bell County for 15 years.

Herbert will be at the 12th Annual Beginning Beekeeping School to be held on March 21 in Brenham. He will host several sessions that will discuss this law and how people can use beekeeping to qualify for the property tax savings. He will share the history of the law and answer questions from landowners.

Other aspects of beekeeping that will also be available at the school include how to start keeping bees, how to harvest honey and how to raise queens. There will also be a session that allows participants to put on a bee suit and gather around a beehive while it is examined by a beekeeper.

The morning sessions will include lessons for beginning, intermediate and advanced beekeepers. The afternoon sessions will have over 65 time slots and more than 45 different topics from which to choose. For more information and to register, visit www.tinyurl.com/2020BeeSchool or call 979-277-0411.

Interview with founder of the Flow Hive

Cedar Anderson, co-inventor of the Flow Hive, will join the Central Texas Beekeeping School by Skype from Australia on March 21. His company, Flow, has also donated a Flow Hive 2 to be given away during the school. This is an opportunity to speak directly to Anderson and ask him questions about the benefits of the Flow Hive.

The Flow Hive is a way to harvest honey without opening the hive. It was invented in February of 2015 and funded by the most successful campaign ever launched on Indiegogo. In a matter of months, over 20,000 kits had been ordered. As of the end of 2019, over 65,000 Flow Hives were in use in more than 130 countries.

The concept for the Flow Hive originated when Anderson felt bad about crushing bees during honey harvest, was sick of being stung, and having to spend a whole week harvesting his honey. He and his father Stuart came up with an idea that worked and have dedicated their time to pursuing this invention.

Nanette Davis, Flow experienced master beekeeper from Houston, will be on hand to demonstrate how a Flow Hive works. The Skype session will take place at 4 p.m. during the Flow Hive demonstration.

Other subjects taught at the school include Langstroth and Top Bar Hives, Managing Your Beehives, Raising Queen Bees and Beekeeping Safety. There will be sessions for beginning, intermediate and advanced beekeepers.

The school starts at 8 a.m. and will end at 5:30 p.m. The cost of the school includes a catered meal and a school book with information about beekeeping. For more information and to register, go to www.tinyurl.com/2020BeeSchool.

The Central Texas Beekeepers meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Washington County Fairgrounds. Anyone interested in beekeeping is welcome at the meetings.

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