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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

To bee or not to bee

Kate+Bell%2C+a+beekeeper+at+BeeWeaver+Farm+in+Navasota%2C+opens+the+cell+of+a+hive+box+to+show+worker+bees.
Photo by Emma Lawson

Kate Bell, a beekeeper at BeeWeaver Farm in Navasota, opens the cell of a hive box to show worker bees.

There’s a buzz in Navasota as wildflowers begin to bloom bright blue, electric orange and majestic violet. But without bees, our spring would be much less colorful.
“Save the bees’’ is a common cry for environmentalists and there is concern in ensuring bees stay healthy. Honey bees provide approximately $15 billion in crops due to their pollination and are vital to the health of 250,000 flowering species of plants, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
BeeWeaver Farm has been dedicated to raising mite and disease resistant bees since the 1920s and continues to be treatment-free. Personally, I have always had an interest in beekeeping, so I scheduled a tour of the hives to find out more. After a quick waiver and $5, I was ready to go.
To begin the tour, I was led to a meshed patio where beekeeper Roosevelt Roberson explained the ins and outs of the 3,500 hives at BeeWeaver. With 56 years of experience under his belt, his enthusiasm for beekeeping was clear as he pulled out a section of the hive for all of us to see.
“I started here in 1966 when I was 21,” Roberson said. “I ain’t goin’ nowhere. I’m gonna stay here until they have to haul me away. I love my job.”
For $5, I was able to hold a drone bee, which cannot sting, so I didn’t have to worry, touch the queen and get a taste of honey straight from the hive. The fake corn syrup honey can’t compare to the taste of wildflower honey made before your eyes. Even I went in for a second scoop of honey with my little wooden spoon, but in my defense, it tasted great.
Roberson was keen to share his immense experience with bees and talk about tools and tricks new beekeepers could utilize.
“The best way to get started is with a nuc,” Roberson said. “A nuc is a miniature beehive that’s already established, got a laying queen in it and everything.”
After finishing the hive tour, I headed over to the BeeWeaver gift shop to peruse the different types of honey available to purchase and met with Kate Bell, a self-proclaimed “worker bee” and Airbnb manager at the facility.
One of the sweetest advantages of beekeeping is the honey produced, Bell said, and the health benefits of regularly eating bee-produced honey. Since pollen is minuscule, not all of it gets filtered from the honey.
“The more pollen you have in honey, the better it’s going to help with your allergies,” Bell said. “Do a spoonful of honey a day, and the reason behind that is when your body is processing that honey, it’s slowly becoming immune to the pollen.”
It is recommended those with severe bee allergies do not visit the farm because BeeWeaver is a fully functioning bee farm and cannot ensure you will not be stung. While there is a active smoker to calm the bees, it is impossible to control their actions. I, personally, was never stung while there, but my friend was when they got too close to the hive for pictures. Although it’s unlikely you’ll be stung, especially if you’re giving the bees their space, it is still possible.
Whether you’re looking to get outside, enjoy a sweet treat, start your own hive or learn about beekeeping from the experts, BeeWeaver has a little bit of everything for lovers of nature.

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