CASTROVILLE, Texas – A Castroville teen has taken what originally started as an interest and turned it into a full-fledged and successful business operation.
“I had found some old boxes my grandfather used to keep bees back in the 1980s,” 16-year-old Trent Anderson, owner of BeeSpace explains.
When Trent was 13, he cleaned up the boxes and built his first bee hive.
“It kind of just snowballed from there,” Anderson said.
The interest then turned into full-fledged beekeeping, bee removal and a honey business, called BeeSpace.
Trent first started BeeSpace table selling honey on the side of Highway 90, but now two years later Trent has a pop up tent space and says there are some days where he sells out of his local honey.
He just turned 16 this March and still doesn’t have a drivers license, but he does all the work for his business and gets help from adults when it comes to driving.
He said he worked for other bee keepers and has done an extensive amount of research on bees. He networks with bee keepers across the country online and now owns about 100 hives and takes his bees across the country to pollinate almond and orange orchids.
But it’s not just about the business for Trent. He said he wanted to do something that makes an impact. He believes bees are important to our biodiversity and are responsible for the variety of food that ends up on our plate.
”There are a lot of foods that rely on bees,” Trent said. “But also I think roughly 90% of plants rely on pollination from bees.”
He says the narrative on bees dying out has either been too extreme or not pushed enough. He says bees are dying out because of habit loss, less native flowering plants and pesticide use.
“I don’t think this is a doomsday scenario,” Trent said. “I just think it’s a pretty dull and uninspiring world to live in. I don’t think everything will come crashing down, but an ecosystem of just monocultures propagated by farmers, that’s a pretty depressing world.”
Trent hopes to have 1,000 hives in two years. His goal is take the money earned through BeeSpace and fund a re-forestation project to better the environment. He says change is important, but the narrative of how we change is also important.
”I don’t like to demonize the older farmer too, because they are who taught me, they were my mentors,” Trent said. “They are still very important, but I do think there is a momentum and better way of doing things,” he said.