Rain leads to honey bee baby boom, says local beekeeper

ADKINS, Texas – A drive through the country is breathtaking with the increase in wildflowers brought on by the rain, and busy little bees are thriving in that flower boom.

Shelby Robertson, owner of Honey Moon Farms, has been as busy as a bee with calls from people surprised to find a swarm of bees forming beehives in unwanted places.

“It all started about nine weeks ago,” Robertson said. “My phone hasn’t stopped ringing for removals and swarms.”

The increase in the rain that led to the wildflower boom has boosted the honey bee population, which had been struggling in previous years with rough weather conditions and drought.

“Now that the rains kind of disappeared a little bit, now we have more nectar and pollen,” Robertson said.

She said the bees are busy pollinating, making food and more babies for the new hive.

“Now that there’s so much pollen and there’s so much for them to pollinate around here, they’re taking stores in huge numbers, and they’re filling up their honey stores,” Robertson said. “And when they do that, they’re running out of place to have babies.”

She said that’s when the bees move out to make a new one with more larvae.

Robertson used the honey to make organic products to sell locally. She’s still new to beekeeping but expects this to be her best year yet. Some farmers have already started harvesting their honey, she said.

“I think all of us are having about the same turnout in production. I don’t think anyone’s had a problem with having honey,” Robertson said.

She’s also seen an increase in horsemint, a native plant with thymol, a natural repellent that helps protect their hives.

Robertson encourages people who encounter an unwanted beehive to contact an expert to help relocate the bees.

About the Authors:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Alexis Montalbo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.