Visit the Texas Honey Bee Farm! Yup, you got it! Bee Friendly Austin has expanded and opened a store that sells everything you need to get started in beekeeping, including the bees to get you going!
We have bee suits, bee hives, suits, smokers, and more! Not only that, we also offer classes to teach you everything you need to know to take care of your honey bee colonies. Our store also sells raw local honey, bee pollen, propolis, beeswax, candles, gifts, t-shirts, coffee mugs, snacks, and other delicious farm-produced honey products!
If you are looking for AG exemption help or information, we help there, too, by offering our hive management services if you are too busy to care for your own bees or maybe you just need some hive-side hands-on learning time to build confidence. You can email us, call/text the store, or just come by during open hours to discuss. Take a tour, taste our honey, and get your questions answered!
Open 4 days a week
SUNDAY Closed MONDAY – Closed TUESDAY – Closed WEDNESDAY 10 am – 6 pm THURSDAY 10 am – 6 pm FRIDAY 10 am – 6 pm SATURDAY 10 am – 6 pm
And that’s just one advantage of using beekeeping for AG valuation instead of raising cattle on your 5-20 acre parcel. Or maybe you want cute little goats, like I did, until my husband told me to “google: GOAT ON CAR”! Not my car, no thanks! Now we keep bees and we can help you get started with an amazing hobby or part-time business!
STATE LAW CHANGED IN 2012:
Texas Tax Code: Chapter 23, Subchapter D. Appraisal of Agricultural Land Sec. 23.51 – (2) “Agricultural use” includes but is not limited to the following activities: ….”The term also includes the use of land to raise or keep bees for pollination or for the production of human food or other tangible products having a commercial value, provided that the land used is not less than 5 or more than 20 acres.”
5-20 ACRES OF LAND
Amount of land required and you must not live in a subdivision that has restrictions against bees or AG usage. You may be able to buy or lease bee colonies to keep on your land and lower your property taxes. AG use is required for 5 of the last 7 years in order to begin receiving the lower valuation. That means you utilize the land in beekeeping for 5 years in a row and the 6th year your taxes will go down if you meet all the requirements for your county. Each county appraisal district sets their own rules for eligibility, so be sure to talk with your county appraisal district and to stay current with rules year to year.
WHAT ABOUT MY HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION?
If you live on the land and have your house and homestead there, you will need to set aside approximately 1 acre of the land for your house/homestead. The remainder of land (minimum of 5 acres) will be to start the new AG valuation. Keep in mind as you are working AG, you won’t qualify for the homestead exemption on those extra acres, so your taxes will be higher until you achieve AG. No ‘double-dipping’ with your exemptions. Either take a homestead exemption or be working on AG, not both at once on the same acreage.
HOW MUCH WILL I SAVE?
The Ag valuation savings number is different for everyone depending on what county you are in and how many acres you have and your land values, of course. BUT, if you have HIGH property taxes now, you will likely be VERY pleased with the new valuation. Counties we have worked with seem to be using “orchard values” on the property once it goes into AG, which means thousands of dollars in tax savings for you. For instance, I have seen properties in Travis County go from a regular tax value of $40,000-$70,000 per acre down to an AG value of $2,000 per acre!!! Would you rather pay property tax on $40,000 or on $2,000? EXACTLY! 🙂
I DON’T KNOW HOW TO KEEP BEES!
There are several options to help with this concern. You can read some books, take some classes, or join a beekeeping club. Hire a beekeeper to manage your bee colonies for you and advise you on what to buy. Or lease bees from a beekeeper and let that beekeeper manage the bees. It all depends on the location of your land, availability of bees, and the amount of time and money you have to spend. The owners at Texas Honey Bee Farm are here to help you! We are the one-stop-shop to get you off to the best start. We offer classes andconsulting, and we sell bees and equipment.
HOW MANY HIVES ARE REQUIRED?
Each county sets its own minimum standards, but typically you will need 6 hives for the first 5 acres plus 1 more hive for every 1.5 – 2 additional acres. For example, Travis County and Williamson County both require adding another hive for each additional 2 acres, whereas Hays County requires another hive for every additional 1.5 acres. Download pdf below:
A bee colony is the family of bees living together in one set of boxes. The colony includes the Queen, Drones, and Worker bees. This could be 10,000 – 60,000 total bees. Equipment or hive boxes are the boxes that you will provide to each colony for living, colony growth, and honey storage. Even though a bee colony starts out with one box, it may grow to need many. Therefore a hive is one colony of bees AND the box or boxes they live in and store food in. In a typical Langstroth hive, the boxes are stacked one upon the other, regardless of how high they get stacked. It is still just one colony or one hive of bees.
WHERE TO BUY BEES & EQUIPMENT
At Texas Honey Bee Farm an we will help assess your needs, plan your site management, go over your county’s minimum requirements and assist you with the selection of bees and equipment. We provide estimates, invoices for tax documentation, advice, and support at the level you need along the way. Our experts offer management service contracts by the visit or by the year. Keep in mind that orders for spring bee colonies begin in the fall of the previous year, so order early. AG valuation applications are due by April 30th and bees are not available year round.
PHONE CALLS: Spring is here and you KNOW we love you lots and lots, but please try not to call every time you have a beekeeping question, there are a LOT more of YOU, than there are of me and I need some time off for MY BEE WORK, too! 🙂 (I get 50+ calls a day from people who “just have a quick question”. Each call takes 5-20 mins, you do the math.)
BEEKEEPING CLASSES: If you haven’t had a class, please sign up for one from our calendar. If you haven’t bought a bee book yet, please buy the one I wrote: Beginning Beekeeping, we sell it in our store at www.TexasHoneyBeeFarm.com. You can get a TON of your questions answered right there.
PUBLIC EVENT REQUESTS: If you are hosting an event and you need a beekeeper to come talk about bees, contact the Texas Apiary Inspection Office, they have a LIST of Master Beekeepers in Texas and they will send your request to all of us! 🙂
Howdy! We are 6 weeks past our grand opening day and still having so much fun out here I just had to share it with everyone! Typically, when you think about a beekeeping store, you probably think of HONEY first, right? That’s awesome! YESSSsss we have lots of honeys, honeycomb, raw honey, local honey, creamed honey, honey from right here in Austin. We also have honey from other Texas locations.
Benefits of Raw Local Honey
Look up the benefits of honey! Local, straight from the beekeeper and the beehive. You are in for a sweet surprise. Raw honey is a great substitute for sugar in almost every recipe. Also, honey has surprising benefits for allergy sufferers who eat small amounts each day. In other words, it can strengthen the immune system and build resistance to pollen allergies. Come by our farm store and taste all the different types of honey we have on hand. Take a quick tour into the apiary (that’s another word for bee yard) and watch the honey bees in action! They are collecting nectar, pollen, and water from the local area and bringing it back to their colony. We have a few colonies with viewing windows into the hives. Watch the bees bringing resources back into the honeycomb. It’s great fun and educational for the whole family!
Shopping for Bee Bling
Honey is not the only thing we have in our beekeeping store. You don’t have to be a beekeeper to shop here. We have something for everyone, including YOU! There is more ‘bee bling’ here than you have ever seen in one place. We have t-shirts, hats, jewelry, socks, baby clothes, dishes, towels, pictures, lamps, books, soaps, lotions, beeswax, candles, honey spoons, candies, cookies, energy bars, and so much more.
Beekeeper Education Course
Want to become a beekeeper? We have the perfect education course to get you started. After that, you may really enjoy a hands-on training opportunity to get you up close and personal with the honey bees. Check out our schedule of classes at our education link or on our calendar for details!
Beekeeping Supplies & Equipment
If you do happen to be a beekeeper, we have everything you need to keep bees in our equipment line. Brood boxes, honey supers, frames, complete hives, bee suits, veils, gloves, tools, smokers, excluders, top bar hives, and more. Everything is assembled, painted and ready to use! We also offer consulting with your beehives. For instance, we can help you set up your bee yard for AG exemptions, pollination, or just pure enjoyment.
Mite Resistant Bee Stock
Last, but not least, we have BEES. We sell packages, nucs, and full-strength colonies. You will want to PRE-ORDER the bees from our website. Don’t wait too long, we always sell out! To order bees please go tor www.TexasHoneyBeeFarm.com. All bees must be picked up in person in Austin TX
Fun Tour for the Whole Family
As you can see, we have lots to see and experience here at Texas Honey Bee Farm. Honey, Beekeeping & Education for everyone! Please stop by soon and enjoy a visit with the beekeepers and the bees who bring you the best tasting honey in Central Texas!