TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - At the beginning of September, the Texas Honeybee Education Association launched a new Texas license plate design that motorists can sport on their cars to help support Texas beekeeper educational programs.
A Smith County beekeeper said these proceeds will provide more resources for beekeepers across the state.
A new strategy to support education and research programs for the Honeybee Association was announced earlier this month by selling license plates for an annual $30 fee. Chairman of the Texas Honeybee Education Association Roger Farr explained where that money will go.
“The money that we get, we use towards education programs, for beekeepers, for youth, we also use it for public education programs,” Farr said. “We want to educate the public on the benefits of honeybees.”
Jim Biles, the executive director of the East Texas Beekeepers Association, beekeeper, and owner of Sugar Creek Honey, said the education is crucial for participants.
“first and foremost, it’s about education,” Biles said. “We’re trying to invest in our young people to get into beekeeping, and then for those that are already into beekeeping, it helps them be better beekeepers. The more we know about the honeybee, the healthier the honeybee will be and the more productive it’ll be.”
Biles said the queen bee is facing a decline in productivity and the funds allocated for this project will go towards finding a solution.
“The longevity of queens is kind of an issue right now. Whereas before, queens might have lived four to five years,” Biles said. “Today, I replace my queens every year because the productivity falls off a lot after a year, so why is that happening? Research is trying to determine the answer to that.”
For the $30 investment, $22 goes towards the education association to fund the programs, and the remaining total goes towards the state.
“Even someone who has been in the business like I have for 15 or 20 years, I can still learn more,” Biles said. “With the research that’s taking place about honeybees, we’re trying to keep up with the emerging science so that way we can be better beekeepers.”
According to the Texas Beekeepers Association, they estimate to have 5000 beekeepers across the state.
For more information on where you can find the license plate, click here.