Lake Travis - Westlake Edition | May 2021

COMMUNITY

Bees for All founder, Peter Keilty holds a newly constructed honeycomb at one of his seven hives o Hamilton Pool Road. (Photos by Amy Rae Dadamo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Bees for All Residents protect local pollinators S pring has arrived in Central Texas and with it the beginning of the region’s treasured wild- BY AMY RAE DADAMO

anticipates launching a children’s bee school in May. “I hope if you grow up with this sort of thing then you will value it as an adult as well,” Keilty said. That respect will not only foster a desire to protect local pollinators but also the entire Hill Country region, according to Keilty. While Bees for All has a particular focus on educating the youth, Keilty and Abramson are prioritizing com- munity outreach as a whole and have already inspired nearby neighbors to begin their own hives. The pastime is not as complex as it may seem, Keilty and Abramson said. Bees for All’s hives are handmade from roughly $200 of lumber, and Keilty said most people are capable of putting up a hive. Those without the ability to tackle this endeavor can still enjoy local honey, which Bees for All sells. While Bees for All currently operates as a business, all sales are used to maintain the hives, according to Keilty, who said he is working on obtaining a 501(c)3 nonprot status. Still, even without a backyard hive, there are several ways residents can contribute to the protection of honeybees and other Hill Country pollinators. Keilty said residents can plant native owers and put out nesting blocks that serve as homes for hon- eybees, which Keilty said rarely sting. Most importantly, Keilty said the residents should curb their pesticide use and encourage their neighbors to do the same.

ower season when native bluebon- nets, Indian paintbrushes and Texas redbuds line the state’s roadways. Perhaps those most pleased by the Hill Country’s blossoms are the local honeybees, some of which live o Hamilton Pool Road in hives built by Bees for All. Founded by Peter Keilty, Bees for All works to educate the public about the importance of the region’s local pollinators. Bees for All operates seven hives on a nearly 5-acre site shared with Lakeway TaekwonDo. The business began when Chris Abramson, the owner of the martial arts studio, won a beekeeping class through a silent auction and connected with Keilty. The duo began by setting up two hives in 2018. Keilty said they collected 40 pounds of honey from a single hive in the rst season. Beekeeping is a long-loved hobby of Keilty’s, who enjoyed the pastime as a kid in Ireland. He said his move to the Hill Country, a region abundant with natural amenities, re-inspired his love for honeybees. “I thought this was the perfect place to resurrect this,” Keilty said. “Not just to make honey, which I love doing, but if we can show people the value of these pollinators while doing it, that’s really the crux for me. For Abramson and Keilty that education begins with kids. The duo has been drumming up interest and

From left: Peter Keilty and Chris Abramson tend to one of their hives.

W H O ’ S I N T H E H I V E ?

Three types of honeybees all serve unique purposes that are critical to the hive’s health. Together, honeybees make up one of the most important pollinators for ourishing ora.

Queen bee: The queen’s role is to reproduce for roughly two years in her hive, and she lays thousands of eggs a day. Recognized by her longer abdomen, the queen is essential to the hive.

Drones: Male honeybees are

Worker bees: While the smallest in size, worker bees tend to several duties. The all-female worker bees forage for nearby pollen and return to the hive to create honey. They defend the hive against predators, build the honeycombs and create royal jelly for the queen.

referred to as drones, and their only purpose is to mate with the queen bee.

SOURCE: BEES FOR ALL COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

Bees for All 14532 Hamilton Pool Road, Austin

71

TWIN ACRES RD.

www.beesforall.com beesforall@gmail.com

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2021

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