Richardson learning how to become a honeybee keeper

MELINDA RICHARDSON shows off honeybees in one of two hives she has began working since moving them from a house that was about to be demolished. She says she wants to save the bees and the honey they produce is a nice reward.

Melinda Richardson is a proud mom of three amazing kids and a godly woman that will go out of her way to help others in Teague.

Melinda is talented; She is a honeybee keeper and harvests the honey from her bees.

?I got my first hive a month and a half ago. I?ve always been fascinated with honeybees plus honey lasts forever and has healing properties. I?m learning and gathering more and more information about raising them,? says Richardson. When she heard of a friend of hers having some honeybees in a house about to be torn down on her property, Melinda and Helen Sullivan jumped right on it. ?Miss Sullivan is learning about being a honeybee keeper as well?, stated Melinda. There was some demolition work to cut them out of the wall. The honeycomb was cut to fit into frames to fit into my box and fastened with rubber bands, all the while smoking them and dumping them into my bee box. I was defiantly wearing the full bee suit! The honey is capped and put it in a separate bag. What is left over is bee?s wax that can be used for lip balm, candles and more. To get the rest of the bees in the box, I used lemon grass oil on a cotton ball and wiped it on the top of the frames and box. Lemon grass oil mimics the scent the queen bee produces.?

Melinda Richardson learned from beekeeper Joe that owns the Waco Honey Co., Joe told Melinda if you put lemon grass oil on an empty bee box within a month bees will have made it their new home.

The ride to the country for the bees and Melinda to their new home was pretty wild. ?There was about 20,000 honeybees inside my truck that day in their box and I did not have my bee suit on,? said Richardson.

?I check on my honeybees every 2 weeks. There are two boxes; one on top of the other for my honeybees to work in and the top box is where I get my honey. My next harvest will be in June.?

Melinda attended a beekeeping class in Fairfield at the Christian Life Center put on by the Texas A&M Ag. Extension. ?I want to save the bees and the honey is a nice reward! I?ll be selling what honey I don?t keep for myself and it makes the best gift to give for occasions and holidays. By the end of the summer my goal is to have 10 hives.?

She?s been to look at three different hives this past week but all were in the walls of houses. ?I?m not going to be liable for tearing up a wall trying to get them, I?m trying to find another way if possible,? added Richardson

Anyone who has a swarm or hive on their property and want it removed can call the Teague City Hall, who will in turn contact Melissa and let her know.

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