With bright yellow bee-shaped balloons and honey samples galore in numerous sweet, savory flavors, the Honey Expo brought out bee enthusiasts and had beekeepers stressing the importance of pollination.
The free event at the Brazoria County Fairgrounds had hundreds of residents buzzing with excitement over the prospects of honey samples, beekeeping and hive classes.
Harrison Rogers, a master beekeeper, is not surprised at the popularity of the expo anymore, he said.
“I think the main part of the event is to tell people about bees and about honey and the importance of bees,” he said.
He wants more of the public to be aware of the differences between “fake” honey and pure, natural honey, Rogers said.
About 70 percent of the honey on United States grocery store shelves is adulterated honey, or in other words, fake honey, according to the Honey Bee Conservancy Organization. It is not pure honey, yet labels might advertise it as such, according to the organization.
Jim Miller, who owns Mac M’s Best, sells raw, unfiltered honey.
Unfiltered honey is honey that naturally contains small particles like wax while leaving most all pollen grains in the liquid honey, Miller said.
As chairman of Real Texas Honey, Rogers said he hopes to make sure more people are aware of real versus fake honey.
Real Texas Honey is an organization dedicated to promoting quality Texas honey from real Texas beekeepers who have agreed to the strict standards, Rogers said.
Rogers, who also has a business, Brookside Bees, initially became intrigued with bees at a farmer’s market, he said.
“I went to a farmer’s market and there was a beekeeper there selling honey and so I started talking to him,” he said. “And now that person, his family and us, we are good friends.”
There are over 50 bee associations in the state of Texas and it’s becoming highly popular, Rogers said.
“I think more and more people are becoming interested in bees,” he said. “People do want to help the bees.”
Last year, the Honey Expo saw more than a thousand people and he knows there’s a growing interest, Rogers said.
People are becoming more aware of just how vital bees are for both people and the environment, Miller said.
If it wasn’t for bee pollination, the majority of what we love on this planet wouldn’t be here, Miller said.
Dane Beito with the Brazoria County Beekeepers Association also was available gathering signatures from passing attendees for a petition to bump mosquito spray times in the county from 7 to 10 p.m., he said.
This would be to save pollinators, Beito said.
“The honey bee is outside the hive at dark,” he said.
The pesticide is helpful for terminating mosquitoes, but it also kills bees, Beito said.
As resident Rebecca Mireles sees it, the expo is getting the community more involved in helping save the bees, she said.
“We need bees,” she said.