Honeybees act as nature's Cupid, spreading love from flower to flower via pollen and buzzing the tunes of Boyz II Men songs. Harvest the nectar of amorous blooms with today's Groupon: for $39, you get one 90-minute intro to beekeeping class at Round Rock Honey's San Antonio location, Gretchen Bee Ranch in Seguin (a $125 value). Classes are held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the following Saturdays: October 8 and 15; November 12 and 19; December 3 and 10; January 21; February 4; March 10. Classes are capped at 25 participants, and reservations are required.
Round Rock Honey, recently profiled by The Austin Chronicle, sells 100% natural honey culled from local wildflowers and trains budding beekeepers how to tame honey-bearing bugs for residential use. The 90-minute beekeeping class—featured in the American-Statesman—imparts nectar neophytes with honey-harvesting basics, including an introduction to bees, hive handling, and how to whistle “Flight of the Bumblebee” with a mouth full of honey.
Students keen on cultivating their own liquid gold will learn how to keep bees through changing seasons and safeguard their swarm from disease and parasites. Finally, participants get to don provided full beekeeper's garb to gain hands-on experience at Round Rock's on-site apiary, conducting buzzing swarms of worker bees, even while the queen bee is on a diplomatic mission to discuss trade relations with Vladimir Putin.
Beekeeping pupils should protect sting-attracting appendages by wearing blue jeans, a long-sleeve shirt, and boots or other ankle-covering shoes. Cameras, and the ability to silently exchange stock tips with bees, are encouraged. Not included with this Groupon are Round Rock's wares, which were named Best Honey in 2008 by Dallas Observer, and raw honey from Gretchen Bee Ranch are available for purchase.
Round Rock Honey
Named Best Honey in 2008 by the Dallas Observer, Round Rock Honey's 100% natural local wildflower honey is harvested from more than 90 sites by owners Konrad and Elizabeth Bouffard and their crews of trained beekeepers. With precision, they remove the liquid gold from hives by centrifuge, ensuring that pollen, trace minerals, and complex sugars are never compromised during the honey harvest. They then pour the honey through a stainless-steel sieve to remove potential bee legs and wings, wax caps, and miniature tiaras before bottling it and selling it to specialty stores, farmer's market visitors, and online customers.
A similar procedure happens in other parts of the country at Round Rock's beekeeping schools. During classes, Konrad Bouffard and Beekeeping Academy teachers impart their beekeeping knowledge upon suited-up students while they extract honey from a live beehive. Along the way, novices learn about the finer points of raising bees and keeping them healthy, as well as bee handling and lullaby-buzzing.