By Lindsay Starr Platt
The guests at Garden Estates in Temple had a special guest Friday morning Texas Beekeeper Association, Texas Honey Princess, Willow Lanchester made an appearance and spoke about the honey industry in Texas. Residents of the community listened in as she spoke about honey and the importance of honeybees. Lanchester had made a few stops in Central Texas last week to include, Temple, Copperas Cove, and Harker Heights as she tours across Texas.
“I travel all around Texas and educate the public about bees and beekeeping,” said Lanchester. I represent the beekeeping industry and I teach everyone I meet about bees.”
Lanchester spoke to attendees about how important honeybees are to the agriculture industry. She stated the fact that one-third of all food in the world is pollinated by bees. Even though a food may not be a plant, the animal products consumed are fed by plants that needed to be pollinated.
“I was selected last year in November, at the Beekeeping Expo in Belton as the Texas Honey Princess. We went through an interview process and we were selected based on our knowledge and finesse,” commented Lanchester. “Teaching people about bees is our job.”
This year the Texas Beekeepers Association will have their annual conference at the Bell County Expo Center on November 3-5. The conference is a one-stop place to learn all about beekeeping in Texas. Conference attendees have the chance to meet vendors from all over Texas and the world. There is also the chance to attend workshops and session to learn about beekeeping.
Attendees at Friday’s presentation had the chance to ask questions and get answers about bees and honey. They learned that wax and honey can be used for cosmetics to include soap. The wax is used as an artistic medium called encaustic painting. Raw honey can be used as an antibiotic for wound care and raw local honey has been known help with seasonal allergies.
“Anyone can be a beekeeper,” remarker Lanchester. “I have been keeping bees for about three years. I began keeping Italian honeybees as part of the East Texas Beekeepers Association Scholarship Program. You can get an agricultural tax exemption on eligible property by keeping bees and they are the third most important farm animal. I wanted to be an astronaut when I grew up, now I think being a beekeeper is just as cool.”