COLLEGE STATION, Texas — After a productive summer from the newly-installed apiary at the Janice and John G. Thomas Honey Bee Facility, Dr. Juliana Rangel and her students have a bumper crop of Aggie Honey™ for sale.
The honey, is one way to highlight the research ongoing at Texas A&M in honey bee health and management. Honey sales is one way to support the Rangel lab’s research program on honey bee biology and health. Aggie Honey is available for $12 for a 16 oz jar and $7 for a 5.5 ounce jar at the Rosenthal Meat and Science Center of Texas A&M University. She said that they had a great harvest this year due to the weather and and a larger number of hives.
Rangel said the 40 colonies she started with in 2013 have now grown to more than 60 as of August 2014. She said the colonies are used for research on the reproductive biology of honey bee queens and drones (male honey bees) and other projects related to honey bee health.
“This year’s harvest has been more productive than our first one last year for a few reasons,” she said. “First, we prepared more colonies for honey production than last year. We also started the preparation process earlier. Finally, there has been more rain and milder weather this year compared to 2013, which means more nectar in flowers for bees to turn into Aggie Honey!”
The research hives were established last March near the 7,500 square-foot Honey Bee Facility on Texas A&M University’s Riverside Campus. The facility, which also houses the Texas Apiary Inspection Service, is named after Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service entomologist emeritus, Dr. John Thomas and his wife.
Rangel said that all proceeds from the honey sales will go towards funding the lab’s research efforts.
“We have one MS student currently in the lab, three undergraduate students, and we are happy to be welcoming two more graduate students this fall,” Rangel said. “Honey sales definitely help us offset the cost of beekeeping equipment and supplies for our experiments, so I want to thank all of those who help this fundraising effort through the purchase of our honey.”
The honey will be only sold at the Rosenthal center store and a maximum of six jars are allowed per person. For more information on the honey, visit the Rosenthal Meat Science and Technology center at: http://agrilife.org/rosenthal . To learn about Rangel’s program, visit http://honeybeelab.tamu.edu/ or follow the lab on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TAMUhoneybeelab.