Daily Schedules

This page will be updated regularly with new activities, so please keep checking back to see what's new!

Friday August 18th 1:30pm-4:30pm -  Beeswax Workshop - $25 (limit 50 attendees)

Join us in the conference room past the gift shop for a workshop in making products with beeswax.

1:30-4:30 - Learn how to make tea light candles with Expert Candlemaker Christine Flores from The Beeswax Company

Make Beeswax Lip balm with Master Beekeeper Tanya Phillips.

Learn how to make a super easy solar wax melter for melting beeswax.

Take home the products and recipes


Saturday August 19th 9:00am-4:00pm - Public Event All DayTour Headquarters ~ Zilker Botanical Gardens ~ Text - (512-560-3732) ~ EMAIL US

Guidelines for Visitors on day of tour- please READ

Zilker Botanical Gardens - Speakers in the Conference Room

Vendors in the Green Room - BeeWeaver Apiaries, Bee Friendly Austin, Technosetbee, Bee C Hive Stands, Company Bee, and more...

Observation Hive to see a live colony at work

REAL TEXAS HONEY for Sale from local beekeepers

Silent Auction - Bidding ends at 3:30pm

Raffle Prizes - ALL DAY and more...

All other tourable bee yards will be open at various times between 9am-2pm, check map info of each location for EXACT HOURS.

Maps are $5.00 and can be picked up in person at Tour Headquarters in Central Austin at Zilker Park. They will also be available via email or text on August 19th and  20th IF you have previously paid online AND emailed a signed waiver for your group or family. (1 waiver per FAMILY or 1 per adult for non-family members touring together)

SATURDAY - PUBLIC EVENT 9am-4pm

9:00am - Danny Weaver - Selecting and breeding honey bees for Varroa mite tolerance and viral resistance

9:45am - Chris Doggett - World of the Bee - 101 Bee Biology - Colony decline and losses, pollination, social structure of the honey bee, birth and development, hive tasks.

10:30am - Les Crowder - treatment-free beekeeping

11:30am - Miss Pettibon, Texas Honey Queen - How to get youth started in Beekeeping, Bee Club programs for mentoring kids, Scholarship Program for Honey Queens.

12:00pm - Chris Moore - Buying REAL TEXAS HONEY and The Texas Beekeepers Association

1:00pm - Eva Van Dyke - Creating holistic pollinator habitat to benefit your bees

1:45pm - Texas A&M Student Pierre Lau  Will present updates on Bee Lab research projects.

2:15pm - Mark Dykes - Texas Apiary Inspection Service - An Overview of Texas Apiary Laws and Information on the Texas Master Beekeeper Program

3:00pm - Steve Butler - How a beekeeper gets bees OUT of a tree without harming the colony. Forced Abscond Video

3:45 - 4:00 - is when we will end the silent auction and draw for raffle prizes.

Speaker Bios:

Danny Weaver, President, Bee Weaver Apiaries, Inc. and CEO of Genformatic, LLC

Danny has a PhD in Molecular Biology from Berkeley and his JD from UT Austin. His family has been working bees since 1888 and he has a long history of leadership in Texas apiculture.  He is a Founding member of the Honey Bee Genome Advisory Committee and Co-coordinator of the Honey Bee Genome Sequencing Consortium. He served 4 years with the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, 5 years with Pollinator Partnership, Honey Bee Health Task Force, 6 years on the board of the American Beekeeping Federation, Inc., was Director of The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, served on the USDA Advisory Boards, including the original task force on CCD, has served in numerous positions on the board of TBA and his work has been published in multiple Peer-Reviewed Journals.

Chris Doggett, President of Williamson County Beekeepers Association

Chris Doggett received a degree in Mathematics at Bristol University in England in 1967 and moved to the United States in 1984. After a career in Electronics Manufacturing, Chris retired in 2002 and lives in Thrall, TX. He started beekeeping 8 years ago and is currently the President of Williamson County Area Beekeepers and Publications Director for the Texas Beekeepers Association where he produces their bi-monthly Journal.

Les Crowder, Author, Top Bar Hive Beekeeping

Les Crowder has been a beekeeper for over forty years.  He began beekeeping as a teenager by helping his grandfather catch a swarm from a neighborhood tree.  His fascination and love for honeybees has been with him ever since.  Les spent many of his early years as a beekeeper working for commercial beekeepers in large operations, and was disappointed with the practices that he witnessed.  Working with Langstroth style hives, and using the standard chemical applications that were a part of industrial beekeeping at the time made him begin his search for non-invasive and natural approaches to beekeeping.  Les spent his spare time studying bee biology and the history of beekeeping.  He kept his own bees at home, and worked experimentally with different types and styles of hives. Eventually, he converted all his hives to topbar hives and became a strong advocate for natural topbar beekeeping.  He also spent five years as the NM Honeybee Inspector and five years as the President of the NM Beekeepers Association.  He has been teaching beekeeping classes since 1983.  In 2009, he received the best instructor award at the NM Organic Farming conference.  He is well-loved by students and colleagues alike for his love of bees and nature, his gentle teaching methods, and his generous spirit.  Les has been keeping bees without antibiotics, miticides or other chemical inputs for over fifteen years.  When the Varroa mite first appeared in the US, he lost almost all of his hives. Breeding queens from his resistant hives, combining genetics from Russian Mite Resistant bees, and catching feral bees that showed resistant genetics helped him to build his hive stock back to its original size.  He hasn't had any trouble with mites since.

Chris Moore, Commercial Beekeeper & President of TBA

Chris began beekeeping in 1998 after meeting a veteran beekeeper at his church. Moore’s Honey Farm is owned & operated by Chris & Anita Moore. They run a small commercial Beekeeping operation located in Hardin County Texas with about 2500 colonies for both honey production and pollination services. That’s managing some 100 million honeybees. They harvest and package their delicious honey crop all in the same facility.  Their local Southeast Texas Honey is produced from numerous locations in Hardin, Chambers, Harris, and Liberty Counties and in late summer, their bees also produce West Texas Cotton Honey from Gaines, Terry, Yoakum and Lubbock Counties which is sold in the Lubbock area

Eva Van Dyke, Barton Springs Nursery

I have been a gardener all my life. I grew up in a small farmer’s village in the Bavarian Forest, where every family cultivated a garden consisting of both food and flowers. We grew and traded our homegrown produce among neighbors, and knowledge about edible wild plants like greens, mushrooms, and berries was passed down through generations.

When I first began gardening in Austin, I made progress through trial and error. I planted my beloved nasturtiums in summer, expecting them to overgrow the house and roof like they had in my hometown. I struggled with heavy clay, which I've since come to love, clinging to my clogs as I tried to push a shovel into it. It's been a great learning experience, and I've learned the most from watching, imitating, and letting nature happen. As I was growing my own roots here, I fell in love with native trees.  In gardening, I feel that a sense of wonder is as important as the work you put in.

I am on a mission to pass my experience and love of nature on to the next generation. For that reason I am working with local schools to teach children to plant their own gardens. I am also a volunteer at the botanical gardens and at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, both in the field and as a Smarty Plants education station teacher.  In my own yard, I have created a native woods and small food garden. After planting a butterfly and a bird garden, I became interested in our native bees, and how we as gardeners can create a patchwork of pollinator sanctuaries. My yard is a certified pollinator and wildlife habitat where every insect and form of wildlife is not only welcome, but plays an

important role.  As a consultant, I create native landscapes and wildlife habitats for clients. I work at my favorite local plant hub, Barton Springs Nursery.

Mark Dykes, Texas Apiary Inspector

Mark came on board in 2014 to head the inspection service and continues to lead as Texas goes forward continuing a proud tradition of striving to effectively monitor and mitigate pests and diseases of honey bees.  Currently TAIS conducts hundreds of inspections each year. A majority of these inspections are of commercial apiary operations to provide them with the needed permits for interstate pollination contracts. In addition to inspections TAIS also assists the beekeepers of Texas by providing educational opportunities. Members of TAIS speak regularly at bee club meetings throughout Texas. The TAIS chief also has a recurring article in the Texas Beekeepers Association Journal where he writes about various topics facing the beekeeping industry here in Texas and beyond. TAIS is committed to providing the best possible service to the apiary industry of Texas.

Steve Butler, Bee Remover/Rescuer Company Bee Apiary

Steve is a retired automation systems integrator and a woodworking enthusiast.  He began keeping bees a few years ago and then started working to do bee removals, both from trees and structures. Using his experience with bees and removals he worked to design and manufacture his own custom-built bee vacuum and swarm catch boxes.  When he isn’t too busy doing 1-2 removals a day somewhere around the state, you might find him helping a new beekeeper with a hands on lesson in their hive or filming a bee removal for an educational video. He has definitely earned his nickname Steve “on the way” Butler!


Sunday August 20th 9:00am-4:30pm - Beekeeping Seminar - $40 (limit 80 attendees)

9am – John Swan – Lang vs Top Bar: Choosing your Hive Style

10am – Les Crowder –Treatment-Free Beekeeping

11am - Lance Wilson - Honey Bee Biology and Behavior

We will review the anatomy, biology and behavior of the superorganism as it pertains to beekeeping management.

12pm - lunch - Rudy’s BBQ (Please pre-pay $10)

1pm - Lance Wilson – The 10 Best Practices in Modern Beekeeping

We will review what I believe to be the best practices in colony management to produce and maintain large, healthy bee populations.

2pm -Eva Van Dyke – Barton Springs Nursery - Creating Holistic Pollinator Habitat to Benefit Your Bees

3pm - Tanya Phillips – Honey Bee Nutrition and Feeding – The basics of how, what, and why to feed bees

4pm – Chuck Reburn – AG Exemptions with Beekeeping with 5-20 acres (optional- extra 30 min)

Speaker Bios: 

John Swan - is the Vice President of the Travis County Beekeepers Association and an Apprentice Beekeeper in the Texas Master Beekeeper’s Program.  He plunged into beekeeping a couple years ago and quickly gained skills and grew his apiary going on swarm calls and performing bee removals throughout central Texas. He owns Wicked Bee Apiary and Bee Removal Service and works full-time in beekeeping. John practices all-natural beekeeping that is treatment free and chemical free with the intention of building stronger bees that are mite resistant and disease free.  He is currently mentoring with new beekeepers and offers fee-based consulting services in your home apiary.

Les Crowder - Les Crowder has been a beekeeper for over forty years.  He began beekeeping as a teenager by helping his grandfather catch a swarm from a neighborhood tree.  His fascination and love for honeybees has been with him ever since.  Les spent many of his early years as a beekeeper working for commercial beekeepers in large operations, and was disappointed with the practices that he witnessed.  Working with Langstroth style hives, and using the standard chemical applications that were a part of industrial beekeeping at the time made him begin his search for non-invasive and natural approaches to beekeeping.  Les spent his spare time studying bee biology and the history of beekeeping.  He kept his own bees at home, and worked experimentally with different types and styles of hives. Eventually, he converted all his hives to topbar hives and became a strong advocate for natural topbar beekeeping.  He also spent five years as the NM Honeybee Inspector and five years as the President of the NM Beekeepers Association.  He has been teaching beekeeping classes since 1983.  In 2009, he received the best instructor award at the NM Organic Farming conference.  He is well-loved by students and colleagues alike for his love of bees and nature, his gentle teaching methods, and his generous spirit.  Les has been keeping bees without antibiotics, miticides or other chemical inputs for over fifteen years.  When the Varroa mite first appeared in the US, he lost almost all of his hives. Breeding queens from his resistant hives, combining genetics from Russian Mite Resistant bees, and catching feral bees that showed resistant genetics helped him to build his hive stock back to its original size.  He hasn't had any trouble with mites since.

Lance Wilson - is a certified Master Beekeeper from the University of Georgia and Young Harris College.  He manages hives in Travis and Williamson County.  Lance is President of the Austin Area Beekeepers Association. He has presented lectures on honey bee biology, management, behavior, nutrition, Africanized honey bees and Varroa and brood disease management to The Texas Beekeepers Association’s annual convention and clinic,  The North American Beekeeping Conference, Georgia Master Beekeeping Institute and at local beekeeping clubs in Texas.  Lance serves on the Texas Master Beekeeping Program Board and is an Area Director for the Texas Beekeepers Association.

Eva Van Dyke - I have been a gardener all my life. I grew up in a small farmer’s village in the Bavarian Forest, where every family cultivated a garden consisting of both food and flowers. We grew and traded our homegrown produce among neighbors, and knowledge about edible wild plants like greens, mushrooms, and berries was passed down through generations.

When I first began gardening in Austin, I made progress through trial and error. I planted my beloved nasturtiums in summer, expecting them to overgrow the house and roof like they had in my hometown. I struggled with heavy clay, which I've since come to love, clinging to my clogs as I tried to push a shovel into it. It's been a great learning experience, and I've learned the most from watching, imitating, and letting nature happen. As I was growing my own roots here, I fell in love with native trees.  In gardening, I feel that a sense of wonder is as important as the work you put in.

I am on a mission to pass my experience and love of nature on to the next generation. For that reason I am working with local schools to teach children to plant their own gardens. I am also a volunteer at the botanical gardens and at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, both in the field and as a Smarty Plants education station teacher.  In my own yard, I have created a native woods and small food garden. After planting a butterfly and a bird garden, I became interested in our native bees, and how we as gardeners can create a patchwork of pollinator sanctuaries. My yard is a certified pollinator and wildlife habitat where every insect and form of wildlife is not only welcome, but plays an important role.  As a consultant, I create native landscapes and wildlife habitats for clients. I work at my favorite local plant hub, Barton Springs Nursery.

Tanya Phillips - is a Master Beekeeper from the University of Montana, the President of the Travis County Beekeepers Association, founder of Tour de Hives and owner of Bee Friendly Austin. She teaches beekeeping classes in her home apiary and has 150 hives, both top bar hives and Langstroth hives.  She and her husband sell their honey in several central Texas shops in the Hill County. She is currently writing a beginner beekeeping book for Penguin, Random House and presents lectures on Top Bar Hive Beekeeping, Honey Bee Nutrition, Making Money as a Hobbyist Beekeeper, Mead Making, Products of the Hive, and more for various beekeeping and civic groups.

Chuck Reburn - is an Advanced Beekeeper in the Texas Master Beekeeper’s Program. He serves on the board of Travis County Beekeepers and provides beekeeping instruction at beekeeping schools and for civic organizations. Chuck is looking forward to retirement in September of 2016 so he can move into full time beekeeping at Bee Friendly Austin Apiary where he manages 150+ colonies in outyards around Travis and Hays counties.  He builds and sells beautiful cedar top bar hives and eight-frame Langstroth hives, he sells raw artisanal honey in various boutique stores in the Hill Country. He is also honing his skills at making amazing meads and cyzers using wonderful organic ingredients.


We would like to thank and acknowledge all of our 2016 Sponsors: Bee Weaver ApiariesBee C Hive Stands by Blue Collar Products by Design   Bee Friendly Austin ApiaryBarton Springs Nursery Sonesta Hotel-Bee Cave Busy Bee Supplies   Callahan's General Store  Beeswax Co.