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Zilker Botanical Garden to hold annual weekend bee celebration

Join local beekeeping experts to learn more about local beekeeping at the three-day Tour de Hives event at Zilker Botanical Garden Aug. 19-21.
The three-day event hosted by the Travis County Beekeepers Association (TCBA) and Bee Friendly Austin will include public exhibitions, a beekeeper educational seminar and a Product of the Hive workshop to create take-home items.

Local beekeeper and event founder Tanya Philips started Bee Friendly Austin and the Tour de Hives event to give people a fun way to learn about bees and beekeeping, and to spread the word about helping honeybees.

The public event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A full day of activities will include speakers, vendors, a silent auction and an observation hive with live colony and bee yard tours. Tours will be held at Zilker Park and Bost Honey Farm in Georgetown.

There will be many opportunities to learn about real Texas honey, including honey tastings and a mead tasting for adults.

Guest speakers will include a Texas apiary inspector, the 2016 Texas Honey Bee Queen, a representative from the Barton Springs Nursery, a Journey Beekeeper and instructor, and Les Crowder, author of Top Bar Hive Beekeeping.

Admission to the public event is $5 per group of up to five people and $1 for any extra people in the same group. This includes one tour map.

On Friday, Aug. 19, a Product of the Hive workshop will be held to teach attendees how to make lip balm, tea light candles and other items from beeswax and honey. The class is hands-on, and registration is due by Aug. 15 and limited to 50 participants. The cost is $25, and the workshop will take place 1:30-4:30 p.m.

A Beekeeping Educational Seminar will be held on Sunday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The seminar is for those interested in becoming backyard beekeepers. It will include information on setting up a bee yard, acquiring and installing your bees, bee-friendly plants, bee nutrition and feeding, honey extraction and more. Early registration for the seminar is $40 and is due by Aug. 15, or $50 at the door.

The TCBA is a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 to serve the beekeeping community in the greater Austin/Travis County area. The association works to promote common interest and general welfare in beekeeping, protect honeybees, educate beekeepers, encourage good bee management practices, and maintain good relations between beekeepers and the public.

Monthly TCBA meetings are open to the public and are held the first Monday of every month.

This event is an annual fundraiser, with proceeds donated to nonprofits dedicated to helping bees, beekeeper public education and bee research. Checks or donations can be made out to the Travis County Beekeepers Association.

Additional sponsors of the event include Bee Weaver Apiaries, Bee Friendly Austin Apiary, Barton Springs Nursery, Walker Honey Farm and Sonesta Hotel-Bee Cave.

The Zilker Botanical Garden is located at 2220 Barton Springs Road. More information can be found at