The Texas Master Beekeeper Program is a voluntary educational program that challenges beekeepers in their knowledge of honey bees and beekeeping. As part of the program, beekeepers are required to complete a certain amount of Public Service Credits which consist of outreach activities focused on educating the general public about honey bees. In essence these beekeepers become ambassadors for the apiary industry. The beekeepers listed below have accomplished their Master level certification and are experienced at speaking about many topics related to honey bees. If you are interested in contacting a Master Beekeeper directly, please use the contact information they have provided in their bio.
Texas Master Beekeepers:
- Michelle Boerst
- Dan Brantner
- Ashley Ralph
- Justin Russell
- Dodie Stillman
- Pamela Yeamans
- Robin Young
Michelle Boerst, Master Beekeeper
Michelle started beekeeping with her son, Tim, as an FFA project in 2013. Tim was awarded a scholarship through the Collin County Beekeepers Association. Michelle went along for the lessons and they started beekeeping with two hives. Michelle, and a few other beekeepers founded the local beekeeping club, Denton County Beekeepers Association in 2015. She decided to take the first round of the Texas Master Beekeeping Program for fun and then just never stopped reaching for a higher level. She achieved Master Beekeeper in 2018 and is currently working on her last level, Master Craftsman. Michelle lives in Aubrey, Texas and owns Bursting Bees with her partner, Matt Clark. She has two grown children whom she hopes will someday join them in the apiary. Michelle gives presentations on bees and beekeeping, mentors beginner beekeepers and rehomes bees from all over the North Texas area. Sometimes they sell a little honey, too! She has volunteered for the Collin County Beekeepers Association, Denton County Beekeeping Association, The Texas Beekeepers Association and is the current chair of the Denton Holiday Lighting Association.
Mentoring, rehoming bees, honey sales
Mentoring, Beginning Beekeeping, Bees, Hive Inspections, Beekeeping Equipment
Dan Brantner, Master Beekeeper
Dan started beekeeping in 2013 after attending a two hour introduction to beekeeping class offered through Groupon. As an architect who was raised on a farm in Minnesota, he quickly realized that beekeeping provided a unique opportunity to combine his passion for the outdoors and the environment with his woodworking hobby. Seeking to expand his beekeeping knowledge and skills, he joined the Texas Master Beekeeper Program. Dan found the Texas Master Beekeeper Program to be a tremendous information resource and the Public Service component of the program provided him the opportunity to discover the joy of sharing information regarding the fascinating world of beekeeping with youth, school and civic organizations.
In 2014 Dan and his wife Donna founded Texas Honey Company which currently produces honey, comb honey, creamed honey and mead. Honey produced by Texas Honey Company has won 1st place at the State Fair of Texas as well as the Texas Beekeepers Association annual Honey Contest. In the first year of bottling, Texas Honey Company’s mead won 1st at the Texas Beekeepers Association Honey Contest.
Dan is a member of:
- The Texas Beekeepers Association
- Real Texas Honey
- Collin County Hobby Beekeepers Association
- The American Institute of Architects
- MENSA International
Mentoring new beekeepers; Making presentations to schools, youth and civic organizations; Honey sales
Beginning Beekeeping; Making your own beekeeping equipment; Hive products; Preparing for honey contests
Texas Honey Company
4033 Tumbril Lane
Plano, TX 75023
Ashley Ralph, Master Beekeeper
Ashley works with people all day and has enjoyed beekeeping as a way to escape back into nature. She helps run Prime Bees apiary with her husband, Justin, and is active in the Texas Beekeepers Association. Although Ashley runs another business, she is often tasked with helping to load or move bees for pollination, feed bee yards, and helps to manage over 400 hives – it’s a fun escape and although it’s hard work, it’s rewarding to watch the colonies grow and produce. Her favorite part of the year is early spring when they’re working mating nucs. She loves the top bar hives that she keeps in the backyard and enjoys the opportunity to just observe the bees when she has a chance.
Bee sales, honey sales, speaking and educating to schools and clubs, hive management, work-study programs
- General Management Topics (Annual Management, Space Control, etc.)
- Bee Biology & Communication Topics
- Public Talks (all ages available) – The World of Bees
- Beginner Beekeeping Topics
- Beekeeping Business Topics (Marketing, Business Options, etc.)
- We enjoy creating new presentations, so just ask!
Justin Russell, Master Beekeeper
Justin’s reason for being a beekeeper is that he’s always wanted to but was never allowed and now that he’s “grown” he can do what he wants. He started Prime Bees – an agricultural service company that sells and raises bees, provides pollination services, conducts bee removals, and manages bees around the Bryan/College Station area and beyond. Justin has managed bees in all kinds of hives and owns and works a growing number of Langstroth hives. Justin is a full time beekeeper and chose to participate in the Texas Master Beekeeper Program as a way to learn more about bees that could be put to work in his business. His favorite part of beekeeping is creating a full sized colony out of a few frames of bees.
Bee sales, honey sales, pollination services, hive management, work-study programs
- Various Beekeeping Business Topics (Sideliner to Commercial, How to Make Money, etc.)
- Various General Management Topics (Splits, Requeening, Seasonal, etc.)
- Swarm Capture & Care
- Bee Removals
- Beginner Beekeeping
Dodie Stillman, Master Beekeeper
After finding out that both her grandfathers kept honey bees, she knew it would be in her future. In 2011 Dodie started attending the Austin Area Beekeepers Meet-ups and the Williamson County Area Beekeepers Association meetings. After spending a year attending classes and learning about bees she was able to purchase her first 2 hives. Still searching for more information she jumped into the inaugural class of the Texas Master Beekeepers Program and became one of the first official Master Beekeepers in the state of Texas. After keeping her Langstroth hives up and running productively for 5 year, she started her first Top Bar hive. She has spent the last two years as the President of the Austin Area Beekeepers Association (AABA), and can be found most weekends teaching a beginner or intermediate level beekeeping class at Round Rock Honey or the Texas Honey Bee Farm.
Dodie’s volunteer efforts are numerous, from helping at early AABA Seminars to the last couple of years working on the Texas Beekeepers Association (TBA) Honey Shows. In 2017, she served as the Honey Show Secretary, a show that saw a dramatic increase in Honey Show events and exhibitors. She continued her volunteer efforts with TBA at the 2018 Honey Show.
Beginning Beekeeping, What to Expect when you are Inspecting, Honey Extraction, It Is Your Beeswax
Pamela Yeamans, Master Beekeeper
Pamela Yeamans is the owner of Texan Honey Farm LLC which has apiaries along Barton Creek, on a cattle ranch in Mustang Ridge, and at the honey farm along Cedar Creek. Certified by the Texas Master Beekeeper Program, she has trained as a honey judge at the University of Georgia and managed the Texas Beekeepers Association’s largest Texas Honey Show. Pamela is happy to travel around Texas to speak with beekeepers or those interested in learning more about honey bees.
Honey processing; Introduction to Beekeeping
Robin Young, Master Beekeeper
Robin Young originally started beekeeping as a way to teach her four young children economics hands on. Robin and her husband Jack run an over 2,000 acre ranch in North Texas. She found that the more she worked with bees, the closer she felt to the Lord. She started selling honey in 2012 at her local Denton Community Market and sells her honey there to this day. Over the years, Robin started giving lectures about beekeeping topics. Her articles can be found in past editions of “The Journal” a bi-monthly magazine put out by TBA (Texas Beekeepers Association). She enjoys writing her articles and sharing what she discovered with beekeepers across the state of Texas. Her articles have also been published in several other state beekeeping publications. She has traveled overseas to study beekeeping, specifically in Slovenia. She represented the US at the first UN World Bee Day Conference in 2018. She has given presentations at the Texas Beekeepers Association annual convention on topics such as “Apitherapy” and currently runs the Texas Honey Show at the convention (since 2018). She has also been a speaker at the breakout sessions on “Honey Judging” at the Summer Clinic. In 2018, she was voted to the Texas Beekeepers Association board and works with local clubs in Area 2. Her passion is teaching people of all ages about “Our sweet honey bees”. She also is working to spread the word that “you can improve your life and those around you through Apitherapy”. Robin Young is one of the first 8 people that have been awarded “Master Beekeeper” in Texas (3-24-2017). She majored in Queen Rearing. Her mantra is: “Pleasant words are a honey comb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bone.” Proverbs 16:24
- Tours of Soul Honey at “The Young Ranch” (groups of 20 and larger by appointment only) texassoulhoney.com
- Mentoring new beekeepers
- Speaking to school groups, bee clubs, and other civic groups and honeybees and related topics.
- Judging and consulting honey shows
Presentation topics (Robin is willing to travel just about anywhere, including out of the country)
- Queen Rearing – 6 different ways
- Top-Bar Hives
- Apitherapy – Honey, Pollen, Propolis, Royal Jelly, Queen Larva, Drone Larva, Bee Venom and Bee’s wax
- Slovenian Beekeeping and Apis mellifera carnica (Carniolan Honey bee)
- Turning your bee hives into a business
- Mead Judging (Runs the Mead Judging at the TBA Annual Convention since 2018)
13737 FM 1171
Northlake, TX 76262
(940) 765- 2907 call or text