Beekeeping

Noble Oaks Farm is committed to the health of the land. We strive to leave the earth better than we found it. Having a functioning apiary on our farm has been a wonderful way to work towards that goal. Bees allow us to pollinate our orchard and fields providing fruit and more abundant forage for livestock. In addition to improving our environment the hives produce raw honey and wax.

Honey bees have a great many threats to cope with: parasites, pesticides, viral, bacterial and fungal diseases. Recently however a new threat has been identified: Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. Nobody is entirely sure of the cause of CCD. In Colony Collapse Disorder all of the worker bees vanish quite suddenly. Worldwide CCD is responsible for massive population drops, ranging from 30% to as high as 90% population drops in some parts of the US.

Noble Oaks Farms take the disappearance of honey bees very seriously. Without them a catastrophic blow would be dealt to not only crops but nature as a whole. We encourage and support anyone who would join us in the effort to save honeybees. We offer hand built bee hives as well as plans for the DIY crowd. We also offer assistance and information to help you set up your own hives in an effort to rescue our little friends.

The state of Texas also supports citizen efforts to safeguard the honey bee. The state legislature passed a program intended to make owning and running an apiary profitable for Texas landowners. The program allows property owners with between 5 acres and 20 acres of land to receive an agricultural tax exemption on their land if they keep beehives for a minimum of 5 years.

The number of beehives required for tax exemption increases with the number of acres owned. In Bowie county landowners of 5 acres require a minimum of 6 bee hives. 20 acres requires 12 beehives.

  • 5 acres requires 6 hives
  • 7.5 acres requires 7 hives
  • 10 acres requires 8 hives
  • 12.5 acres requires 9 hives
  • 15 acres requires 10 hive
  • 17.5 acres requires 11 hives
  • 20 acres requires 12 hives

These documents detail the program requirements as provided by the Bowie County Appraisal District’s office. We suggest you review them carefully. Feel free to contact your assessor to verify no additional changes have been made or to ask for clarification. You may reach them at (903) 793-8936.

This state program is implemented differently in each county. The number of hives per acre will differ between counties. If you are a Texas resident with property in a county other than Bowie, we recommend contacting your county appraiser’s office directly for specifics.

Even if you are not seeking a property tax reduction there are ways to help rejuvenate the honeybee population. Plant bee-attracting flowers, sponsor honeybee research, or even become a beekeeper. Join a local beekeepers' association to become better informed about the care and keeping of honeybees and other steps you can take to stimulate colony growth and combat CCD.