The Lone Star Convention And Expo Center
9055 Airport Rd, Conroe, TX 77303
June 17, 2023
Bees have been a passion of mine for over 20 years, but that passion was never fully realized until I became the lone bee wrangler for a group of Benedictine monks at Saint Joseph Abbey in Southeast Louisiana, about 50 miles north of New Orleans. It was there that I began seeing bees in a different light, a marvel of God’s creation.
As I had every intention of becoming a monk, and I spent over 12 years discerning that vocation, the prayer life of a monk lived seeped into my everyday life, and this greatly influenced my beekeeping practices.
As the fledgling Abbee Honey Program here at St. Joseph Abbey was just beginning, in 2012, as well as my Youtube channel about the bees at the abbey, the flood of 2016 hit, causing over 33 million dollars in damage to the abbey and washing away the 30 hives we had. I had to make the decision, to call it quits or move forward. Well, I chose the harder route and aggressively began building up colonies by doing removals, making splits, and catching swarms. And God blessed the proceedings. We went from zero hives in 2016 to over 200 in 2020, and then last year, we scaled down to 150 which is where I want to stay.
As I said earlier, I discerned the monastic life for over 12 years, but the vows I took at the end of last September were not religious vows. Instead, they were marriage vows and I married Mona whom I met from my Youtube channel. Thank you Jesus!
— Jeff “Mr. Ed” Horchoff