Correction: This article has been updated with Kelly Jordan's business name and the removal of an incorrect quote.

For more than a year, Winding Creek Apiary and Bee Supply Store has been supplying the Montgomery County area with anything a beekeeper needs.

Owner Julie Norman said she jumped into hobbyist beekeeping rapidly, and has seen a great deal of support for her store from the more than 300 customers she has.

“They’ve supported me and even if they’re not using my products, they’re still advertising and use me in other ways. … I couldn’t be more blessed,” Norman said. “I’ve had nothing but great responses from them.”

Winding Creek offers everything a hobbyist or commercial beekeeper could need, including apiarist suits, hives, nutritional supplements and bee products such as honey and wax. Norman also builds hives and helps with customizations.

She said she recently partnered with Kelly Jordan, a fellow local beekeeper who raises and sells bees at Old Security Farms LLC. Jordan said the beekeeping community of Montgomery County is incredibly close, “like a family.”

“You don’t know each other, and by the time you leave, it’s like you’re best friends,” Jordan said.

In every hive, Jordan said beekeepers can care for 10,000-60,000 bees. Norman said on average, it costs $461 to start beekeeping, including bees, hives and protective gear.

“It’s an expensive hobby,” Norman said. “But if you hunt or fish or any of the other hobbies, it’s just right along there cost-wise.”

Jordan said when people buy bees from him, he also provides a free class going over the basics of beekeeping as well as how to “diagnose” problems in a hive, such as tick-like varroa mites or illnesses, to protect investments.

In addition to the honey that bees are most known for, Norman said everything a bee creates can be used by humans. She said their wax can be made into balms, candles and polish. Norman said the bees’ propolis, or bee glue, has medicinal qualities and can be used to treat burns as a natural antibiotic. Of course, regular customers can also buy the local apiary’s unrefined, raw wildflower honey and other bee gift items.

“Come play,” Norman said. “Come look. It’s fun.”

Winding Creek Apiary and Bee Supply Store
11680 Post Oak Road, Willis
Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.