Tables of vegetables and handfuls of honey jars beckon passers-by to Michael Zambrano’s new brick-and-mortar location off Florence Road in Killeen.
Zambrano’s Z’s Bees — which offers a variety of bee products and bee relocation services — has been a staple stop for honey enthusiasts for more than four years, but a little mixed luck caused Zambrano to change locations.
“I set up shop on Trimmier and Stagecoach, and I’ve done really well over the last couple of years, but I made the change because of construction. I got ran off of my little corner,” Zambrano said, owner and founder of Z’s Bees.
Zambrano, who was wearing a plaid shirt, a cowboy hat and a big smile while setting up his new shop Sunday, has more than 20 stores that carry his honey sticks, soaps, candles, honeycomb and four honey varieties. Nevertheless, his sweet success came from a simple desire to share some time with his grandfather on their farm, he said.
“I figured it would be great way to get to know him, and (the bees) pollinate like 80 percent of our crops,” he said. “You see a lot about the (genetically modified organisms) and the crops, and people spraying anything on anything ... and bees pollinate the majority of our crops, so the more bees you have in the area you’re going to have a better yield on your crops.”
It didn’t take long for the earth-friendly, crop-bettering hobby to flow into a business. After a year, people swarmed to his products and his hive removal services.
“It kind of exploded,” he said. “I was out there selling my honey and vegetables and there before you know it, I had two or three people stopping by every day and saying, ‘Hey, I got bees! Wanna come and get them?’”
The bees usually end up being in tires, attics, even wine barrels, and sometimes they’re actually wasps, he said with a chuckle.
Zambrano uses his grandfather’s homemade “beevac,” a sort of honeybee vacuum, to try to save the critters and transport them into one of his hives, where they can then pollinate in peace.
At his brick-and-mortar location though, he’d like to see it become a hub for local products, especially for farmers market vendors that can only show their wares during set times when the weather’s nice.
“We’d definitely like to have other vendors bring their stuff so that when farmers market season ends, we can give everyone a better outlet,” he said.
Z’s Bees will have a grand opening celebration noon Saturday at the new location at 1805 Florence Road, Suite 5, in Killeen.
- Address: 1805 Florence Road, Suite 5, Killeen.
- Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays.
- Website: www.zshoneybees.com
- Phone: 254-368-3251