Community Member

Billy Bees

Port Arthur, Texas

Billy Kelley founded Billy Bees in Port Arthur, TX, with the mission to interest middle-school students in the science of bees in the hopes that they will consider it as a profession. Leaning on his own career as a bee specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Baton Rouge, LA, and with the memory of being the only black person working with bees on his job, Kelley has been encouraging Jefferson County students to get the buzz about bees. Kelley, who teaches martial arts, acknowledges that bonding with bees was the last career on his mind after a traumatic childhood incident when he was stung by a swarm of wasps. But the parent of a karate student urged him to give beekeeping a try. The parent was Dr. Thomas E. Rinderer, an internationally recognized expert in honeybee biology and research lead at the USDA’s honey bee lab. Kelley fell in love with the profession and was hired on as a bee specialist, a job he held for seven years, before moving back to his native Port Arthur.

Billy Kelley in full bee gear as he tends to bees in Port Arthur, Texas. (Photos courtesy of Hilton Kelley)

When Kelley moved back to Port Arthur after his career as a bee specialist in Baton Rouge, word got out of his expertise, and the calls started coming in from people who wanted to hire Kelley to remove bee hives and wasp nests from their properties. For a fee and a request to keep the combs, honey and bees he removed, Kelley had found yet another career. But the “only black guy” part of his old USDA job still stuck with him. So, when his brother, Hilton Kelley, asked him to share his knowledge of bees as an environmental component of Hilton’s nonprofit organization, Community In Power and Development Association, Kelley jumped at the chance to share what he views as a unique educational experience. Kelley has since branched out to form his own organization. Although he has limited bee gear at the moment, Kelley is forging ahead, already attracting several students, approaching the school district to formalize the program to bring in more and seeking funds to buy more equipment.

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry

Dorothy Terry is a journalist by profession, having worked as a daily newspaper reporter on both coasts and a contributing writer for several national magazines. She is a former Congressional press secretary and has worked as a communications manager and consultant for corporations and nonprofits.


W. Billy Kelley, Founder

Climate Impacts


Environmental Justice Concerns

Air Pollution, Fighting Development/Destruction of Wildlife/Extinction of Species


Community Farm/Gardens, Community Organizing and Education

501c3 Tax Deductible


Accepting Donations