Nowadays, attaining food is pretty easy. Most people have access to grocery stores or restaurants that provide them with enough food for the day. However, if you take a look around your local area, do you see many or any) any farms?
If you want healthy, good tasting food, you need to grow it yourself, and this includes learning about beekeeping. Beekeeping is slowly becoming a popular pastime, not just taken up by farmers, but by urban dwellers and backyard homesteaders as well.
Here is a big question: Why?
Why are people taking up beekeeping?
That is a question we are going to explore, and we are going to share all of the reasons for keeping bees and beekeeping for beginners. There are so many environmental, nutritional and healthy benefits of beekeeping that I bet you haven't considered. I can tell you, as a backyard beekeeper, that it is good for the heart and the soul. Truly. So let's look deeper at that question:
You can start a garden in your backyard, but that will only provide you with some fruit and vegetables. If you really want more sustainable food, you should consider keeping bees. What does beekeeping for beginners look like?
Why Do People Keep Bees?
People keep bees for 3 main reasons:
1) People keep bees for the pollination benefits around flower and vegetable gardens
2) People keep bees for the sheer interest in beekeeping, likely sparked by the recent 'save the bees' mindset, or the interest in learning more about the intricate and amazing lives of bees
3) People keep bees for the benefits of beekeeping byproducts, such as honey, beeswax and more, as well as the many things you can do with beekeeping byproducts, beginning beekeepers are generally brought to the hobby because of this
Why Do People Keep Bees? Here Are 6 Benefits Of Beekeeping
1. Getting Honey From Keeping Honeybees
Honey is a wonderful, natural substance that is simply good food and has thousands of healthy, sweet uses.
Before sugar, honey was the number one sweetener in the world and was extremely valuable before artificial sweeteners and even before trades in raw sugar.
Today, the price of pure, unpasteurized honey varies, however, some recent polls show that honey purchased from a farmers market sells for anywhere between $10-$30 per liter.
It mostly depends on the presentation of the honey. But if you can harvest your own honey, you are completely in control of it. You don't have to pasteurize your so you can really experience all of those amazing nutritional benefits. For the beginning beekeeper this is a natural first benefit.
You can also feel good knowing you are eating real honey; not the same stuff at the grocery store (which is usually imported and is from bees who are fed sugar water as opposed to them sourcing their own nectar from wild flowers).
2. You Get Beeswax From Keeping Honeybees
Another amazing byproduct from beekeeping is beeswax. There are so many things beekeepers can do with beeswax! For example, beeswax candles!
Before electric lighting, beeswax candles were very valuable, providing a clean flame with almost no smoke and dripless melts. Today, beekeepers make wonderful value-added candles and other creative items for sale from beeswax.
Beekeeping for beginners usually involves using Beeswax in small amounts. Beeswax can also be used for making skin care products, lip balms, natural polishers, in cooking, making beeswax wraps and in many other arts and crafts.
3. Renting Out Your Bee Hives For Pollination
Believe it or not, pollination from bees is the number one way that commercial beekeepers make a living. Beekeepers keep many hives rent them out to commercial farms and orchards.
They advertise them on a rent-out basis and not only make money from renting out, but their bees get to bring back all of that wonderful pollen and nectar for the beekeepers honey harvest for that late summer. Harvesting honey after using all your beekeeping knowledge to work your bee colonies is very rewarding!
Pollination contracts are not only essential for some agricultural businesses to thrive, but they also keep the big beekeepers in business.
Pollination is central to commercial beekeeping today, and it is a symbiotic relationship with commercial gardeners. Both sides benefit!
4. Environmental Awareness From Beekeeping
Beekeepers naturally think differently about the world around them. If you want to become more environmentally aware, start beekeeping.
When you observe the bees and what they are doing in their daily rituals, you get a real sense of what is going on in the natural world. Watching the bees enter and exit their colony, observing the pollen color as well as the behavior of the bees will give you a great connection to the world around you
You will be concerned with how things out there are affecting your bees, such as weather, environmental incidents, droughts, local wildfires, too much rain and more. You will be totally connected to your environment on a new level.
5. Research Through Beekeeping Observations
In the world of natural biology, bee behavior is a truly interesting subject. Bees make great research subjects!
Did you know that the honey bee genome was the third genome to be sequenced after the fruit fly and the malaria mosquito? Bees are fascinating! If you are looking for a hobby that will last a lifetime in learning and study, then this is it. Just the study of pollen alone can take you deep into amazing groups online who love to share knowledge with each other.
The topic feels limitless. The brood nest, hive tools, bee hive smoker, Langstroth hive, adult bee behavior, bee bread (not the stuff you eat, bees eat it!), timing for harvesting honey, hive body, yearly schedules like what to do in early spring, male bees, it goes on and on and is truly a hobby you will never become bored with because there are so many aspect.
6. A Sense Of Community In The Beekeeping World
Hobby beekeepers are often looking for local groups and communities to get involved with, so they can meet and learn from other beekeepers. Often, you will find others just like you who are eager to share information, knowledge, and stories of their successes and their teachable moments.
If you are looking for a hobby that comes with a fantastic sense of community, beekeeping is wonderful for that.
We hope you learned about the benefits of beekeeping! If any of these makes you want to learn more about beekeeping, have a look through our Bees & Honey section of the blog to learn more. We want to encourage more backyard beekeepers to take up the hobby!
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