There are a lot more benefits of beekeeping than harvesting affordable, local, delicious honey (although I must say, that is the sweetest benefit of all). In these high-tech times, people rarely think about keeping honeybees. Most people think, why keep bees when you can go buy a bottle of honey from the grocery store, with less hassle?
If you allow yourself to think beyond the honey, you’ll come to realize that every household in America should be keeping at least one hive of honeybees.
The Top Benefits of Beekeeping:
1. Save money on local loney
I can’t argue that the honey your honeybees would produce would be completely free. After all, there are costs when it comes to obtaining a package of bees and the work that goes into maintaining the hive, but the cost is greatly reduced when you average it out over every jar of honey you harvest, you’ll find that it will be considerably less than $12 to $18 – especially after a really abundant season.
2. Boost your vegetable garden’s production
Most of the vegetables we eat are pollinated by honeybees. Even plants that are capable of self-pollination tend to produce in greater quantities when pollinated by the honeybee. Of course, there are other pollinators such as the carpenter bees and other insects, but they aren’t always as efficient as honeybees and they can often become more of a nuisance than a help.
Carpenter bees (bumblebees) can bore holes into the wood around your home, including siding and decks, creating the need for expensive repairs. And of course, another downside is that these other insects don’t produce honey. According to an article posted on Fox News, there are at least 10 crops that would disappear without the honeybee. This includes apples, almonds, blueberries, cherries, avocados, cucumbers, onions, grapefruit, oranges, and pumpkins.
3. Save money on beeswax
Not only will you save money, you can also be sure that the wax is 100% per beeswax and that it’s free of undesirable additives.
4. Bee Pollen and Propolis are natural remedies
Worker bees fly out and forage for nectar and pollen. They collect pollen in special sacs on their hind legs and then bring this back to the colony to feed the brood as a source of protein. Bee pollen has been known to be a natural remedy for allergies and other ailments. Because the pollen comes from local plants in the area, it works on allergies from those same local sources.
Propolis is a special substance that bees use to close up gaps and sanitize the hive. It has antibacterial properties and is known to treat pain and other ailments.
5. Sheer enjoyment and entertainment
It may be hard to imagine, but I can literally sit near my beehive and watch the bees come and go for hours. There is something intriguing about watching them waggle dance and bring in pollen in all sorts of colors. We’re fortunate enough to have a window in the top bar that we have, so I also get to get a sneak peak inside from time to time.
The photograph you saw at the beginning of this post is a glimpse of what I see when I open that window. It allows me to see if they are working on a new comb or to gauge how many bees are in the hive at any given time. In the spring, peaking inside that window is the highlight of my day!
These are just a few benefits of keeping honeybees. It is truly an educational experience. There’s so much they can teach us about life – every minute of every day, they are constantly working to prepare for the future. They never let an opportunity to forage or work on the hive pass them by. There is so much wisdom that can be gained from these complex creatures, so I encourage you to give beekeeping a try.
If you’re unsure where to start, conduct a Google search of the local beekeeping organizations in your area and find out when the next class begins.