What Are the Benefits of Beekeeping?
Pollinators Are Humanity's Foundation
Remove the bee and civilization as we know it could disintegrate. This may sound like dystopian clickbait, but unfortunately, the danger is real. Bees uphold a critical link in agriculture. Just one mass failure across most of the world—like a single harvest—can lead to severe food shortages. What do humans do when they want basics like food and water and there's not enough for everyone? They get disruptive. When the shelves run dry, violence and starvation could affect millions.
Needless to say, we need all the beekeepers we can get. Perhaps you're interested in getting your first swarm but don't know what the benefits are. Buckle up, they're fantastic.
1. You'll Create a Sanctuary
Bees need us as much as we need them. They face a tough battle. Pesticides, habitat destruction, disease and invasive species have pushed the honeybee to the brink of extinction.
Thankfully, they are not quite in the red zone. They are, however, teetering on an edge no species should ever have to be on. For this reason, every beekeeper can be proud of themselves. Even when they are just starting out with a single bee box, he or she provides sanctuary for one of humanity's most important creatures.
2. You'll Support a Flourishing Neighbourhood
Did you know that around 60 percent of all fruit and vegetables cannot produce a crop unless they've been pollinated? When bees move into a neighbourhood, veggie gardens and orchards naturally pick up. There are more flowers. Nearby farms and smallholdings see larger yields of produce.
Unfortunately, a hive in urban areas can present a problem but in the proper setting and with safety measures in place, your hobby could be a powerful boost for the local plants.
3. You'll Have Honey, of Course!
The crowning moment for the beekeeper is to finally hold a jar of honey in their hands. One produced by hard work, several seasons and countless hours of planning and chores. There's no greater feeling. Alright, maybe it's topped only by the first taste of your own honey!
A fantastic benefit of producing your own honey is that it's organic. Store-bought honey has been altered to prevent it from turning into a crunchy lump of crystals. This process often includes additives and heating which destroys the goodness of honey. Now you can eat your own, assured in the knowledge that it's healthy and chemical-free.
4. You'll Have Extra Income
A hive can be mined for several products. There's honey, propolis, wax, royal jelly and once you're an expert, you can breed bees for new keepers looking to buy their first swarm. Some people even manage to harvest the pollen, a substance sought after in certain sectors in the health industry.
Due to being protein-rich, pollen is often used in food supplements. The great thing is that anyone can learn how to gather, market and sell the bounty their bee boxes have to offer.
5. You'll Have an Emotionally Satisfying Hobby
No one hobby will garner fans across the board. Beekeeping is no different. Some people might embark on this journey with the best of intentions and born of real interest, only to find that it's not for them. However, many others become stuck on benefits beyond the honey and money.
The process of working with bees can be very relaxing. Keepers lovingly nurture their hives, grow the colony and guide their bees through the seasons. Undoubtedly, for those who are so inclined, beekeeping swats stress and replaces it with satisfaction, calm and something to look forward every day.
To Bee or Not to Bee
Alright, bad Shakespear puns aside, is beekeeping the right thing for you? After reading this article, you now know some of the greatest benefits. Unfortunately, beekeeping also comes with goobers like diseases, pests, and financial investment.
Before jumping into anything, allow yourself enough time to suss out the natural threats and how much the initial equipment, bee boxes and a swarm would cost. Enjoy the learning curve. Soak up the good and the bad. You'll soon realize that there are more benefits than drawbacks and the best news is that anyone can become a skilled beekeeper.
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© 2019 Jana Louise Smit