Contrary to common beliefs, beekeeping is a relatively safe hobby. You can feel safe raising honeybees on your land. You can also take pride in helping farmers as well as providing a healthy and nourishing snack in the form of all natural honey. Here are some of the benefits of raising your own bees.
There are so many educational opportunities for not children, but adults too when you raise bees. Having a beehive or two on your property will allow you to give hands on demonstrations of how and why bees do what they do and also how important bees are to the stabilization of our environmental platform on Earth. Without bees our Earth would be struggling. Mother Nature needs bees and we need Mother Nature.
You will not get rich beekeeping but you can make a few extra dollars. People love to buy fresh local honey in the jar that is free of any preservatives or artificial coloring like the honey that is sometimes sold in grocery stores. Most of the money you make will be reinvested back into beekeeping supplies, but if you grow your business and brand it then you can make some nice money each month.
If you expand your business you can also lease your bee hives to farmers who need them. This is a full-time job for some bee keepers, but unhealthy bees have been dying off at an all time high rate and scientists are still struggling to learn exactly what disease is being inflicted upon these yellow honey hive warriors with wings. This problem with dying bees is called Colony Collapse Disease.
Pure and unadulterated honey is one of the healthiest foods available. It makes a great replacement for sugar and is often healthier then honey purchased in the store that has been heavily processed and refined. A homemade jar of honey goes great with peanut butter on some fresh bread that you just baked. The smell will bring you neighbors in to stop by and say hi hoping to get a piece of fresh baked bread with some of your great honey.
Without honeybees our environment would collapse and leave the Earth barren; at least that is the grim view of some scientists. Regardless of the specifics, it is a well-known fact that farmers rely on the honeybees. Many plants and flowers need to have their pollen spread, and the only way that can be don efficiently and properly is through the hardworking and industrious honeybee. The bees help our environment in numerous ways and you can take pride in the fact that you and your family are helping the environment in a positive way when you undertake the hobby of beekeeping.
The majority of fruits and vegetables we eat rely on bees to pollinate. Without bees we would not have many of the fruits and vegetables we are used to eating.
Traditionally there have been not only bees kept and raised by a beekeeper, but also wild bees. Many wild bees have been killed, especially in urban and metro areas. By raising a colony of bees you are helping to offset the wild bees that have been killed off. Wild bees pollination are just as important as any other bees pollination efforts, but if the wild bees are all killed off then we need more people to take the opportunity to raise a colony of bees to help offset some of the pollination efforts that were being done by wild bees before they were killed off.
Feel the Love
May beekeepers feel love and empathy towards their bees the same as they would a pet dog or a pet cat. If the winter is harsh and your bee colony dies you will often feel tremendous sadness. You will not necessarily be sad because of the financial loss, but because of the emotional bonds that you formed with your colony of bees. It may sound stupid, but it is true and most beekeepers would probably agree with this.
It is a common perception by people that in order to have a hive of bees they need to have a large piece of rural land out in the Country and away from the big City or any urban area. This is a flat out wrong perception. Bee hives can be found everywhere from remote areas to the top of buildings in large Cities such as New York. Bees can travel many miles from their hive to do their pollination duties.
Start Up Costs
Beekeeper start up costs is relatively low. You can expect to pay about $500 for a hive, bees, a queen bee, and the miscellaneous equipment you need for your hive. If you sell honey for $8.00 a pound at your local market then you can expect a nice return on your money each year. Most of the $500 or so startup costs will only be associated with the first year because you will be using the same hive and bee populations each year; however many beekeepers tend to expand to multiple hives after their first year. If you get 50-60 pounds of useable honey each year from a single hive then you will be able to recoup your initial start up costs the first year and then it is pure profit after that, as long as your colony does not die off, but even then you can sell some of the fresh honeycomb. You probably will never get rich from raising bees, but there have been a few people who have got rich with bees. You should not begin to raise bees for money, but because you have a true interest in doing it.
Types of Bees
There are three types of bees you will have with your hive. You will have worker bees, drone bees, and the Queen bee(s). You need to ensure that you have a healthy queen in order for your hive to thrive. Do not skimp on quality when purchasing bees for your initial hive, especially for the Queen bee.