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    9 Benefits of Beekeeping

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    9 Benefits of Beekeeping

    The insect that scared us all when we were little is now the hero of the homestead. Bees have proven their worth year after year, and their existence has been in crisis recently. Any savvy homesteader will tell you that bees are a welcome site on their land and that many of us try our best to entice them to hang around as long as possible. 

    Many homesteaders go one step further when it comes to rolling out the welcome mat for bees. Beekeeping has been a time-honored way to help sustain bees and gather sweet honey.

    Beekeeping dates back to prehistoric times, but somewhere along the way, man realized that they could encourage bee swarms to stay in man-made hives or containers. Although natural swarms do exist on farms and homesteads nestled into dead trees or other shelters, beekeepers usually use a standard frame hive. 

    Ready to try your hand at beekeeping ? There are many reasons to become an amateur beekeeper, and you never know; you may be so successful that you sell hives to other homesteaders in your area. Learn more about the many benefits of beekeeping with these tips .

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    Help Save the Bees

    Many of us have heard about the recent downfall in the overall bee population. Nearly 40% of beekeepers lost their honeybee colonies over the winter of 2019, an astonishing hit to the environment. There are many reasons and ideas about what is causing the hives to die off, and our best answer is that it is a mix of things. 

    A decreased diversity of crops is the starting point, where bees can’t get enough variety of blooms throughout the year. If all of the nearby land has only one crop that blooms all at the same time, the bees feast and then have to scrounge for pollen the rest of the time. 

    Widespread pesticide use is also becoming an issue, with the overspray of nearby farms affecting the health of the hive. If the pesticide doesn’t immediately kill the bees, it can greatly reduce the immune system, which then makes the bees more vulnerable to other dangers.

    Mites have also become a problem as they latch onto honeybees and suck their fat tissue. Just three mites found in 100 bees during the fall can lead to colony collapse. Disease and climate change also factor into how healthy a beehive is and if it can survive extreme heat in the summer and brutal cold in the winter. 

    Deciding to raise and keep bees on your land is a great way to help support nature and provide a safe haven for bees that otherwise would fight to survive.

    Bees on a Honeycomb

    Boost Flower Pollination

    When you see honey bees buzzing around your garden, you know that it is going to be a good year. Bees play an essential role in the strength and overall production of plants. Many fruits and vegetables rely on flower pollination to provide the end product.

    So, if nothing visits the blossoms to pollinate, you’ll see a huge decrease in the success of the garden. Raising bees on your land gives your plants prime access to one of the most important pollinators around.

    Bees also travel up to 2-5 miles away from their hive, meaning that having your own hive can have a positive impact on the plants around you. Keeping the surrounding environment healthy and strong around your farm is an important part of sustainability as well.

    Become More Sustainable

    As homesteaders, many of us are working towards building up a property that can sustain our family and lifestyle when the SHTF. Choosing to add bees to your homestead is a great step to becoming more independent and sustainable. The bees will pollinate your crops, and are much less work and take up less space than other animals on the farm. 

    While you should keep an eye on your hives for any chance of problems once a week, the bees really do take care of themselves. As you learn more about them, you’ll notice how they interact with each other and how the hive is really a perfect little matriarchal kingdom.

    You usually won’t need to feed them or worry about them at all because bees are so independent. You won’t hear them waking you up in the morning or crying because someone forgot to do evening chores. They are an easy way to add an animal to the farm without much work.

    Harvest Raw Honey

    One of the perks of raising bees is honey. Raw honey is a sweet reward for a healthy hive and has multiple health benefits. Honey is known as the perfect food as it won’t spoil and is easy to store as well. Raw honey is also a vital part of natural medicines and can help provide antibacterial relief to open cuts and wounds.

    While harvesting honey is quite the experience, it is important to remember not to take all of the honey from the hive. The bees make honey to help them survive over the winter , so be careful with what you take. While the honey is a welcome addition to any homestead table, it isn’t the most crucial part of raising bees. 

    Strengthen the Environment

    While pollination is good for your garden, plants, and nearby crops, it also is a massive part of how the world eats. Pollinators are to thank for every three bites of food we eat, and bees are a huge part of that.

    Bee Covered in Pollen

    In America alone, 100 crops rely on honey bees and pollinators for success. It is a vital part of the environment in keeping plants healthy and thriving, as well as those of us who rely on crops to feed us. 

    The USDA reports that pollinators add $18 billion in revenue to crop production every year, making them essential to our economy, environment, and food system. Add to that the help that bees do to boost your own homestead environment, and raising bees should be a no-brainer! 

    Deepen Your Knowledge

    Another benefit of beekeeping is that there is just so much to learn about these little creatures. Their assigned jobs, mannerisms, habits, and sheer ability to create something out of nothing are astounding.

    Bees are a great way to interact with nature and truly have a deeper understanding of our intricate world. Just like many of us grow attached to a certain hen or calf on the homestead, bees have their own personalities as well.

    Source Bee Products

    While you can always eat raw honey, there are plenty of other products that rely on a strong beehive. After you harvest the honey, you can also cut apart the honeycomb to eat as well. Honey is a natural sweetener that many choose to use instead of other sweeteners like sugar. It is also a common ingredient in soaps, lotions, and personal care products.

    Beeswax is another byproduct of the hive, which can be used to make candles and a wide variety of other helpful products

    Assist Professional Beekeepers

    Just like most of us who try our hand at raising animals on the farm, there are commercial counterparts that do it for a living. However, raising animals on your land doesn’t really affect the animals raised down the road. 

    Beekeeping is entirely different because single homesteaders can help strengthen the local bee population with their own hive. Thanks to their ability to fly wherever the pollen is, raising your own bees can help commercial beekeepers grow the overall bee population. 

    Even if there are no known local beekeepers around you, raising bees helps support the overall population in a wave effect. If you raise bees, then that strengthens the bee population within 5 miles of your home, which then affects the populations that are farther away from you. The more bees, the better.

    Teach Others About Bees

    When you have your own hive, you can also teach others about bees and their importance to our world. Kids are especially scared of bees as parents have warned them about stingers. However, seeing a bee doesn’t have to be a scary experience.

    Supporting a bee hive allows you to have those conversations with your own children or those who visit your home. Explaining what the bee does and showing others how friendly and curious a bee can be can change the perspective of bees entirely. 

    Final Thoughts

    Bees are incredibly important and a vital part of our world. Choosing to raise your own bees is a great way to do your part in supporting nature. While raw honey and bee products are a great perk to the job, they aren’t the primary reason to get into beekeeping. 

    Many of us see the value of bees in supporting our own plants and crops, as well as those around us in our community. Raising bees allows you to have a small part in supporting the bee population and making a big impact on your environment. Learning more about bees as you work with them and then teaching others about their importance is another vital part of beekeeping.

    The benefits of beekeeping are endless in terms of how much they can change the world and the health of your homestead.

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