At first, you might wonder why anyone would choose bee keeping as their hobby. Don’t we normally run far away from anything that flies and stings? However, there are some distinct benefits to bee keeping that might surprise you!
The most obvious benefit is the honey produced by bees. Yes, you can buy honey at the grocery store, but it’s often inferior quality, can contain questionable ingredients, and usually isn’t local. And that brings us to our next benefit of keeping bees…
Local honey is made from local nectar and pollen and can act as a sort of “immunization” against allergies. Many people who suffer from seasonal allergies report that their symptoms subsided once they began eating local honey!
Now, let’s talk about that pollen that your bees will be using to make their honey. Bees are one of the biggest pollinators of flowering plants, meaning they fly from plant to plant collecting pollen and spreading it. This helps your flowering plants to propagate, so if you have fruit trees or grow vegetables in your yard, keeping bees can increase your plants’ production.
Along with the gallons of honey that you can harvest from your bee hive each year, you can also collect propolis. Propolis is the sticky gunk that bees use to build their hives, and it just happens to be a powerful natural antibiotic with a variety of uses. So, if you’re into natural medicines, propolis from your own backyard makes a powerful addition to your arsenal of herbal remedies.
With bees dying in alarming numbers, backyard beekeeping might even become a bit of a heroic endeavor. Thirty percent of the world’s most common food crops are pollinated by bees, along with many of our favorite ornamental flowers. By choosing to keep bees and help them thrive, you would be benefiting not only yourself, but also the community.
Check out our blog next week for a basic guide to getting started with beekeeping. Or, if you just want to attract more bees to your yard, stop by our nursery. We can assist you in picking out flowering plants that local bees will love.