Why do you want to be around a swarm of bees that you just pissed off?
Why do you want to get stung by bees?
Are you nuts?!
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard these and similar questions in the last couple of months when I mention that I’m getting bees. It does bring up a good question we all must ask ourselves…WHY? Why do you want to be a Beekeeper?
There are many reasons people raise bees. Perhaps you have a garden and would like a larger yield. Many of your plants need to be pollinated and that’s what bees do. It’s been said that bees have a hand in one third of everything we eat. The increase of pesticides in commercial farming and home gardens has led to a decrease in the number of wild bees. The chemical companies are working on changing this but much of the damage has been done. This also brings us to another reason some keep bees, they want to help restore the bee population. You may like being around nature and feel like this is doing your part.
It can be a hobby with a challenge. Beekeeping as a hobby can be quite challenging and who doesn’t like a challenge, especially one with such a sweet reward. From setting up a hive and introducing your bees to harvesting honey there are many challenges along the way. You need to make sure the queen is doing her job and the workers are doing theirs and take corrective action when they are not. You need to keep an eye out for mites and beetles and treat for them. While this may sound intimidating it’s not terribly difficult.
And of course there are the by-products of bees…the honey, comb and wax. From the bees you have your own supply of delicious fresh raw honey. There are all types of things that can be made from the wax: soaps, lotions and creams, mustache and beard balms, lip balms, and candles. All of which could be sold if you so desire.
For me it’s a combination of reasons. I originally got into it for the honey. But after reading more about it I’m in it for all the reasons I’ve listed. I like the idea of helping the bees and my garden, I’ll help them and in return they’ll help me. I do plan on eventually selling the honey and different items I make from the wax. I only plan to sell at small farm stands and a few craft shows, nothing major. I don’t plan on making much money, though it would be nice to offset some of the costs.
So why do YOU want to be a Beekeeper?
Until next time…