The Benefits of Beekeeping and Conservation
While many people associate the word “bee” with getting stung, these insects are essential to human life on this earth. They pollinate the crops and initiate the reproduction of many plants as they move pollen from stamens to pistils. Unfortunately, the pesticides used on crops can either kill bees or render them incapable of doing the job we depend on for our food.
Even though states like California are still able to produce 13,000 pounds of honey each year, there are several issues impacting the decreasing the bee population. Environmental concerns, such as pollution, can be a serious detriment to an entire colony of bees. Another danger to the bee population are parasites that can maim or kill both young and adult bees.
Improving the longevity of the bee population isn’t the only benefit of beekeeping. Here are a few additional advantages:
Pollination – improves the biodiversity of the environment for more bountiful gardens, prosperous orchards, and allergy remedies
Honey – often referred to as “liquid gold”, honey offers many health and wellness benefits such as rich antioxidants, antibacterial properties, and natural sweetening capabilities
Beeswax – not only is beeswax highly beeswax highly moisturizing, but it can also be used around the house for natural alternatives to deodorant, candles, baby products, and hinge lubrication.
Now that you know why you should pursue beekeeping, here are five steps to get started:
1. Check Local Beekeeping Laws and Regulations
Research what is required before you take another step toward becoming a beekeeper. Here are a few things to look into:
Find out whether or not your location allows it and if you are required to get a permit.
Check if your county or city requires registration for beehives.
There may be some land requirements that you’ll have to meet before you can move forward with beekeeping.
2. Find the Ideal Beekeeping Location
You’ll need to consider your location and whether or not it is conducive to beekeeping. Bees need hives that get plenty of sun and shelter from high winds. During the winter, you’ll need to have easy access so you can clear the snow away from the hive entrances.
If there are other houses nearby, check with other folks in the neighborhood to make sure you don’t cause a problem. You don’t want to become a nuisance to families with small children who play outdoors or seniors who may have a bad reaction to a couple of bee stings. If you live in a neighborhood, you may want to offer some bee education to the people around you.
3. Gather Your Beekeeping Supplies
Some of the basic items you need include:
Bee suit with a veil
A smoker that calms bees and enables you to get into the hive
Hive tool to pry off the frames
Uncapping knife for cutting wax off the frame of honey
Honey extractor to collect your “liquid gold”
Bee gloves to protect your hands and the bees
Brush to swipe the bees off the comb
You’ll also need to purchase at least one hive, but many bee experts recommend starting with two hives. And of course, you’ll need some bee swarms. Since you don’t want your hives on the ground, you should get a hive stand to keep the bees off the ground and protect them from other insects.
Purchase your beekeeping supplies from a reputable dealer. Some of the places you can look include Dadant, Mann Lake, Bailey Bee Supply, and Western Bee Supplies.