Five Great Reasons to Start Beekeeping
There are so many good reasons to become a beekeeper. It’s an engaging hobby, you get to produce honey – and it boosts the bee population, which has wide-ranging benefits for the environment.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a beekeeper for a while, here are five great reasons to take the plunge – and some tips to help you on your way. If you get started now, you could have beehives ready for spring.
Five reasons to start beekeeping
Save the bees
Without bees, the world as we know it would look entirely different. Nearly half of the fruit, vegetables and nuts we eat rely on pollination from honeybees to survive – avocados, mangoes, almonds and coffee would all struggle without them. A recent Woolworths campaign in Sydney stripped supermarket shelves of all of these foods to showcase what life without honeybees would look like – and there wasn’t much left. We all have a role to play in protecting our bees and making sure this doesn’t become a reality, and being a beekeeper is one of the best things you can do.
Produce your own honey
The obvious bonus of keeping bees is that they will provide you with honey – instead of a pricey luxury, it could be readily available to you in your backyard. And honey is more than just a delicious treat to have on your porridge or morning toast. Raw honey is filled with goodness – among other things, it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help heal wounds or burns and fight certain infections.
If your hives produce enough honey, you could share your bounty with family, friends and neighbours, or even sell it at local markets. Plus, your bees will produce beeswax, which you can use to make lip balms, candles, crayons or food wraps.
Learn a new hobby
Beekeeping is a wonderful hobby, and it’s surprisingly easy to fit around a busy lifestyle. There’s a bit of work involved at certain times – particularly during the honey harvest – but it’s manageable. If you’re careful about placement, you can keep hives in urban gardens as well as larger rural sections. Although you’ll need to buy some equipment at the outset, gear can be used over and over, so it’s relatively inexpensive in the long term.
Because beekeeping involves getting out in nature and doing something positive for the planet, many beekeepers also find it a great source of stress relief and satisfaction.
Connect with your community
Like any hobby, beekeeping can help you make connections in your community. Joining your local beekeeping club – or starting your own – puts you in touch with like-minded people in your area and gives you a support system to learn from. You might even meet some fellow beekeepers who want to join forces and sell honey with you at a local market.
Watch your garden grow
Bees play a crucial role in our entire ecosystem – not just food production. They pollinate many common flowers, plants and trees, helping them flourish. Whether you have a small veggie garden or a huge orchard, having hives around is a great way to make sure your garden thrives.
Prepare now, be ready for spring
So you’ve decided to leap into beekeeping – what’s next? Spring is the best time to start – it gives your colony a good chance to establish itself and build honey stores before winter.
Here’s how to start beekeeping next spring:
- Do your research
Research is the most important thing you can do before becoming a beekeeper. Read online, talk to local beekeepers and find resources in your local library, so you know exactly what you’re getting into before you start.
- Join a beekeeping club
When you’re just starting, a beekeeping club offers support and guidance, helps you with local laws and registrations and ensures you’re on the right track.
- Set up your hive
You’ll need to buy your equipment and set up your hive. Do this soon to make sure you’re prepared for spring. Check out Ecrotek’s blog on how to set up and build your first beehive to get you started.
- Buy your bees
Find a reputable beekeeper, and make sure that the bees are disease-free.
- Find a mentor
As you navigate your new hobby as a beekeeper, it’s good to find a mentor who can help you along the way. This could be someone from your beekeeping club or a local beekeeping expert from your community. Whoever you choose will make the beekeeping journey much easier.
More than your average hobby
As any beekeeper will tell you, beekeeping is about far more than just honey. It’s a relaxing and positive hobby, a great way to connect with your community – and a way to make a real contribution to the health of the planet. One little beehive may not save the world, but it will make a tangible difference to the gardens and farms in your area. As hobbies go, you can’t ask for much more than that.
If you’re new to beekeeping, Ecrotek has plenty of resources to help. Check out some of our other blogs on all things beekeepinghere.