Beekeeping has been rediscovered with the resurgence of local food movements and an interest in hobby farming.
Beekeeping, as a hobby, is growing all over the US. You too can start your own bee hive in your backyard. Check out our blog so you too can get some sweet rewards. Bees can thrive in both rural and urban areas. Many large cities, such as Chicago and New York City, allow urban beekeeping on city rooftops. Check with your local ordinances before beginning your hives.
Extracting Honey From the Hive
The biggest goal, for many beekeepers, is what bees are most famous for producing: honey. Honey is made from the nectar of flowers. When a honeybee pollinates a plant or flower it is collecting the plant’s nectar. Once the honeybee returns to the hive it transfers the nectar to the worker bees. The worker bees store the nectar into the honeycombs where it turns into honey.
Beekeepers harvest the honey inside the hive using extracting supplies. Extracted honey can be used by people as moisturizers in beauty products. You can even use honey as a natural sweetener in your tea!
There are so many different benefits of using honey and not just as a sweetener in your tea. Honey has been used as a homeopathic remedy and can be used in many different recipes. A single hive can produce up to 100 pounds of honey in a year!
A Bunch of Beeswax
A secondary product beekeepers also extract is beeswax. Beeswax is made by the worker bees in the hive to build their honeycomb, raise their brood or bee larvae and to store the honey. When used for human consumption beeswax has many uses such as:
- Lip Balms
- Lip Glosses
- Hand Creams
- Eye Shadows
- Eye Liners
Beeswax is also used to make candles. A little beeswax in your polish can make shoes and wooden furniture shine like new.
Great For Gardening
If you have a green thumb and love to garden, keeping a beehive is another great way to make sure that your garden is bountiful. If bees are close by, they will pollinate your fruits and vegetables, providing them with nectar for their hives. Bees are dying off in ever increasing numbers, possibly due to use of pesticides and fungicides. Backyard beekeepers are a necessary part of bringing back the populations of the honeybee.
Are you still wondering why you should start keeping bees? It’s fun! Once you’ve set up your hive, the bee colony will constantly work to pollinate, make their honey and wax. For the keeper, there does not need to be a huge time commitment. Just check on the hives for a half hour once a week. Then collect the honey and wax twice a year.
Bee Friendly Plants
Bees and humans can mutually benefit from a symbiotic relationship with one another. To attract more bees to your garden and help pollinate your plants and flowers, consider growing these plants below.
- Wild Geranium
- Purple Coneflower
- Yellow Coneflower
There are also plants that will help with honey production. From the farm to your backyard, you can trust Blain’s Farm & Fleet to help you become a master beekeeper. To learn more about caring for your backyard bees, visit our Beekeeping blog.