Benefits of Beekeeping
Homesteaders, preppers, survivalists & regular homeowners, like me and you, can enjoy the benefits of beekeeping. You do not have to maintain a large number of hives to be successful. In fact, the best way to start beekeeping for beginners is with only a couple of hives. These will supply honey, pollination and beeswax for your family.
In a world that seems crazy in some respects, people are interested in finding ways to become more self-sufficient.
Perhaps you have a small backyard homestead? You may desire the opportunity of growing your own food or keeping a couple of chickens.
Homesteading as a means of enjoyment and sustainability grows more popular each year.
Whether you are a full out prepper with a bunker in the back yard or someone searching to reconnect with nature, you will find the benefits of beekeeping to be a great addition to your home skill set.
Bees Promote Self Reliance
What can you get from a couple of hives? Perhaps you will be surprised to learn that a honey bee colony can make quite an impact on your life.
Everyone knows that bees make honey. Honey production is the goal of many new beekeepers. But, honey bees can provide so much more.
Installing bees on the homestead can provide products to use and income due to surplus sales.
Let’s investigate some of the reasons that you should consider adding bees to your homestead or backyard.
What Keeping Bees Can Do For You
- produce your own honey
- produce beeswax for projects
- increase pollination of crops
- raising bees to sell for extra income
- selling or bartering with excess honey and wax
Beekeeping Produces Honey for the Homestead
Depending on your location, you may not harvest honey from a beehive during the first season. It takes a honey bee colony time to get established and prepare for Winter.
Well established colonies (over 1 year old) should produce surplus honey for years to come.
It is the responsibility of the beekeeper to manage colonies in a way to keep them healthy and productive.
In my area, new colonies rarely produced enough honey for themselves and me too. But the second year should be one of production.
How much honey can a beehive produce? Well, that depends on your location and climate. Weather plays a role in all forms of agriculture – that includes beekeeping too!
Like any agricultural endeavor, some years will find a larger honey harvest than others. However in general, 2 colonies will usually provide enough honey for family consumption.
Long Term Food Storage of Honey
Honey is a wonderful addition to the food supply. The long shelf life of honey makes it one of the best foods for preppers or those interested in food storage.
Learn how to store honey properly and it will never spoil. Explorers have found honey 2,000 years old that was still edible. (That’s a pretty good shelf life folks.)
Harvested Honey is More Than Food
Honey is a great natural sweetener and have many uses in the kitchen. But it can do much more.
Other than nutrition purposes, honey uses include soothing coughs and colds. Hot tea with honey and lemon can ease the discomfort of a sore throat and quieten a nagging cough.
Raw honey has a place in your emergency medical kit too. When applied to a wound, it combats infection and promotes healing .
A product used as food and medicine is a good one to have around. And again, the shelf life is virtually forever.
Beehives Produce Beeswax
Beekeepers have excess beeswax to sell after the honey harvest. Honeybees make beeswax from glands on their abdomens.
Often, honey production gets all the attention but beeswax has value also.
At one time, beeswax was accepted as a form of payment for taxes in the state of Tennessee. Early settlers understood the value of this unique product.
You can use beeswax in many different applications. Of course, Candles made from beeswax are highly valued.
They burn brighter, longer and cleaner than other fuel types. You can make your own beeswax candles to use in your home or share with others.
If you don’t have time to make your own beeswax candles, check out my Etsy Store. Beeswax candles make great gifts too!
Making fun crafts such as beeswax egg candles is a great idea for use or gifts.
Beeswax Uses In and Around the Home
There are so many uses for beeswax in and around the homestead. Though often overlooked – it has value.
Beeswax can be used to produce an effective waterproofing agent. This mix can be boots, canvas etc to protect the wearer from damp.
Other beeswax uses include : canning, sewing, carpentry, furniture building, and archery.
Pollination Benefits of Keeping Bees
Honey bees will pollinate vegetable gardens and orchards. Good pollination by honey bees greatly increases crop yields. Crops not needed can be sold or traded.
And nearby neighbors may rent a couple of hives for the summer season to pollinate their vegetable garden.
Beekeeping for Profit
Some beekeepers are able to produce income from their beekeeping activities. This is not easy money because hard work is involved.
All hive products such as honey and beeswax can be sold for extra cash. Not everyone will be able to have a hives.
This allows the beekeeper to meet the needs of those who want hive products.
The actual bee colonies themselves may provide a source of income or barter. Healthy hives that grow and multiply can be sold or traded for needed goods.
Beekeeping for Greater Self-Sufficiency
So many of us are seeking a life of greater independence and sustainability. The value of honey bees and bee colonies makes them an asset to any homestead.
In a time of crisis, gardening for becomes more than a hobby. It is life-sustaining.
Getting Started Keeping Bees
Beekeeping is popular now. This means there is a lot of information out there to help you get started. Before rushing out to buy bees, you have some work to do.
Taking the time to learn proper bee management will increase your chances of success. Books, online articles and classes are available in most areas of the US and online.
An online beekeeping class is a great way to learn at your convenience or if you have trouble making time to attend a regular class.
Beekeeping today is very different than bee management in Grandpa’s day.
Learn basic beekeeping techniques and prepare well before you get bees. Then you, your family and your neighborhood will be ready to enjoy the benefits of beekeeping.
Enjoy – Beekeeper Charlotte