The Benefits of Raising Honey Bees
September has been celebrated as National Honey Month since 1989, allowing beekeepers around the country a time to promote their industry and its most popular product: sweet, delicious honey.
Not only is honey enjoyed in countless recipes for delectable food and drinks, it gets a high rating for its health benefits, as well. It is thought to encourage healthy skin, hair and nails, ease sore throats and coughs, serve as a comforting sleep aid, and even boost energy for improved athletic performance. Bee products include beeswax, royal jelly and pollen.
Interest in beekeeping as a hobby or even a full time business has increased over the past decade, perhaps due in part to the awareness of a decline in the number of Western honey bees that began in 2006.
As pollinators, honey bees provide a crucial link in the agricultural cycle of an abundance of foods we eat every day. Bees transfer pollen from plant to plant, thus fertilizing the plants and enabling them to produce fruits, seeds, vegetables, and many flowering plants. In fact, more than 70% of flowering plants in the world rely on pollinators for fruit and seed production.
Years of research, a USDA study reports, determined that the decrease in the bee population is the result of a combination of stressors that disrupt the bees’ ability to pollinate, including pests, diseases, pesticides, pollutants, nutritional deficits, habitat loss, climate variability, and crop management practices. Fortunately, the study states that this decline is reversing.
Besides being good for the environment, there are other rewards that encourage interest in beekeeping.
Rewards of Beekeeping
- For many people, beekeeping is a relaxing, positive pastime
- It promotes higher crop yields for farmers as well as healthier flowers and garden crops for individuals
- It is a relatively inexpensive hobby
- Bees need little space and can be kept almost anywhere
- It allows a connection with nature
- You can earn money
- It can provide a sense of satisfaction and achievement
- Beekeeping is a great family activity, under adult supervision
- It produces healthful goods that make it a worthwhile experience
If you’re beginning to feel a buzz of excitement and interest in beekeeping, start by reading this beginner’s guide to see if this could be a good fit for you.
An important step in getting acquainted with the beekeeping process is networking with other beekeepers.
We offer below some great first contacts and resources to further your knowledge and interest in beekeeping. All of these sites are packed with resources, events and practical information to educate and support the practice of beekeeping.
- American Beekeeping Federation
- Colorado Beekeepers Association
- Eastern Colorado Beekeepers
- Western Colorado Beekeepers Association
- Northern Colorado Beekeepers
- Mile Hive Bee Club serving city of Denver
Insure Your Hives with Farm Bureau Insurance
Insure your hives against loss and liability damages with a homeowner’s insurance policy from Colorado Farm Bureau Insurance. To learn more about how we can insure your colony, contact a local agent using our Agent Finder.