beekeeping         When people think of hobbies, they think rather of stamp collecting, painting, or knitting. Not many people, however, think of beekeeping. After all, who wants to be responsible for literally thousand of flying insects that are known to have the ability to sting? However, beekeeping is a safe and easy hobby to start. Here are some of the benefits of beekeeping:

1. Harvesting honey

The prospect of harvesting honey is certainly a strong attraction for new beekeepers. There’s something magical about bottling your own honey. Rest assured that no other honey tastes as good as the honey made by your own bees. Delicious!

2. Experiencing a more bountiful garden

Any gardener recognises the value of pollinating insects. Various insects perform an essential service in the production of seed and fruit. The survival of plants depends on pollination, and the honey bee accounts for 80 percent of all pollination done by insects. Without the honey bee’s services, more than a third of the fruits and vegetables that humans consume would be lost.

3. Being part of the bigger picture: Save the bees!

Today, the value of keeping bees goes beyond the obvious. In many areas, millions of colonies of wild honey bees have been wiped out by urbanisation and pesticides. When gardeners wonder why they now see fewer and fewer honey bees in their gardens, it’s because of the dramatic decrease in our wild honey bee population. Beekeeping has become vital in our efforts to reestablish lost colonies of bees and offset the natural decrease in pollination by wild bees.

4. Getting an education and passing it on

As a beekeeper you continually discover new things about nature, bees, and their remarkable social behavior. Just about any school, nature center, garden club, or youth organisation loves for you (as a beekeeper) to share your knowledge. Don’t be surprised to find yourself making the rounds with your slide show and props, sharing the miracle of honey bees with the whole community. Spreading the word to others about the value these little creatures bring to all of us is great fun. You’re planting a seed for our next generation of beekeepers. After all, maybe it was a grade-school presentation on beekeeping or state fair presentation that aroused your interest in honey bees in the first place.

5. Improving your health: Bee therapies and stress relief

Although you won’t find any scientific studies to confirm it, many beekeepers firmly believe that tending honey bees reduces stress. Working with bees is so calming and almost magical. You feel at one with nature, and whatever problems may have been on your mind tend to evaporate. There’s something about being out there on a lovely warm day, the intense focus of exploring the wonders of the hive, and hearing that gentle hum of contented bees — it instantly puts you at ease, melting away whatever day-to-day stresses that you might find creeping into your life.   Any health food store proprietor can tell you the benefits of the bees’ products. Honey, pollen, royal jelly, and propolis have been a part of healthful remedies for centuries. Honey and propolis (a sticky resinous material that bees collect from trees and plants) have significant antibacterial qualities. Royal jelly (the substance that is secreted from glands in a worker bee’s head and is used to feed brood) is loaded with B vitamins and is widely used overseas as a dietary and fertility stimulant. Pollen is high in high protein and can be used as a homeopathic remedy for seasonal pollen allergies.   Apitherapy is the use of bee products for treating health disorders. Even the bees’ venom plays an important role here — in bee-sting therapy. Venom is administered with success to patients who suffer from arthritis and other inflammatory/medical conditions. This entire area has become a science in itself and has been practiced for thousands of years in Asia, Africa, and Europe.   Source: www.dummies.combees

Want to know how to set up and maintain your own hive? Book your place on our Beekeeping Course, 12-13 July. Click here to book.

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