You’ve done some research and you’re considering getting bees, but when weighing the pros and cons of having a backyard hive are you really taking into consideration all of the benefits that beekeeping can provide?
It’s no secret that having a beehive in the yard means that you’ll be getting to eat your own honey. Many people love to purchase local honey because it is widely believed that honey created with local pollen helps to reduce allergy symptoms, and you can’t get any more local than your backyard. But, how much honey can you really expect to get from just one backyard hive? According to Beekeeping for Dummies, which is available for sale at our store along with several other books for beginner beekeepers, “producing 60 to 80 pounds or more of surplus honey isn’t unusual for a single strong colony.” Of course there are other factors, such as the weather, that can influence the production of your hive, but even if your colony only produces half that amount, that’s still quite a bit of honey!
While the thrill of bottling and eating your own honey is tempting enough, there are also other benefits that a backyard hive can have. One of those benefits is having pollinators in the garden. To have a thriving landscape, flower bed and vegetable garden you need pollinators, and honey bees are at the top of pollinator list because they are perfectly designed for carrying pollen, and they begin the process earlier in the spring than most of the other pollinating insects. Having these superb pollinators living in your yard can produce earlier and higher yields.
One of the most important reasons for you to consider beekeeping is that by having even a small backyard hive you’ll be helping to save the bees. Bees are not only great pollinators, but also among the most important pollinators to our survival. According to Beekeeping for Dummies, “It is estimated that in North America around 30 percent of the food we consume is produced from bee-pollinated plants…a spring without bees could endanger our food supply and impact our economy.” When you consider these facts, along with the startling fact that the honey bee population has been in decline, it’s more important than ever that people start to do what they can to help the honey bee population thrive.
Over the past few years we have seen an increase in customers who want to set up backyard hives because they know that they will be playing a vital role in rebuilding the honey bee population, and the added benefits of having their own honey and personal pollinators to make their flowers and crops bigger and more productive is a nice perk as well. So, if you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to set up a backyard hive consider what you’ll be gaining not just for yourself, but for the bees as well.
Remember, if you have any questions on how to set up that first hive or extract that first comb of honey we’re here to help.