Backyard Beekeeping is a Wonderful Companion Hobby for Gardeners
Backyard beekeeping can be a great companion hobby to backyard gardening. You don’t need a honey bee farm with acres of open land for raising bees.
Suburban or urban beekeeping is possible for almost everyone, regardless of where you live.
You don’t even have to own a backyard to be a beekeeper.
Plenty of people keep bees in the heart of a bustling city on balconies, side lots, and even skyscraper rooftops.
Honey bee hives have even been kept on the rooftop of Chicago’s City Hall for a number of years.
Interested in Becoming a Backyard Beekeeper? Be Sure to Check With Big Brother First
It’s an unpleasant reality that many municipalities throughout the land have asinine ordinances against beekeeping within city limits.
Fortunately, the number of communities that impose ridiculous bans on beekeeping are on the decline. As worldwide attention has focused upon honey bee deaths in recent years due to all the problems facing bees, many municipalities have relaxed or eliminated their restrictions against beekeeping.
The Big Apple itself, New York City, is a prime example.
Beekeeping was completely illegal in New York City for many years. (Psst, don’t tell anyone, but there were LOTS of people keeping bees in New York anyway!)
But in 2010, the city government came to its senses – in this regard, anyway – and decided that beekeepers would no longer be considered dastardly criminals. Beekeeping is now completely legal in New York, though there are still certain regulations that beekeepers must comply with.
So if you’re interested in becoming a backyard beekeeper or an urban beekeeper, better check with Big Brother first to see if you’re allowed.
Backyard Beekeeping and Gardening Go Hand-In-Hand
I read somewhere that a very large percentage of beekeepers are also gardeners. I think that there are 2 reasons for that:
A Love of Nature…
Those who just don’t ‘get’ gardening are probably rather mystified as to why someone would want to spend a significant portion of their spare time sweating in the sun and grubbing in the dirt.
But those of us who love gardening understand that there’s far more to it than just the labor involved (though lots of gardeners actually enjoy the manual labor!).
It’s also about connecting with nature, and having a front-row seat to the grand show that nature offers to those willing to watch. It’s about taking a break from the frenetic pace of our workaday lives and being a part of something basic and eternal. And it’s about being involved in the most fundamental and essential of human tasks – the production of food.
Beekeeping offers the very same benefits. And that’s why anyone that’s inclined to love gardening, is very likely to also love beekeeing.
A Symbiotic Relationship…
Backyard beekeeping and backyard gardening go together like a hand and glove.
In fact, if you’re already a gardener, you understand that honey bees and other pollinators are critically important to your success as a gardener.
Want a nice crop of watermelons? You’d better have some bees around.
Looking forward to picking lots of plump, juicy berries from your blueberry bushes? Won’t be happening without bees to pollinate those lovely springtime blossoms.
That’s why the recent news of the decline of honey bee numbers is so frightening. Worldwide, honey bees are responsible for pollinating about a third of our food crops.
If honey bees were to go away on a global scale, we’d be in a world of hurt. And if honey bees are on the decline in your locale, your garden simply won’t be as productive as it could be and should be.
And obviously that’s a two-way street, because bees also need the plants in our garden. One of the reasons for the decline of the honey bee in certain areas is the ever diminishing availability of open land for them to forage.
As more land is given over to the construction of parking lots, malls, etc., less land is available to grow the plants that bees depend upon as sources of nectar and pollen.
As that happens, the bee-friendly plants that you grow in your garden become even more important. After all, a backyard full of flowering plants like peas, beans, melons and berries are certainly much more useful to honey bees than just a yard full of grass!
So even if you’re not into backyard beekeeping, if you see bees visiting your garden regularly, rejoice, because that’s a very good thing for both you and the bees!
Oh, One Other Little Perk of Backyard Beekeeping…
That delectable treat is reason enough for many to become backyard beekeepers.
And if you’re accustomed to the processed, pasteurized stuff they sell in the supermarket – well, you’re in for a real treat when you taste fresh, raw honey straight from your hive.
So if you’re a gardener – or even just interested in gardening – you might want to look into becoming a beekeeper.
Beekeeping isn’t for everyone, of course.
But many find in beekeeping a lifelong source of satisfaction and fascination (I promise, honey bees are absolutely fascinating creatures!).
And having a honey jar that’s always full certainly sweetens the deal!
Fear of bee sting reactions sometimes keep people from taking up the hobby of backyard beekeeping. But though honey bee stings most certainly do hurt, for most people, an allergic reaction is no more than a pain in the …wherever the bee got you!
The study of the honey bee life cycle can be broken down into three components: worker bees, drone bees, and queen bees. It’s a fact of honey bee biology that each has a distinctly different life cycle, and each contributes to the success of the colony in different ways.
How to buy bees is one of the first questions that beginning beekeepers usually have. After all, it’s pretty tough to start beekeeping with honey bees. But buying bees isn’t difficult, because a number of companies have honey bees for sale.
Are there actually benefits to eating honey? After all, everyone knows that honey tastes good. But is honey good for you? Now, there’ll be no claims here that honey is some kind of superfood, curing anything and everything that ails you. But…