Beekeeping is a rising hobby among a lot of different regular households around the country as there are now more and more people who are becoming beekeepers even though they still do maintain their regular day jobs. And all of these people have their own reasons why they wanted to start beekeeping in the first place. So, if you yourself are thinking of becoming a beekeeper but you are yet to find the best reasons for you to start this endeavor, we have some of the best reasons for you to start beekeeping right here in black and white 🙂
1. Bees are the best pollinators in the world
This is probably the most altruistic reason why you would want to start beekeeping as there is no doubt that bees are the best pollinators in the world. Bees are so adapted to pollinating because it is actually a part of their daily lives without even realizing that they are helping the environment and the ecosystem as pollinators.
What bees do on a regular basis is that they go out to forage for nectar and pollen, which are their top food sources. As they go from one flower to another while collecting nectar and pollen, they unknowingly carry the pollen of a male plant to a female flower to pollinate it and allow it to propagate. And because bees can visit up to 5,000 plants in a single day in a six-mile radius from their hives, you can just imagine how many flowers they end up pollinating. This is what makes the bee the best pollinator in the entire world.
So, what does that have to do with you as a beekeeper? Well, by keeping bees around, you can help improve the biodiversity in your area and allow plants to thrive as your bees naturally pollinate them. A few hives will be more than enough to improve the greenery in your area because of how effective bees are at pollinating plants. And in case you didn’t know, plants or flowers are not only there to improve the aesthetics of a certain area as they also offer a lot of different benefits that can help not only the environment and the ecosystem but also the overall quality of life of the different people and animals living there.
As such, if you are feeling altruistic and you want to make the world a better place by improving the greenery and the plant life, you can start becoming a beekeeper so that your bees can help pollinate nearby plants.
In some cases, certain beekeepers even take advantage of how effective bees are at pollinating by renting their beehives out to farmers and gardeners who would want their plants pollinated. You are not only helping out the ecosystem and the biodiversity of an area but you are also able to make a quick buck out of what your bees do best.
2. Honey, honey, and more honey
In a lot of different cases, this tends to be the most convincing reason that aspiring beekeepers go with when they want to start beekeeping. That’s because honey really is that great of a reason to convince anyone to start beekeeping. Of course, there are plenty of reasons why honey can easily convince anyone to enter the apiary livelihood.
First off, beekeeping means that you have your very own supply of honey at home without having to go out to spend money to buy honey from a nearby store. As long as the flow of nectar in your area is good enough, you can be sure that you have a nearly unlimited supply of honey at home because your bees will continue to produce honey as long as there is enough nectar for them to use up. And the best part is that you know that the honey you have at home is pure honey and not just some concoction that is made to look and taste like honey.
Second, if you do not fancy keeping plenty of different jars of honey at home, you can easily sell your honey. In case you haven’t checked, honey in a grocery store can be quite expensive. While you are not aiming to reach grocery store prices, you can still be sure that your honey will sell at a price that’s good enough to eventually pay off your initial investments and hard work on your apiary. And if you are able to have good honey sales, your beehives will become self-sustaining money-making machines that don’t require a ton of work.
And third, the honey that your beehives produce can make you the talk of the neighborhood because you can turn those jars of honey into the golden nectar of friendship that can sweeten the relationship between you and your neighbors. Nothing improves a relationship between neighbors better than a sweet golden gift in the form of fresh and pure honey.
That said, honey alone is a good enough reason for you to start beekeeping. If honey is enough to convince you, you may want to stop reading right now because all of the other reasons become useless. That’s the power of honey, which is arguably the biggest reason why there are more and more people who are now looking to start beekeeping on the side.
3. Beekeeping has comparatively low barriers for entry
Another good reason why you may want to start beekeeping is that it has comparatively low barriers for entry compared to other businesses. This means that you don’t need to have large capital or even a huge plot of land to start beekeeping because it is basically something that you can start even if you are just a mid-level income earner living on a mid-size plot of land. So, let’s discuss these barriers one by one.
No diplomas or licenses needed
Unlike other businesses and agricultural enterprises, you don’t need to be a degree holder to start beekeeping because this is something that you can learn by yourself or by taking quick classes that can help jumpstart your knowledge about bees and beekeeping. In fact, doing something as simple as reading plenty of different books on beekeeping can be enough to improve your knowledge and expertise on the matter.
Of course, people are not going to look at whether you have a certain degree or license when it comes to beekeeping because all you need to do is to read, learn, and earn experience to improve your expertise as a beekeeper. As long as you have those things covered, you can become a successful beekeeper without even going to college or earning a license or a certificate. It’s something that you can be an expert on by using simple hard work as your capital.
Like any endeavor or business, you need to have the capital to become a beekeeper. The capital serves as your initial investment because you would have to spend money for a lot of different things such as the bees themselves, the hive stand, and the important equipment that you will be needing to succeed as a beekeeper.
However, unlike some businesses, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on large and expensive equipment or rent an expensive office space because the equipment and tools you would be needing for beekeeping are actually comparatively affordable when compared to all of the other things you would need to spend for when you want to start something similar such as poultry or an animal husbandry business.
But don’t get confused when we say that beekeeping requires low capital. You would still need to spend thousands of dollars if you want to start beekeeping but, in comparison to a lot of different businesses, the capital you would need is actually very low. There is no need for you to take out a huge bank loan as long as you have enough savings that can help you spend for the initial investment necessary to become a beekeeper.
No need for a huge plot of land
When you want to start a business that’s related to agriculture, there is no doubt that something like that requires you to have a huge plot of land that’s necessary for your crops and for your animals. This is something that is usually a hindrance to those who can’t afford to buy or rent a huge plot of land for agriculture or for those who don’t own a piece of land that can be great for farming.
But when it comes to beekeeping, you don’t need a huge plot of land to become a beekeeper. You don’t even need to buy or rent a separate plot of land at all as long as you have enough room on the property you are living on. That’s because beekeeping doesn’t require a lot of land as one of the defining factors that will dictate whether or not a beekeeper will succeed.
A single beehive will only need a few feet of space. Meanwhile, you may need at least two feet of space between beehives so that you will have enough space for working. As such, a simple backyard will do if you want to keep a few hives. But if you want to start a larger apiary, you may want to go for a larger plot of land.
Still, the point here is that you don’t even need a large property to become a beekeeper because your backyard will be good enough. And if you live in an apartment building, you can even ask your landlord if you can use the rooftop for your bees. As long as there is enough space for a beehive, that would be enough for you to become a beekeeper.
4. It won’t consume a ton of your time
One of the best things about bees is that they are generally self-sufficient creatures that don’t need a ton of help from their beekeepers. Bees are amazing insects that are capable of sustaining an entire colony on their own as long as there are available resources for them to work with nearby. As such, most beekeepers with established bee colonies just generally leave their bees to do most of the work.
What does that mean for you? Well, it means that beekeeping won’t consume a ton of your time. This isn’t the same as other agricultural businesses that will require an entire day’s work for you to tend to your crops or to feed your animals, as bees generally look for their own food and clean up their own mess.
The general rule is that it would take you about 15 to 30 hours in a single year to take care of a single bee colony. That means that it doesn’t take up a lot of your time because, if it isn’t the harvesting season, the most that you would need to do as a beekeeper is to inspect the hives and to make sure that the surrounding conditions are good enough for your bees. Of course, the more hives you have, the more time you would need to work.
That said, beekeeping is not a time-consuming endeavor that you can actually do on the side even when you have a full-time job that takes up most of your time. There are some people that are full-time employees during the weekdays and beekeepers by the weekends because beekeeping isn’t something that requires their full attention. This is what makes beekeeping time-efficient as bees are basically self-sustaining insects.
I for one know of a prominent beekeeper in the community that does a demanding IT job by day and tends bees in the early evenings and weekends- it’s totally doable!
So, for those who are looking to earn money on the side whilst maintaining their full-time jobs, beekeeping is an excellent choice because you don’t have to spend a lot of time. In some cases, and when you are already experienced enough, you would only need an hour per week to inspect and take care of a single hive. That is something that you can do during the weekends or after your working hours.
5. Beekeeping is more than just honey
We did say that a lot of people are immediately convinced to start beekeeping when they realize that they can get their hands on a nearly unlimited supply of honey that they can consume themselves, give away, or sell for profit. But what you need to also understand is that beekeeping is more than just honey if you are someone who wants to earn a good profit out of it.
So, the reason why beekeeping isn’t something that focuses only on honey production as the source of profit of a beekeeper is that there are plenty of different ways for you to earn a profit as a beekeeper. And that is something we will go over one by one so that you can truly understand how there are plenty of options when it comes to beekeeping.
Probably the second-most popular bee product is beeswax. Bees produce beeswax by eating honey. This is a natural substance that bees produce on a regular basis because this is what they need to create the comb in their beehives, and is also the very same substance that they use for capping their honey. That’s why it is just as common as honey is.
The reason why beeswax can be profitable is that a lot of different things can be made using beeswax. Things such as candles, lotions, soaps, and paper can be made using beeswax. And the best part is that beeswax can last for more than an entire lifetime without rotting. This makes it an ideal product for those who would want to use organic products that are free from anything that’s artificial or synthetic.
We previously mentioned that bees are amazing pollinators that can be rented out to farmers so that they can pollinate their crops. This means that you can simply rent out a few hives for a few days and make a quick buck out of it as they pollinate flowers and crops alike. And the best part is that you will come home with bees that are well-fed and have more than enough pollen and nectar to produce honey with.
It is not uncommon for established beekeepers to sell some of their hives or colonies to people who would want to be beekeepers. That’s because colonies are basically self-replenishing as long as they have a queen that is still young and healthy.
So, what happens here is that there will be some beekeepers that will intentionally split a colony up and provide a queen for the new colony so that they can have two different bee colonies coming from the same genetics. They can either sell the new colony or keep it as a new hive in the apiary. And if you were to sell the new colony, you are not only making a profit for yourself but you are also helping a new beekeeper establish himself in this growing endeavor.
This doesn’t involve your bees in any way but it involves your experience and expertise as a beekeeper. When you have already established yourself as a successful beekeeper and have gained enough knowledge and expertise to make people look up to you as a leader in the field, you can actually sell your mentorship services to beginner beekeepers. You can start your own beekeeping classes or become a one-on-one mentor to mentees who are still new in the industry.
In that regard, you are not only making money on the side using your knowledge and expertise but you are also improving the entire beekeeping industry as you are helping new beekeepers in finding the ropes in this endeavor.
6. Bees will thrive anywhere
Another good reason for you to start beekeeping is that you basically have no excuse to not start it because bees will actually thrive anywhere. Well, not necessarily anywhere because they don’t do well in places that are freezing cold. But, basically, if you live in a habitable place that experiences springs and summers, your bees can thrive in such an area.
So, if you live in a big city, you still have no excuse for not starting your own beekeeping hobby or business because bees can thrive well enough in cities. In fact, because of the biodiversity found in most cities, it is often said that urban bees are healthier and stronger than the ones found in rural areas. That said, as long as you have enough space in your house in the city or if your landlord allows you to keep your beehives on the rooftop of your apartment building, you can start your journey as an urban beekeeper.
Meanwhile, if you do live in rural areas, you have more reasons to start your life as a beekeeper as long as the conditions where you live are right enough for bees. You don’t even need a huge plot of land to become a beekeeper.
All that said, the key here is to make sure that you live in an area that is at least moderately sunny and warm during spring and winter because those are the seasons where bees are at their most active. And as long as there are also nearby plants and flowers, your bees will basically thrive in such an area.
7. Bees and beekeeping are fascinating and fulfilling
Even if you take away the honey, the money, and all of the other stuff that can get you into beekeeping, you should know that the field of beekeeping, as well as the bees, is actually quite fascinating and fulfilling. For most it becomes an awesome hobby you can do regardless of whether you do earn a profit. That’s because there are plenty of different fascinating things to learn about these bees as you will only find yourself surprised the more you observe and learn about these creatures.
It is reasonable to assume that beginners and most people don’t know a lot about bees except for the fact that they produce honey and that they are pollinators. However, there are more than just honey and pollen when it comes to bees because the very habits that they do on a regular basis can spark an interest in just about anyone. Let’s look at these things one by one.
The bee society
It is not unusual for humans and animals alike to have a social order because that is what allows them to keep order in society and to make sure that everyone is working towards a similar goal. For example, humans have social hierarchies that depend on a lot of factors, such as wealth, status, fame, physical strength, and influence. The same can be said when it comes to animals because they also have their own criteria when it comes to their social order.
But this is something that bees tend to take to the next level because bee colonies are so organized and unified to the point that they may seem like robots that are programmed to do one thing. Each type of bee (queen, drone, and worker) has its own specific task in a colony. Meanwhile, the workers are also tasked with different jobs themselves as some are foragers while others spend more time in the hive producing honey and taking care of the larvae.
Observing how bee society works and how these bees are so unified to achieve the same goal is fascinating. You will hardly see strife inside a colony because of how all of the bees are seemingly programmed to do their jobs efficiently and perfectly. This will only leave you in awe of what nature can do.
The bee life cycle
Beekeeping can also give you a glimpse into the short life cycle of a bee as you will see how workers and drones come and go and how they are able to quickly and efficiently replace their queen with a new one. For example, workers and drones tend to survive for only a few days, only to be replaced by new drones and workers that the queen produced. As for the queen, she may be able to survive for years but the best beekeepers tend to replace the queen in only a few months.
Throughout that time, you will see how amazing the life cycle of a bee is as they start from eggs, grow into larvae, and then morph into bees that have their own specific purposes and programming. In fact, what’s even more amazing is that a bee immediately knows what to do the moment it becomes a full-grown bee.
But the most amazing part is how bees are able to efficiently elect a new queen even though the old queen is still in existence. Worker bees are seemingly programmed to know when it is the right time to raise a new queen as they feed larvae with what we call royal jelly, which contains all of the essential nutrients that will allow worker bee larvae to grow into a queen. And when the new queen emerges, it will kill off any of the yet-to-emerge queen bees to secure her place in bee society.
The way they defend themselves
While you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a defensive bee colony, it still is amazing that these bees are so efficient and effective at defending themselves to the point that they will actually die for the survival of the entire colony.
In a bee colony, only the worker bees are capable of stinging. However, once a worker bee stings a target, its barbed stinger gets left behind as the bee slowly dies shortly after stinging something or someone. This takes “dying for your country” to a new level as bees won’t hesitate to die just to fend off a threat to the colony.
But what’s fascinating to note is that bees are not aggressive stingers and will only sting when they feel threatened. That’s because they know they will die as a result of stinging someone or something. As such, they will not sting when they know that they are safe enough.
Still, what’s also amazing here is how they are capable of communicating to one another to put on a unified and organized attack when trying to defend the colony. Hurt one bee and thousands of other bees will come swarming over to you to drive you away with their stingers. This is one of the most efficient defense mechanisms in the entire animal world.
8.The bee population is in decline
The sad part of it all is that the bee population is declining. This is due in large part to how human industrialization, deforestation, and climate change have made it more difficult for bees to find suitable places to live in and sustainable food sources they can forage from. That said, feral bees that can be found in the wild are declining in numbers too.
So, by starting out as a beekeeper, you will be able to help improve the bee population as you raise your own bee colonies that could possibly spread out and form other colonies as well. This can help increase the number of bees found in apiaries and in the wild alike. As such, this is one of the more altruistic reasons why you should start beekeeping as you will be contributing to the repopulation of one of the world’s most important animals.
What is the best month to start beekeeping?
Now that you probably have a reason to start beekeeping, you might be wondering when you should start. After all, bees are insects that tend to favor certain seasons and weather conditions because of how the weather is important for their survival.
That said, the best time for you to start beekeeping is early in spring because of how this is when the snow is now beginning to melt and the months are starting to get warmer as the flowers are now blooming as well. This will allow your bees to have the perfect temperature and sunny conditions that will allow the colony to grow. Moreover, they will also have plenty of flowers to forage from because spring is a good time for flowers to bloom. Nectar flow is all important to get your new colonies moving!
Of course, starting out early in spring will give you enough time to prepare your bees for the upcoming winter. You need to make sure that they are prepared well enough by the time fall comes because of how bees tend to hibernate during winter.