Beekeeping may seem like a strange habit, but those that breed and care for the black-and-yellow creatures do a lot of good for the world.
Bees are commonly thought of as annoying, buzzing insects that we swat away absentmindedly, or try to avoid for fear of being stung, but the truth is that bees provide a variety of benefits to humans and to the environment around us.
Check out the list below to see five of the many benefits of beekeeping.
1.) Bees Help the Environment
Bees have an extremely important role in nature-they are pollinators, which means they carry pollen from plant to plant, aiding with and initiating reproductive activities. The pollen, when carried from a male plant to a female plant, can produce seeds, fruits, and more that help plants reproduce.
Without bees, the ability of new plants to sprout up would be severely hindered, and several species could run the risk of extinction, especially because scientists believe that there is some flora that can’t be pollinated by anything besides bees. Bees help foster biodiversity in our world, and they help plants thrive and continue to spread.
2.) It Has a Surprising Impact on the Economy
Bees are tiny animals, but the impact they have on the country’s economy is surprisingly large. The crops that are pollinated by bees -fruits, vegetables, nuts -contribute $15 billion in sales to the economy every year, and honey alone brings in $150 million. The prevalence of bees, and the number of people beekeeping, may also affect the prices of goods.
Most people know that as the supply of goods goes up, the prices of goods will go down. If there are more bees pollinating crops, more crops will be produced, which means the prices of the goods will go down. By beekeeping, you’ll be doing your part to support the economy.
3.) You Get the Sweet Taste of Honey
Everyone knows that bees make honey, and that honey is one of the world’s most common sweeteners. Whether it’s used in baked goods, in savory dishes, or eaten on its own, honey is invaluable in cooking, and it never goes bad. Plus, honey has many health benefits.
Besides being a healthier alternative to corn syrup and other sugars, honey has many antibacterial properties, and can also be helpful with common symptoms like a sore throat, or with soothing allergies. Having easy access to honey, and the potential to sell the product is one of the “sweetest” benefits of beekeeping!
4.) Beekeeping is an Interesting Topic
The life and the roles of bees may seem simple on the surface, but with time spent on beekeeping, you’ll learn a lot about the complexity behind pollination and the colonies of bees. Worker bees are the ones that pollinate and produce honey, while the queen bee presides over the hive and produces offspring.
The division of labor, and the social structure between the bees, is a fascinating topic to research and learn about, as is the bees’ interactions with flowers, nectar, and pollen. Beekeeping serves as an excellent, hands-on learning experience, and before you know it, you’ll know more about bees, their jobs, pollination, and honey than you ever did before.
5.) You Can Form a Community and a New Perspective
Beekeeping is a very niche hobby, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find other beekeepers around you and get to know them. It’s always nice to have someone who understands what you’re doing to bounce ideas off of and to ask questions.
Starting a new hobby is a great way to make new friends, and even if you run into people who don’t know very much about beekeeping, you now possess the knowledge to help them learn about the process and to think about bees in a new way. Beekeeping allows you to connect with new people, whether that’s to discuss a subject you’re both already familiar with or to teach about beekeeping to newcomers.
You may have never thought of bees as important creatures before, but the truth is that bees play a significant role in the environment through their process of pollination and their production of honey. Unfortunately, bee populations are suffering from habitat destruction, disease, human environmental actions, and more, but beekeeping could help preserve this species, and educate people on the need for these buzzing insects.
Next time you see a bee in nature and go to swat it, pause and think about all the benefits of bees and beekeeping.