Beekeeping – The Many Benefits of Raising Bees
For thousands of years the practice of Beekeeping has played an important role in agricultural life. In fact, archeologists recently found evidence that advanced honey industries existed as far back as 3,000 years ago in ancient Israel.
Why Raise Bees?
Bees play an essential role in pollination and fertilization of many crops and can be a great way to help your vegetables, flowers, fruits and other garden plants thrive. And then of course, there’s the added benefit of being able to extract your own honey and beeswax.
Fresh Raw Honey – Raw honey is not only a great sweetener, but it has many wonderful Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Viral, and Anti-Fungal Substances. It’s been used as a potent healing agent for thousands of years and has recently been scientifically proven to treat a wide variety of ailments, wounds and burns. Because of its chemical makeup, honey is a great long-term food storage item that can easily be preserved for decades.
Beeswax – In ancient times the importance of beeswax often overshadowed the production of honey. Even today, beeswax can be used in a wide variety of products and applications. From beeswax candles, which burn brighter, longer, and cleaner than typical wax candles, to lotions and lip balms; beeswax is another great benefit of beekeeping.
What type of Hive Should Be Used.
If you ask most beekeepers, they will probably tell you that the best types of hives are those that have suspended movable frames. These frames, often referred to as Langstroth frames, make it easy to lift out and collect the honey combs. Langstroth frames are simply constructed frames that easily allow the bees to build their combs. They are probably the most popular type of honey bee hive in north America.
Beehive Safety – How to Prevent Getting Stung.
There really is no way to 100% prevent yourself from being stung, but there are a couple of things that you can do to minimize your risk.
- Keeping Docile Breeds of Bees – When it comes to prevention, one of the best things that you can do is to keep breeds that are known for their passive nature. In the U.S., Carniolan, Russians and Italain Bees are generally considered the gentlest breeds available. These breeds are also easy to care for and are all very productive.
- ReQueening Your Hive – If your colony does seem prone to stinging, you will want to requeen your hive with a young queen. This strategy can sometimes help keep the colony in check.
- Invest in a Good Smoker – Never attempt to handle your bees or open your hives without having a smoker. Pumping smoke into and around your hive puts you in control; without it your bees will be more aggressive and will be more likely to sting.
- Beekeeping Clothing – Make sure you invest in the right type of protective clothing and gear. By always wearing a good pair of rubber bee gloves, a bee suit and a veil, you will limit your exposure to bee stings.
- Know your Limits – If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a bee sting, then obviously beekeeping is not the right activity for you. How a person reacts to bee stings can vary from person to person. For the most part, many people will eventually build up a tolerance and can tolerate the occasional bee sting with minimal problems. Unfortunately, there is a segment of the population that can have a life threatening allergic reaction to just one sting. So before you do any type of beekeeping, you really need to be aware of how your body will react to a sting. Most family doctors can do a simple allergy test to determine your risk.