Honey bees are definitely on my “to get for the homestead” list. There are just so many benefits and reasons to have bees. Here are my top 4 reasons for wanting bees.
- Honey. Ok, this one is pretty obvious….. honey bees=honey. Honey has a lot of health benefits from fighting infection, boosting immune system, to soothing sore throats among many other medicinal uses. Honey tastes good. Honey is a much healthier option than sugar. I would like to replace my use of Demerara sugar with honey as much as possible. Honey just looks so pretty in the jar. Here are some great uses for raw honey from SchneiderPeeps- What is raw honey and how to use it. Tommy Alderman from Alderman Farms Blog says “We just harvested honey from our three hives for the first time: we only grabbed a total of five frames, none of which were completely full, and STILL harvested more than SIX QUARTS of honey! Now I want more hives!”
- Bees are fantastic pollinators. I’d love to have bees by my garden to pollinate our plants. If you have an orchard, keeping bees would be a great idea. If plants that need pollinating don’t get pollinated they won’t produce their fruits. This is one of the reasons that CCD (colony collapse disorder) is such a huge threat to us. No bees-not much food. That’s a scary thought. Here is a little more information on pollinators from One Acre Farm- Gardening for Pollinators: 8 Tips.
- Beeswax. I am fascinated with beeswax. I’m not sure why but I think it is pretty much the coolest stuff. You can use beeswax for many different things. Making candles, making natural skin care products, making natural udder balm, waxing thread, you can even make decorative items out of wax. I plan to make some of this homemade udder balm from The Prairie Homestead for Gertie. Last year, we tried our hand a candle making with beeswax and plan to do it again. Homestead Honey’s Making Beeswax Candles was my go to for instructions. I’ve also read about using it to wax cheese for aging. And let’s face it, it is just plain fun to play with.
- Knowing where your food comes from. This is a key point here. We are all about knowing where our food comes from and what was used to produce it. Raising bees ourselves will ensure that chemicals are not used on the hives or anytime during the honey making process.
These are just my top 4 reasons to keep bees. Maybe we will be able to get set up for some hives by the spring. This is a great guide that I’ll be referring to from Homestead Honey- Homestead Beekeeping :: Installing a New Hive.
Do you keep bees? What is your top reason for keeping them or favorite thing about it?
Here is some more fantastic bee information:
10 Reasons to Become a Bee Keeper
From Pasture Deficit Disorder-
From The Homestead Lady-
How to Prepare for Bee Keeping
How to Process Raw Honey With an Extractor
How to Capture a Swarm of Bees
From Mom Prepares-
How to Keep Bees and Help Your Garden
Your Dream of Becoming A Beekeeper Is Closer Than You Think
Keeping Bees: A Honey of Hobby
From Montana Homesteader-
Harvesting Honey From Bee Hives
Look Inside A New Honey Bee Hive
From Everything Home With Carol-
I always admire people who start in beekeeping. Some of the teachers and bloggers at the school do, and as I learn more about it, I find it more and more fascinating! Thanks for sharing these resources.
Janet Pesaturo says
Great post, Jenna, and many thanks for sharing my Gardening for Pollinators post. I’ve been thinking about getting bees for years, but now that my neighbor has them, it’s a lot easier to trade some of our maple syrup for her honey. 🙂
@Holistic Desk says
I have had three friends that have had honey bees. One of the lived in the inner city of New York. They are well worth the effort, amazing to watch and the raw honey is delicious. My Pastor was the person in New York who raised bees on the roof of our building. It is an amazing experience. I remember the day he received his queen and I was often on the roof because I had a garden. The day I went to the roof and saw a basketball-sized clump of bees hanging from the hive, I knew there was a second queen and they were about to split! It was fascinating. Janet, if you choose to raise a hive, it will be like the Wild Kingdom right in your backyard!
Heidi @ Pint Size Farm says
I just can’t decide if I want honeybees. I love everything they do, but we don’t eat a ton of honey to justify it. For now, I just try to attract them in the garden and purchase my honey from the farmer’s market.
That should be interesting. Danielle’s husband, Lee, has been talking about doing that the last few years.
I want bees too! I think home produced honey would be awesome… keeping bees has long been on my wish list for our homestead. Thank you for your post and the awesome link list. I have some more reading to do! 🙂
Great post, my other half and I are talking about getting bees so we can produce our own honey. His parents have several hives on their property that are actually owned by someone else. The owner stops by 1-2 per year to harvest the honey. In return the bees pollinate their very large gardens.
Rhonda, FL says
We are hoping to start beekeeping this coming spring. My husband and I are in agreement and so we are going to give it a shot. I wanted to this spring but we got our chicks instead and we decided to get the hang of that first before adding another new homesteading thing to our list. I feel the chickens are pretty easy so I am hoping the beekeeping will be as well. God has blessed our endeavors so far!
That’s great! I know that adding one thing at a time is a really good way to homestead. That is what we have done and like you said, God really has blessed us too. 🙂 I’m enjoying keeping up with your homestead ventures!
Angi @ SchneiderPeeps says
We have bees and love them. Actually, our teenage son is the beekeeper; I’m just the photographer and honey eater, so they are really easy for me. I look forward to hearing about your bee adventures!
Honey is a delicious, healthier alternative to sugar. And it’s especially great when you get freshly made honey from the beekeeper itself.