Interested in going green? Worried about the future of the planet? Distraught over mankind’s impact upon all the creatures of nature? Well, you can do a lot more than just worry about these things.
You can do something that will benefit both nature and humanity by just taking up a simple hobby: Beekeeping.
You May Have Heard – Honey Bees are Having a Tough Time of It
The world’s population of honey bees has been in rapid decline in recent years. A number of factors are involved – some the fault of mankind, and some not.
One of the problems honey bees are facing is called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). When CCD strikes, the bees just disappear from a colony for reasons that nobody quite understands yet. (Your cell phone isn’t to blame, though, in case you saw the news reports about that silly study. Sweet-talking to your honey on your cell phone isn’t going to wipe out honey bees!)
CCD and all of the other problems bees face have many scientists seriously worried about the future of honey bees. Are bees really going to disappear from the planet? Probably not. But just the possibility is very frightening. In case you don’t know, a lot of the food you eat would be really difficult to produce without honey bees.
Every Beekeeper Helps
Beekeepers play a crucial role in keeping bees healthy and on-the-job, pollinating our food crops. And while the large commercial beekeepers bear the brunt of the load, hobbyist beekeepers are doing their part, too.
In fact, one of the best ways to keep a honey bee colony healthy nowadays is to keep a close eye on it and give it lots of TLC. That’s something that a hobbyist with just one or a few hives can do far better than a commercial beekeeper with hundreds or thousands of hives.
You’ll enjoy keeping an eye on your bees because they are absolutely fascinating insects. I never tire of watching them. And the honey you’ll harvest will certainly sweeten the deal!
Yes, you’ll get stung occasionally – not that big of a deal (unless you’re acutely allergic, something that’s true of only a miniscule percentage of the population).
Just Can’t Get Into the Idea of Becoming a Beekeeper?
Beekeeping is certainly not for everybody. And it might be that you’re interested in starting beekeeping, but just can’t right now…maybe someday. That’s OK. There’s still a lot you can do to help the bees without donning a bee veil and firing up a bee smoker.
Buy the products that bees produce such as beeswax, bee pollen, and of course, honey (it’s good for you!). You’ll be supporting beekeepers that way, and beekeepers support honey bees and work to keep them healthy. If you can buy those products locally, so much the better – local beekeepers, obviously, help maintain your local honey bee population.
And if you happen to live in a community where the local ordinances ban beekeeping, you might kindly suggest to your local representatives that it’s time to discard that silly law. After all, even the Big Apple (New York City) finally got that one right!
You Don’t Have to be an Einstein…
Honey bees are a vitally important component of nature. They are of crucial importance to the future of mankind.
And you certainly don’t have to be a genius to recognize that the disappearance of honey bees would be a really bad thing. You don’t have to be a Mensa candidate to appreciate that this world would be a far poorer place without the happy hum of bees and the intoxicating sweetness of honey.
There’s a quote attributed to Albert Einstein that you may have seen before:
“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.”
Did the good Professor really say that? I’m not sure; I can’t find verification that he did (or didn’t) make that statement. But he was certainly smart enough to have said it.
Are we smart enough to heed the warning?
About Chris Delker
Chris has been a beekeeper for many years. Learn more about honey bees and how-to info for becoming a beekeeper at his website Bees and Beekeeping.