Backyard beekeeping is a life-saving endeavor — and fun too! Life-saving? Sounds serious, and it actually is. Many people don’t realize it, but the honeybee population is rapidly dwindling due to various hindrances, such as suburbia, genetically modified vegetation, insecticides, and varroatosis, a disease caused by varroa mites that virtually suck the life out of honeybee colonies.
The practice of honey collection and beekeeping dates back to the stone-age, as evidenced by cave paintings.
Why is this so important? Perhaps because another little-known fact is that the gentle honeybee (sometimes given a bad rap that belongs to the aggressive hornet, wasp, and yellow jacket) is responsible for the well-being of all living creatures on this planet.
How? Honeybees, which live in colonies performing as a single unit, cultivate the earth’s bounty with their ability to pollinate. Without them, our earth would be void of our nutritional crops—our sustenance. They also tender us with a wealth of natural beauty: flowers, trees, grasses, and everything we hold dear from Mother Nature.
Some honeybees’ contributions:
Our agricultural market is dependent on the honeybee as they account for 80 percent of insect pollination, thus playing a major role in our evolution. Without pollination, there’d be a substantial reduction of fruit and vegetable harvesting. The honeybees from one hive collect roughly 66 pounds of pollen from flowering plants each year, and the process of pollination, in turn, is also responsible for the fertilization and growth of these plants. Pollen also feeds honeybee colonies, enabling them to thrive and keep our earth abundant with sustenance for the health of all living beings.
Speaking of a multi-functional contribution, this sticky resin that bees collect from trees and mix with wax is used by these industrious creatures to seal and repair cracks in their hives. Its antibacterial qualities are also used by humans as a health aid and, additionally, used as the base property of fine wood stains and varnishes.
Another valuable contribution from these wonderful insects is that sweet “liquid gold.” Not only does honey feed the bee colonies, but it’s also a pure, palatable, and revered food source that’s a syrupy treat for humans. Even more, it possesses antibacterial qualities to fight several allergies.
The honeybee hive is perennial. Although quite inactive during the winter, the honeybee survives the winter months by clustering for warmth.
This milky substance is prepared by the honeybee from digested pollen and honey mixed with a chemical secreted from a gland in nurse bees’ heads. It presents additional health benefits for humans and commands a premium price as an elixir. Sometimes used as a fertility stimulant, it’s also chock-full of all B (not bee) vitamins.
Medicinal Bee Venom:
Honeybees rarely sting unless they feel threatened. Why would they want to sting when the poor creatures perish after losing their stingers? As in much of life, there’s a yin and yang with a honeybee sting, which only produces a severe allergic reaction to a small portion of humans. The bad is the itching from the bee venom’s formic acid contents, and the good is the fact that this same venom is also used as a therapy to address physical evils, such as arthritis, neuralgia, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and multiple sclerosis.
Worker bee glands secrete this substance to build their honeycombs. Heavenly to smell, beeswax offers humans a revered compound to make natural, non-toxic candles and an ingredient to use in drugs, cosmetics, artists' materials, and furniture polish. In the past, people’s principal motivation for beekeeping may have been honey, but we’ve all become increasingly aware of our environment and sustainability.
Through this knowledge, it’s quite apparent that this centuries-old activity is more than just a honey-of-a-hobby. Backyard beekeeping has been elevated to a necessary attempt to restore the lost colonies of bees and give balance to the natural decrease in pollination, which could lead to devastating results for the earth and all living creatures.
To “bee or not to bee” should be an easy decision for those of us who care about the future of our children — and theirs. View the wonderful beekeeping video online at visitvortex.com/Country_Wisdom