Did you know that you can keep bees in your backyard? Most normal-sized yards can play host to a hive of honey bees. A healthy hive can produce several gallons of lovely, local honey every year.
These pollinators can be marvelously helpful by making fruits and vegetables more productive. Here, we keep bees not just because they help produce richer crops, but also because they are tremendously beneficial insects that are good for our neighbors and surrounding environment.
And raw honey has so many health benefits. The word ‘HONEY’ is found in 56 Bible verses. Proverbs 24:13 “My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste.”
We had heard a lot about the honeybee population decline especially since 2006. We wanted to help the bees and had trees (to shelter the hives), a water source, and clover, so we called around to see if there was anyone who wanted to put out a few hives. We found what we were looking for and had a really good experience.
Our honeybee yard from the farm, 2002 – 2009.
Now that we’ve moved, I’ve planted lots of flowers everywhere I could in the yard to help in the effort to strengthen the bee population here. Plus, we’ve taken some conventionally farmed acreage out of production and are transitioning to organic hay. Now the clover and alfalfa is going to supply abundant food for the bees with no pesticides. They did well this year!
Taking the ‘supers’ off this fall, 2011, one by one. We have a beekeeper do this who wants to put out hives, and we can buy our honey at near cost. It is a win-win situation.
Once the honey is spun out of the supers into big containers, they are placed in a warm room/tank so the honey will flow. It will go through a screen filter once and into the bottles with no more heating. We help with the bottling. It is thick, super sweet, and oh, so wonderful!
The resulting raw honey is full of active enzymes and properties which halt local pollen allergies in their tracks. Our youngest son is a living testimony to the power of local honey with severe allergies. No more eyes swollen shut or upper respiratory inflammation, sneezing or runny nose! Because it is raw, it is very thick and contains all the bio-active nutrients and enzymes that have kept beekeepers healthy into their 90s for centuries.
Once we get it home in these big jars, we have to put it into smaller containers for the table. One of us puts the big jar into the sink filled with very warm water to help it pour. Once it is into the smaller containers, it will have to be spooned or spread. It is much better than heated/store-bought honey. It also makes a lovely and appreciated gift!
Consider contacting your state beekeepers association. They can give you the information you need for your area. Here are some helpful sites on keeping bees:
Backyard Beekeeping; Backyard Hive; A Wonderful Bee Blog; and in Indiana, Bee Friendly Beekeeping, which exists to increase the honeybee population, by teaching people about honeybees and how to have their own hives (and honey)!
I took this pic today (October 31). These are amazing creatures are still gathering all the nectar they can before the weather is too cold. I love the honeybee, and I thank the Lord for creating such an incredible and interesting insect.
Can you see this little bee’s golden leg warmers?? That is where she carries the pollen she has collected!
Thanks for reading!