Hobbyist beekeeping does not fit one specific definition, though hobbyists tend to have many things in common. Essentially, those who keep bees as a hobby have a different day job, and simply find beekeeping or its related practices enjoyable. Rarely do hobbyists keep as substantial number of colonies, often just enough to keep at home in the backyard or within a few minutes drive. Similarly to those who sideline in beekeeping, a hobbyist may sell products as result to beekeeping, but they rarely earn much more than the price to maintain their bees.
Reasons To Keep Bees As a Hobby
There are many reasons as to why a person may decide to pickup the task of hobby beekeeping. There are likely as many reasons as there are beekeepers. Either way, beekeeping as a hobby is a scarcity in today’s modern world, and generally only benefits are gained when one peruses such a task.
The Joy of Honey
Often the number one reason people pickup beekeeping as a hobby is because of the potential to produce honey. Honey was one of the earliest, and remains one of the sweetest, commodities available to man. Because of the recent desire for a do-it-yourself attitude, many people have decided to make a step towards producing such a sweet reward within their own backyard.
A second most popular reason to keep bees as a hobby is pollination. Many beekeepers also keep gardens. The simple act of keeping bees often enhances fruit and vegetable production because of all the pollination that the bees achieve.
Watching bees can be fun. A colony of bees, when observed form the outside, or even from the inside if you're lucky enough to have an observation hive, holds the same kind of draw as watching an ant farm.
Some times beekeepers start keeping bees as a project for a science fair, for the 4H club or other similar organization; this educational experience often evolves into beekeeping as a hobby. Many things can be learned from bees; in fact many things are still being learned. Those who enjoy the complex inter-workings of the world around them may find beekeeping to be an exceptionally educational experience.
Some beekeepers keep their bees to take their mind off other things. Some even say that simply sitting down and watching the comings and goings of a hive is an extremely relaxing experience. Some have even been known to simply spend the entire afternoon observing the activities going on outside a single hive.
Beekeepers often have access to goods and supplies, thanks to their bees, that many others do not. Because of this, a beekeeper is able to assemble wonderful gifts to give away during the holidays or for birthdays. These gifts may include various forms of honey, home made candles, cosmetics and such.
Many people keep pets, whereas bees cannot be domesticated, the companionship is still often appreciated. Many hobbyist build a bond between themselves and their literally thousands of bees. This can make beekeeping a joyful experience when done right.
Healthy Life Style
Some hobby beekeepers keep bees for their own health. Some keepers collect pollen to supplement their diet, propolis to make home medication and eat a diet with local honey to lower the effects of allergies. Though many of these processes have not been scientifically proven to be effective, beekeepers who practice them often swear by them.
Though beekeeping may seem innocent enough on its own, it can often lead to other related hobbies such as the following.
- Baking and Cooking
- Candle Making
- Home cosmetics making
- Mentoring and Educating
- Retailing hive products
- Soap Making
- Wine and Mead making
- Wood Working