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Starting a Hive? ‘Bee-lieve’ the Hype!


 

Raw organic honey is on the rise and the first step to entering the market is joining the buzz and starting your own hive! Not only will you help the environment as a beginner beekeeper — bees pollinate roughly $15 million worth of crops a year –, you might be able to make a few bucks with all the honey you’ll accumulate; the market price for organic honey has nearly doubled since 2006, putting a pretty penny in your pocket. The benefits of managing a beehive are undeniable, but there are a few things you should know before donning your beekeeping gloves.

Start Small

A single honey bee will only produce about a twelfth of a teaspoon in its lifetime, so the larger the hive, the more raw organic honey you’ll accumulate. But don’t think you have to go big or go home! It’s important to start small and make sure you have the right beekeeping equipment. This will include a bait hive in order to catch a swarm, a beekeeping hive and stand/foundation, a bee hive smoker, and a beekeeping suit, complete with gloves and veil to keep you safe. Once you have the beekeeping basics, you’re ready to try to attract a swarm. But if you don’t have too many bees flying by on the regular, you might be able to buy bees to get your hive started.

Location, Location, Location

Living in the Himalayas may have seemed like a great idea at the time, but now that you want to become a beekeeper, you might have to retreat to a lower altitude. Locations like North Dakota are great for beekeeping — in fact, this state is a leader in raw organic honey production, producing over 30 million pounds in 2013 alone. This doesn’t mean that you have to relocate, however. As long as you’re living in a location that’s close to water and has a warm season, you can create a hive virtually anywhere! From community gardens in the city to rolling hills in the countryside, bees can travel for miles to pollinate. However, it’s important to keep your hive well-ventilated and easily accessible for bees, so keeping it indoors or by a sewer great may not be the best option.

Managing Honey

One of the most rewarding benefits of beekeeping is the raw organic honey your bees will produce. When the average American eats over a pound of honey a year, this reward might also lead to some serious pocket change. Many beekeepers simply jar the honey and sell it, but there are a slew of other options to consider; children love to sip on honeystix, while even the surliest adult can’t resist a cute honey bear. Taking your crop to the local public market or gaining a following for your honey online is an easy way to sell your stock without starting a full-fledged business. If you’re not interested in consuming the raw organic honey, you can always pair up with businesses that turn it into soap, beeswax pellets, or even makeup. Though these goals can be lofty for the beekeeping hobbyist, the possibilities are endless when it comes to managing your own hive!

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