Did you know that there is one insect that contributes more than $15 billion to U.S. annual crop production? That insect is the Honeybee. These small bugs pollinate crops each year, which we depend on for healthy foods like fruits, nuts, and vegetables. There are many factors in the bee population declining, such as pesticides and harsh winters.
One of the more serious factors began in 2006 when the population of bees declined by more than one third. The major decline was attributed to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). CCD is when the worker bees abandon the hive and leave the queen and nurse bees to take care of the brood. This leaves the hive open to parasites that can kill the hive and worker bees cannot survive without their queen. Why this is confusing is that it’s against their natural instinct to leave their queen.
When I heard about the decline in bee population, I began to do some research and found interesting information. In addition to their role in pollination, the honey has many health benefits as well. Raw honey is antibacterial, antifungal; it heals wounds, never spoils, helps digestive issues, and many other medicinal properties. I decided I wanted my own hives to increase the population of honeybees. I had no experience but a friend who does graciously is mentoring my fiancé and me through the beekeeping process. God bless my fiancé who gets roped into my crazy adventures.
The initial costs were higher than expected, but the final reward of knowledge, family time, and enjoying God’s nature have outweighed that factor. The sweetest reward, a small batch of raw honey we harvested this first year for ourselves! While I may not have the answer to CCD, I can try to do my part helping the population by beekeeping. I encourage everyone to get outdoors and learn something new. You never know what fun and new adventures may be waiting for you!