Honey bee on flower
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Fresh honeycomb straight from the beehive!
Honey bees on honeycomb
Delicious Honey!

Beekeeping is becoming an increasingly popular hobby all around the world - and it is easy to see why.

There are so many great reasons to keep honey bees. Producing your own delicious honey, maybe selling some of it for some extra cash, pollinating the plants and flowers in your own garden, and giving mother nature a helping hand, and just the sheer excitement of watching your own bees as they busy about their hive. Few hobbies are as rewarding as beekeeping.

Ask any beekeeper and they'll tell you - the biggest problem with beekeeping is dragging yourself away! It really can become a bit of an obsession.

Unless you are allergic to bee stings, the simple answer is yes. If you can garden, you can keep honey bees. In fact, even if you can't garden, you can keep bees.
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Rooftop beekeeping in Brookyln, New York
Rooftop beekeeping in Brooklyn, New York
Image courtesy Jeffrey Allen
Many city dwellers are now keeping bees on rooftops or even on balconies - there are more than enough sources of nectar in parks, tree lined streets, community gardens, or even outside florist shops to keep city bees happy.
Rural areas on the other hand now often have large tracts of land with just a single crop which only flowers once per year, which is not as  good for the honey bee.

It doesn't cost much to start beekeeping - apart from the basic beekeeping equipment, all you need to keep bees is a little bit of knowledge, and a lot of enthusiasm.

Beekeeping takes very little time - a few hours per week is all you need to look after your bees. And you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing something really worthwhile to help save the honey bee at a time when this wonderful insect is in crisis.

The Disappearing Bees

Healthy worker bees - after CCD strikes, few or no worker bees remain
Beekeeping has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately, because of the threat to bees from 'Colony Collapse Disorder' (or CCD). This is where the worker bees inexplicably leave the hive and simply disappear, never to be seen again.

This first occurred in 2006 in the Eastern United States. Since then, about one third of the honey bee population in the USA has been lost, and CCD is now a worldwide problem. In some colonies losses have been as high as 90%. Although research is ongoing, no one yet knows exactly what the cause is.
The issue is causing real concern for the future of the honey bee, and all the crops that rely on it for pollination - one third of all the food we eat is pollinated by honey bees.

One positive from this is the raised awareness of the important role bees play  in the natural world, and in securing our food supply - maybe you became interested in beekeeping because you're worried about what's happening to our honey bees.

The great news is that this raised awareness has led to more and more people taking up beekeeping. By having even just one hive in your backyard, you can make a real difference - to both your own local environment and to the plight of the honey bee worldwide.

Bees really are fascinating creatures, so whatever brought you here, we're really glad you came. But don't stop now - your beekeeping adventure is only just beginning!

To learn more about beekeeping, just follow the links in the main menu - and why not sign up for our Free 7 Day Beekeeping Course?

Happy Beekeeping!
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Image courtesy Jeffrey Allen
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American Bee Journal
In fact, many people believe that city bees produce more and better honey than those kept in the countryside, simply because there is such a constant flow of varied nectar from all these sources.
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