Beekeeping or apiculture may not be the most sophisticated job in the world, but it’s a hero’s job. And to be successful at it, you need to be really keen and patient. Anyone can “bee” a hero in their own backyards and get a sweet reward.
We all know bees are not the friendliest of insects; they buzz, they sting and they only answer to one queen. But more than that, bees play a crucial role in the environment. They pollinate most plants and crops we eat from and they produce honey. In fact, one third of the global food supply rely on bees pollinating our food sources.
However, for a lot of reasons such as industrial pesticide use and climate change, bee populations have started to decline. And beekeepers do a lot to save them. You can too, if you are willing to keep some buzzing bees in your backyard. Learn how at our What’s the Buzz: Backyard Beekeeping workshop.
For John Faherty, all it took was one summer job experience as an apiarist to start his own beekeeping journey. With a goal to save bees, produce pure honey and share knowledge with people, John carried on with the mission of setting up a beehive in every postcode in Perth. He started his beekeeping and honey business, Postcode Honey and with partner Nicole Stoffers, they have been able to create hives in about 50 postcodes in and around the city.
Beekeeping goes beyond just collecting honey. There are a lot of reasons why one becomes a beekeeper. Here are just some good traits you can develop as a beekeeper, according to John.
Learning to be patient
Working with bees and having a relationship with them are two different things. If anything, the latter is harder to do. As a beekeeper, you’ll learn how to keep up with bees and respect their wonderful work. In fact, the less you disturb them, the more they can work. All you have to do is wait and focus on keeping your garden beautiful and healthy.
Turning into keen observers of nature
Beekeepers learn the phrase “The world does not spin around you,” in a very interesting way. Once you start working with bees, your awareness of the environment surrounding you will immediately increase. You’ll grow an interest in tracking weather for honey production. You’ll want to educate yourself on what crops grow near you or what flowers bloom during a particular season so you’ll know where your bees collect nectar from.
Having the best smelling and most productive gardens
When you become a beekeeper, your garden turns into a hub of activity. You will not just be watering plants and singing in the garden anymore, waiting for flowers to bloom, but hearing buzzing sounds and watching busy bees fly in and out of their hives as they work all day long. And since bees collect nectar from flowers and pollinate plants, you’ll always be waking up to the smell of the best blooming garden in town.
Being generous and always willing to share information
Whether you live in a huge or small city, keeping bees and selling honey to your neighbors will have you building a connection to your community. You will be surprised by how many people actually love pure and local honey. And with any luck, they might even start asking you about beekeeping, which you will be thrilled to answer of course!
Bee-coming a hero
Sharing your beekeeping story with people is already inspiring, but to actually keep bees and turn your life into a more sustainable, eco-friendly one fulfills many things—like becoming a real hero. As you grow to love bees, you come to appreciate what they do. Bees may be in trouble now but you can save them, even in your small way.