There are several animal species that are considered ecological cornerstones that add to the biodiversity of life. Take elephants as an example. Elephants uproot trees and allow new ecosystems to develop, effectively keeping the whole world from being forested (before humans of course). Plankton, which supplies food for a wide range of sea creatures is another cornerstone species. Sometimes overlooked is the bee which helps to pollinate crops and flowers and adds to the biodiversity of the world in many notable ways.
When word got out that colony collapse disorder was wiping out many bee colonies many people began pursuing beekeeping as a hobby and finding it is a lot of fun and that you can sell honey to make a large profit. Luckily beekeeping is easy to get started with and is immediately compelling and rewarding.
To start with you will need a bee hive. Typically this is a box with several slots that are removable. These slots, or trays, are covered with wax and are used by the queen bee to lay her larvae on to grow the hive. A second and third layer is put on top and the bees can transfer from one section to another without having to leave the hive. The top shelve will have a screen that is known as a queen excluder which prevents the queen from laying her larvae on the wax trays. Instead, worker bees will store honey there which can then be harvested by the beekeeper. Since honey is the bees’ winter food, it will have to replaced by a sugar syrup that the bees will instead consume during winter months.
Most people who get started with beekeeping gravitate towards honey bees which are more docile then others types and which are easy and productive to keep. There are over forty species of honey bees and many other varieties not considered honey bees that also pollinate. Generally, most new beekeepers will purchase 3 pounds of bees with one queen. The queen is often colored a different color through a dye which makes identification easier (though the queen is larger than the other worker bees). A syrup is used to feed the bees while they are forming their colony and worker bees will begin to visit nearby.
Beekeeping has become an hobby that not only people enjoy, but also one that is good for the environment and for biodiversity at large. If more people started bee hives as a hobby the county’s agricultural production would improve, many notable species of plants would bloom more efficiently, and the beekeeper could make a tidy profit from the practice. There are many reasons to start beekeeping and regardless of your motivation is can be a lot of fun as well.