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Is Bee Keeping for You?

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It could be if you’re adventuresome, curious, and into things natural.  As JT from the Coastal Bend Bee Keeping Association says, “beekeeping is just part of what nature is. People keep bees for relaxation and excitement, for the honey and for pollinating their gardens.”

A good hive with two supers can produce 40-100 pounds of honey. If the honey is properly extracted and stored, it has a long shelf life. JT claims that among all the other things people have discovered in Egyptian tombs, someone found a container of honey.  And it was still delicious.

Getting started takes a little internet education and advice from other beekeepers. But once the hive is set up and the bees have made themselves at home, there’s not a lot of work to do. In a healthy hive, the bees take care of themselves, with a little help to keep mites and beetles under control.

Hives run $200 to $400 dollars, unless you’re handy and make them yourself. Yearly maintenance costs about $50.00 for two hives. Then there are the bees, a bee suit, a smoker and the other equipment that are part of a beekeeper’s tools.

Some beekeepers will set up a hive on your property and maintain it for you. You have the benefits of pollination and a portion of the honey without the expense and responsibility of maintaining the hive. JT says it’s a good way to start. Just check with your city’s code for regulations that pertain to number of hives and placement.

“Yes,” he says, “you will get stung at some time.”


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