Beekeeping is all the buzz! As a result, it’s becoming more common to see beehives on rooftops and tucked into the corners of backyards. Whether it’s to help pollinate the neighbourhood around you or to enjoy producing honey as a family, there are numerous reasons to host your very own bee colony!
The honey! Not only does it sweeten your tea, taste delicious on toast, and add flavor to pretty much anything, it also has plenty of health benefits. Honey contains vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and amino acids. It’s well known for it antimicrobial/antifungal properties and honey produced right next to where you live can even help with seasonal allergies! Most store-bought brands have been pasteurized, which eliminates the honey’s positive qualities. An urban beehive can generate approximately 10 kg of honey per year, so there will be plenty to share with friends and neighbours.
Pollinate Your Community
Did you know that without bees, global fruit, vegetable, and nut crops would yield about half of their current amounts? Some food species (such as almonds) would not exist at all! With bee populations on the decline, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to do your part for the ecosystem by incorporating a hive into your landscape design. Starting your own bee colony can seem like a daunting task but you don’t have to do it alone! We are working with the incredibly knowledgeable team at Alvéole. They have supplied us with our first hive and are teaching is the ins and outs of maintaining it. Alvéole can install a hive on your rooftop, your balcony or in in your backyard. They will provide you with check-ups, to ensure your hive is running smoothly, and will handle the extraction of your honey at their honey house. Bees are most attracted to purple, yellow and blue flowers, so adding some colourful plantings to your yard will help your hive thrive! Lavender is a lovely choice, both for pollinators and property owners, alike.
Good For The Garden
Raising your own bee colony is one of the best things you can do for your garden! Honey bees will pollinate your plants and increase your yields. Some of our favorite plants need the help of these wonderful little pollinators! If you grow flowers, cucumbers, berries or fruit trees, bees will dramatically increase your harvest.
None Of Your Beeswax
Beeswax is the best! It has dozens of uses around the home and you can even incorporate it into your beauty routine. Beeswax contains vitamin A, which is one of the best vitamins for your skin. It’s perfect for homemade lip balms, lotions, soaps and hair-styling products! When applied to the skin, beeswax forms a protective barrier that helps protect it from environmental assaults, while also holding in moisture and reducing dryness. You can also use the wax to make your own furniture polish, waterproof your shoes, wax your sewing thread, coat your kitchen pans so they don’t stick to food, and seal yard tools so they don’t rust. You can even use beeswax to make your own candles! While many commercial candles emit toxic chemicals, beeswax burns cleaner for longer and produces a lovely smell.
Fun fact: honey bees must consume 8.5 pounds of honey to make one pound of beeswax, which they use to make the honeycomb in their hive. Honeycomb holds the bees’ honey in small hexagon-shaped buckets and that shape is no accident! Since it takes so much food to create a small amount of wax, bees tapped into their mathematical genius to come up with the most efficient way to use it. The hexagon shape allows them to use the least amount of wax to store the most amount of honey. Pretty smart little insects, if you ask us!
Photos courtesy of Alvéole