As a beekeeper and instructor, it is my long term goal to get as many people into urban beekeeping as each city can support. I've developed a hard sell that I have taken to pitching at anyone who seems even remotely interested in hearing it. While having your own brand of honey is going to be a top reason for most, there are plenty of other selling points. Beekeeping has, for me, been one of the most fun and engaging things I've ever gotten tangled up in. To that, here are my top 10 reasons to become a beekeeper.
10. You can threaten people you don't like with a handful of bees in the face and they won't think you are joking.
9. You'll have even more friends to say hello to on the street...about 40,000+ more!
8. You get to be known as the "crazy beekeeper friend" by your peers, which gives you carte blanche to act like a nut.
7. You'll end up with superior upper body strength from lifting honey supers and carrying them up and down rickety ladders.
6. People will think you're a total badass when you say "Getting stung doesn't even hurt anymore" in response to the question "Do you get stung a lot?"
5. Beeswax! Smear this stuff all over your body and you might just live forever!
4. Propolis and bee pollen! Consume this stuff daily and you might just live forever! (both 4 and 5 are strictly anecdotal coming from me, though apitherapist actually use these substances to heal people and animals!)
3. Beekeepers have the lowest cancer rate of any occupation! Cancer sucks. Bees are awesome. Nuff said.
2. Drinking a beer in a lawn chair watching the bees come in at night is pretty much the most relaxing thing ever.
1. As a treatment-free beekeeper, you'll be helping honeybees adapt to the multitude of new disease and environmental pressures out there! You CAN save the bees, even as a hobbyist!
Obviously, the honey and pollination aspect of being a beekeeper go without saying. They are the most important, but if you were unaware of the other perks, now you know! YOU'RE WELCOME!
If you want to learn to be an urban beekeeper, sign up for my online class (if you can't make the date, I'll send a replay link for you to watch at your leisure) or check out the classes offered by 3rd Ward and the New York Botanical Gardens! I teach the beekeeping courses at both fine establishments.