Yes, beekeeping for honey is a nice business for seniors, as long as they can or have someone to help them lift those honey-filled boxes. Honey-filled boxes (using traditional frame hives) can weigh 50 pounds or more each. Aside from that, seniors find that beekeeping makes an excellent source of income, and working with bees can be a great stress reducer.
Have it in mind that beekeeping for honey requires effortless, calculated movements and concentration so as to not incite the bees. In addition, the ability to be deeply immersed in the task at hand allows the other stressors of the day to melt away. Also, keenly observing the bees going about their daily tasks and listening to the hum can be very relaxing, especially for seniors.
When compared to most other farm start-up costs, beekeeping is a cheaper alternative. You can easily purchase beekeeping beginner kit within the price range of $165 to $450. These kits will more or less include a hive, basic tools, smoker, gloves, and basic protective garments like a veiled hat, as well as an introduction to beekeeping book.
For seniors who relish gardening, beekeeping could be a hobby to enjoy. Note that beekeeping tend to go jointly with gardening due to one of bees’ primary functions: to pollinate plants. Beekeeping can be perfect for seniors because the mode of operation barely requires enormous amounts of strength or endurance. The most interesting part is that a senior can even choose to keep a small hive that wouldn’t demand such things.
Indeed beekeeping for honey can be a fun hobby for seniors especially with the perk of extra income. In a fruitful year, one hive can produce about 100 pounds of honey, which can more than pay for start-up costs. A good number of people who venture down this lake start with two hives so they can compare the progress of the two hives.
Coupled with the additional income that could be generated by making value-added items such as candles, soaps, lotions, and lip balm, or selling wax, pollen, and propolis, beekeeping for seniors can indeed contribute handsomely to the bottom line; not to even consider the increased profits from fruits and vegetables owing to improved pollination.
Things Seniors Have to Consider Before Starting Beekeeping for Honey
Finding a hobby or a good business to venture into as a senior can help pass the large amounts of free time after entering retirement. However, to start beekeeping for honey, here are factors you need to consider.
Although a good number of other farming activities require enormous amounts of physical strength for heavy lifting, or endurance for long, long hours of activity, but beekeeping is different and considerate. However, since a honey-filled box (using traditional frame hives) can weigh 50 pounds or more, this is a critical factor for seniors to consider before deciding to start beekeeping for honey.
When compared to other hobbies available to seniors, beekeeping requires minimal time commitment. Note that a good number of beekeepers only visit their hives weekly, mainly to check on the health of the queen (based on her egg-laying habits) and troubleshooting for mites and diseases. Have it in mind that the only time-consuming aspect of beekeeping for seniors is acquiring education about bees, to be able to recognize problems and anticipate maintenance activities.
Have it in mind that towns and cities have certain restrictions when it comes to beekeeping. In some towns, this may include setting the hives a specified distance from lot lines. Housing associations and covenants may even forbid hives.
Some state departments of agriculture also expect hobby beekeepers to register their hives, and they may also need periodic inspections by the state bee specialist to help them track pest and disease outbreaks and, maybe, limit their spread.
Beekeeping is not ideal for seniors who have severe allergic reaction to bee stings or those with family members who are severely allergic to bee stings. For seniors, owing to their age, critical reactions can result in anaphylactic shock and rapid death without immediate epinephrine treatment. It is always advisable to talk with your family physician if you have any concerns. Also, some people have an extreme fear of stinging insects, and beekeeping would not be delightful for those people.
Have it in mind that bees tend to fly a mile or more in search of nectar, however, most urban areas more or less have adequate nectar sources. More relevant is ensuring you keep human-bee interactions to a minimum. A good number of times, bees go about their business peacefully and will rarely sting unless incited.
Unlike wasps which can sting many times, a honeybee can only sting once, and the process kills it. For bees, stinging is a suicide mission. Note that things that provoke honeybees to sting include swatting at them, as well as vibration and exhaust from traffic and power equipment.
You will have to understand that there are numerous potential threats to backyard beehives. Varroa and tracheal mites, as well as nosema, chalkbrood, and foulbrood diseases, can easily affect backyard as well as commercial hives.
That is why constant education is imperative in beekeeping. It is necessary to know the signs and symptoms so you can catch problems early. A good number of beekeepers think that if they leave their bees alone, the insects will somehow deal with these problems.
However, mites and diseases tend to cause serious and sometimes deadly outcomes for hives. Therefore, it is necessary to take time to research treatment options ahead of time, especially for seniors hoping to breed bees using organic pest controls.
You will have to understand that so many people are afraid of honeybees and categorize them together with much more aggressive wasps and yellow jackets. Note that part of keeping bees is educating people on their relevance, habits, and instincts. For seniors with nearby neighbors, ensure to put into consideration their fears and ask if anyone has a true bee allergy.
Beekeeping may be the best small-farm business for seniors. Keeping bees is a lucrative hobby. Honeybees have fascinating habits and complex societies and breeding them can be a calming and peaceful experience for seniors. And in addition, there’s the honey.