Club promotes beekeeping in Bell

Published 11:07 am Monday, July 9, 2018

Living the rural life affords many people the opportunity to adopt hobbies people who live in more metropolitan areas cannot — simply due to geographical location.

Bell and Claiborne counties are home to many agriculturally enthused locals. People farm produce such as apples, corn, tomatoes, peaches, green beans, and a whole host of other fruits and veggies. They also make jams and preserves as well as keep farm livestock and horses.

There is also the art of beekeeping, which many may not know is practiced locally. There are enough local beekeepers in the area there is even a club, the Backyard Beekeepers. They meet each month from February through November at the Bell County Bus Garage on U.S. 25E at 6 p.m.

They welcome everyone – novices and experts alike.

The Old Farmers Almanac breaks down everything a person would need to consider if they want to start an apiary in their backyard.

The biggest draw to raising a horde of these stinging insects on your property is of course, the honey. Honey is a natural ingredient used in many different recipes, or just enjoyed as it is on some toast or in a cup of tea. While a bee only produces 1/12 a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime (which is only six weeks), with thousands of bees to a colony, the honey can add up very fast.

The wax used make the beehives is also a resource. It is used to make things such as candles and various cosmetics.

Bees are also good for naturally maintaining your foliage and garden. Bees are also a hands-off enterprise. After the initial cost and labor of purchasing the bees and setting up their home on your property, they essentially take care of themselves and you can sit back and collect the honey and combs to sell as you please.

Not everything about raising bees is easy, however. They can and do sting. If you’ve never been stung by a honeybee before, you should check with your physician to see if you are allergic. The silver lining is, if some people happen to be mildly allergic to bee stings, they can develop an immunity over time after being stung.

The cost of beekeeping is not drastic, but it does add up over time as you will need all of the proper equipment to successfully farm bees. Success is also not easily attained in the first year of farming. Patients with your bees is needed to see the results you want.

There are many other facets to beekeeping and if you are interested in becoming a a beekeeper, you can join the Backyard Beekeepers. The cost is $10 yearly dues. For more information on the club, call the Bell County Cooperative Extension at 606-337-2676.