Bees pollinate more than $15 billion worth of crops every year in the United States. And while you've probably heard that the bees are disappearing, humans are stepping up to protect our pollinating pals. In fact, the number of colonies managed by human beekeepers was at the highest it has been in 20 years, the USDA reported as of 2014. And if you're interested in getting started with beekeeping so that you can harvest that delicious raw honey (and help the environment!), then you're in luck -- fall is the perfect time to get into beekeeping.

Here's why you should finally explore beekeeping this autumn:

Preparation Time

You won't be able to jump right into your beekeeping endeavors during the chillier fall season, but that's okay. Instead of being hasty, take some significant time to research and learn everything you possibly can about how to successfully raise bees. You can read up on the best beekeeping equipment, scope out the best area on your property, read up on local beekeeping ordinances, and physically and mentally prepare to raise bees in just a few short months. Don't forget to seek out any certifications you may need before you get started.

Buying Bees

Though you won't necessarily be able to start beekeeping until spring, depending on your location, it often makes sense to look into local bee distributors and start gathering estimates. Many honey bee suppliers offer discounted rates during this time of year since it's approaching the offseason. Plus, in 2014, there were an estimated 2.7 million honeybee colonies in the United States, a number that is tracked by the USDA. But experts say the general honey bee population is continuing to shrink, so the sooner you can purchase your bees, the better. The sooner you start, the sooner you can harvest that delicious organic honey.

Taking Classes

As mentioned, there's a ton of info to know before getting started with beekeeping. Getting the ball rolling in the fall means that you have plenty of time to take an extended course about beekeeping basics. Never underestimate the knowledge that someone with years of experience can provide. Many times, taking one simple class can help you harvest more honey and have more success with beekeeping.

Bees are pollinators, and are responsible for cross-pollination, which helps at least 30% of crops and 90% of wild plants thrive. Informing yourself about the best beekeeping practices can help you become the best apiarist you can and harvest that sweet and delicious raw honey. For more information about beekeeping tools, contact GloryBee.