As you all know, the rewards of beekeeping extend far beyond just honey. These little gals will create a more bountiful garden and orchard in addition to making tangible items from the hive for the beekeeper to enjoy. Bees produce these products that are harvested and put to good use, including beeswax, propolis, and royal jelly. Each year we get a few people that wonder if this hobby is really worth their time and money. All we can do is educate them on what you can get out of the hive and the upfront cost, but certainly no guarantees to let them make the decision. The items below are just a sampling of things that can be beneficial to us that comes from the hive. For specific recipes, see Beekeeping for Dummies Book or online.
With even just one hive you can help grow local gardens, fruit orchards, vegetable plantations, etc. The survival of plants depends on pollination, and the honey bee accounts for 80 percent of all pollination done by insects. Without the honey bee's services, more than a third of the fruits and vegetables that humans consume would be lost.
As you can see from above there are so many reasons bees are such an important part of our culture. The facts that keeping a hive in the backyard dramatically improves pollination and rewards you with a delicious honey harvest are by themselves good enough reasons to keep bees. With the dwindling population of bees, now is the time to invest your efforts in reestablishing lost colonies.