What can you do when there are not enough wild honey bees to pollinate your crops? Well, you take matters into your own hands and become a beekeeper! That is exactly what an Arlington Height’s man did in Illinois to help out his garden. Instead of whining about it, he just set up an apiary in his back yard.
Do It Yourself
Ron, who refused to give his last name, is doing something that would be of use to survivalists out there. He stated, “I have a lot of vegetables, my cucumbers have had flowers for a month and I haven’t seen any honeybees going in there. We need bees to pollinate everything. Part of the reason I did it is for my own well-being and garden, but it will benefit the whole neighborhood.” While it will benefit the neighborhood, the reason “Ron” did not want to give his last name is because he did not want people to know exactly who he was out of fear of his neighbors freaking out over the idea of having an apiary in the neighborhood.
For the record, Ron is not doing anything wrong, as beekeeping is permitted in Arlington Heights as long as the beekeeper is registered. And, by the way, Ron is far from alone, as there are more than 6,500 registered beekeepers in the state of Illinois who are managing about 34,000 bee colonies. Amazingly, more than 70 percent of them are considered hobbyists.
Illinois Department of Agriculture official Brian Rennecker stated, “This year has been the largest increase in new beekeepers in the last 20 years. People need a hobby while they’re stuck at their house during COVID.” He added, “Bees are such a little animal with such a big impact to us. They pollinate over 75 percent of what we have for produce in the grocery store. They’re such a key factor in the whole cycle of how things work.”
Becoming a beekeeper can be expensive to get started, but it is one of the few hobbies that will eventually pay you back. Expect to spend somewhere between $500 and $1,000 to get started. It will take some time to recover your $1,000 in honey, but you will eventually get it back. And, you never know, you may find that you like it so much that it becomes a career! Rennecker stated, “I think it’s important [to be a hobbyist beekeeper], but only if they have time to commit. You can’t buy it and put it out and walk away from it. I like to see people looking in their hive every two weeks and it’s not a cheap hobby.”