On October 1st 2016 the U.S. added 7 different species of bee to the endangered species list. This of course compounds the concern that already exists about large scale bee die offs and what that could mean for the future of, not only the fruits, vegetables, and other plants that rely on pollinating insects, of which bees are the ones most thought of. Anyone living off grid likely knows the importance of pollinating insects to help with their gardens, for collecting wild berries, and when it comes to bees, producing and collecting honey. There is however, some good news for bees in general; the overall population is not seeing as much of a decline as you may think when you see the news reports, and part of that is thanks to homesteaders and others who have started to turn to beekeeping on their property to ensure that their crops aren’t impacted by any regional bee die offs.
If you are currently living off grid on your own homestead, beekeeping is certainly something you look into if you aren’t already doing it. Not only does beekeeping help to make sure that you (and those in your area) have an abundance of one of nature’s most important pollinating insects, but it can also give you an in demand revenue stream as well. Honey has always been a fairly profitable commodity, and with more and more people turning towards natural sweeteners that are minimally processed, the demand for quality, organic, and locally sourced honey is probably at an all time high. Bees can be just a single colony if you live on a small parcel of land, or even in an urban homestead, or you can set up multiple hives if you live on several acres.
As we’ve seen with other practices that are more common with homesteaders and others living off grid, it looks like those who keep bees could be a huge part of counteracting the negative environmental impact that we’d see if we continue to have declining bee populations.