Why Beekeeping is the Perfect Addition to Off Grid Living

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At least 180,000 families in the United States live off the grid with that number continuing to increase every year. Offering a simpler, cheaper, and fulfilling lifestyle, off grid living involves being self-sufficient without relying on public utilities like water, sewer, heat, electricity, natural gas, and other services. Bees, able to provide a host of useful products, are the perfect addition to off grid living and can enhance your sustainable lifestyle.

Off-grid living: key considerations

Before you can start keeping bees off grid, you’ll have a number of essential priorities to take care of first. In particular, the ability to source safe water is a primary concern for off grid living. Wells are one of the most common ways this is done. Rainwater collection and storage is another option, although only suitable in areas with moderate to high rainfall. You’ll also need to consider alternative energy sources outside of the grid. Hydro, wind, solar, and geothermal, for example, are popular sources for off-grid living.

Food production 

Growing your own food is a major responsibility when living off-grid. Fortunately, beekeeping can help ensure your fruit and vegetable crops are pollinated and your harvests bountiful. In fact, many crops (including, apples, blackberries, garlic, sweet potatoes, cabbage, and cauliflower) rely on, or at least benefit from, bee pollination. Despite the important role bees play in food production, their numbers are dwindling due to issues like colony collapse disorder, pesticides, and GMOs. By keeping bees and using organic farming methods on your homestead (which is cheaper and healthier anyway), you can nurture a symbiotic relationship helping you both continue to survive and thrive. A healthy hive will also produce around 50 pounds of honey every year. In addition to being a delicious sweetener, honey strengthens immunity, fights allergies, and works as a topical antibiotic. Honey can also be stored indefinitely and used as a source of income or barter item if necessary.

Useful items

In addition to honey, bees also produce wax, which has a host of practical uses for off-grid living and crisis situations. For example, you can use beeswax to make homemade soaps, natural lip balms, and drip-free candles that burn brighter for longer. Beeswax can also be used to wax wood furniture and waterproof leather. Moreover, you can also use a pollen trap in your hive to harvest pollen. Packed with vitamins and minerals, bee pollen is one of nature’s most complete foods. It can aid digestion, lower blood pressure, prevent acne, and boost energy levels. You can also collect propolis from the hive — aka “bee glue”. Propolis has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, and antiviral properties. Sucking on a small piece of propolis can treat a cough or sore throat, for example.

Bees are the perfect companion for anyone living off the grid. Not only can they aid in your own food production, but they can also provide a host of useful items like wax, honey, pollen, and propolis that can benefit your sustainable lifestyle.

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