We are fascinated with bees. Honey bees are essential for the pollination of many fruit, nut, vegetable, and seed crops. The value is placed at $15 billion annually in the U.S. economy, and perhaps $100B in the global economy. Honey bee populations are make a comeback from colony collapse disorder (CCD). You can learn more about the fascinating “bee economy” on a Yahoo Finance video, here.

The piece also talks about the growing presence of honey bees in urban environments, and the growing urban and home beekeeping movement. (Even Michelle Obama’s White House garden has a beehive).

Home beekeeping complements home gardening and food preservation activities. Beekeepers are using honey in a variety of hand-crafted and artisanal products, including mead.

If you’re interested in starting your own hive, check local regulations, and also a course being offered by Pennsylvania State University (PSU). PSU’s online course covers bee biology, bee behavior, hive management, swarming, equipment, and more. You’ll complete the course knowing how to create a beekeeping operation at your home. There is a small cost for the course, and you can learn more – including seeing sample pages – by clicking here.

For a wealth of additional information, check out UC Davis’ Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Modavi Institute.