Whether you flinch or not every time you hear buzzing in your ear, bees and humans are more connected than you might think. In fact, scientists believe that humans could not survive for long without these busy little pollinators. Albert Einstein himself once said that humanity would be wiped out in as little as 4 years if the honey bee population were ever to die out. Why is that?
Emergency Prepping with Honey Bees
Truth be told, honey bees are responsible for pollinating 75% of the world’s flowering plants and 35% of the world’s food crops. And without crops, the entire food chain that we as humans depend on would completely deteriorate.
Yep, that means your favorite cut of steak would be much harder to get ahold of as well since livestock need plant foods too. If you’re a prepper, there are several reasons why having honey bees on your property would benefit you greatly. These are a handful of smart ways that you could use honey bees before and after an emergency situation has taken place. Honey bees and emergency preparedness go hand in hand, you just don’t know WHY…yet!
Pollinate Your Garden
As I already mentioned above, bees are excellent pollinators that can greatly improve the quality and success of your garden. With no bees, your vegetable crop quantity and quality could be greatly reduced. So, having a few honey bees on your property would mean an increase in yield and better quality produce for you and your family. You’ll be needing all the success that you can get, so using honey bees for pollinating your garden certainly makes sense. 6 Eye-opening Reasons To Stock Up On Garden Seeds NOW!
Some of your food garden plants may not have flower blooms to attract the bees. That’s why it’s a smart idea to plant beautiful flowering plants near your garden, you and the bees will love it!
Produce Wax & Make Delicious and Healthy Honey
Believe it or not, honey bee colonies can give you a great source of food if a severe disaster hits your location. That’s right! You can use the raw honey and wax they produce to make food for yourself. Not only is this a great source of nutrition, but it can also give you a busy activity to keep your mind off of the panic-inducing situation.
Many people don’t realize it, but most honey you purchase in your grocery store has been pasteurized. This is done in an effort to make the honey look more appetizing based on color and texture, kill the yeast that often forms, eliminate crystals, and make it more shelf-stable for storage. For the most healthy honey consider buying and using it in raw form from a reliable source. Of course, if you have your own hives, you know exactly what’s in the honey you harvest.
As a natural sweetener in the ingredients, honey has a number of healthy attributes. With 64 calories per tablespoon and an abundance of carbohydrates, it may be considered a high-calorie food. But remember, it can sweeten many of your homemade food items without using a bunch. Raw honey has measurable amounts of vitamins and minerals in the form of calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, and potassium.
Other Health Benefits of Raw Honey:
Raw honey has various plant chemicals that will act as antioxidants like many fruits and veggies. These antioxidants will help protect the cells in your body from possible damage caused by free radicals.
There could also be some health benefits for the brain due to the polyphenols found in honey. Studies have shown that these chemicals can fight off inflammation in regions of the brain like the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory functions.
Natural Home Remedies
Emergency preppers can also benefit from honey bees because the honey that they produce can be used as a natural antibiotic and antimycotic. With these kinds of healing properties, honey can help soothe sunburns, bug bites, and small wounds. Honey may even help with alleviating sore throat and coughs as an old-time remedy. Beeswax is also used for making chapstick to protect your lips from the sun. In emergency situations, you’ll already have natural home remedies thanks to the honey bee swarms that you said yes to!
Check with your doctor before using honey directly, but it has been shown to have some antimicrobial attributes that could come in handy as a home remedy. It also has been shown in studies to have antifungal and antibacterial properties, making it all the more beneficial to have available.
If you’re having some tummy issues, raw honey has been used by many people as a prebiotic to help nourish the good bacteria in our intestinal tract. Raw honey MAY have some benefits in reducing the risk of bacteria that causes stomach ulcers in the average person.
Wax for Making Candles
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s something that many preppers often overlook. If you’re ever dealing with a long-term emergency situation, there may come a point where your flashlights and lanterns run out of batteries. But with beeswax, you can make candles to continue to provide you with lighting at night. And once the emergency has passed, you may have even found yourself a new hobby you enjoy.
Barter with Honey
If one day you were to wake up and the world had turned upside down with civil unrest, you have an asset. People would definitely be looking for a sweet pick-me-up to help them through difficult situations and provide needed nourishment. Honey would be a great luxury for you to have that you would be able to trade with. Trust me, people would be willing to barter with you for just about anything simply for a single sweet taste of honey on their lips again. Honey production is important as a prepper because you can use this to barter with other people. Honey Is One Of The Most Healthy Natural Foods Around
Stop Using Harmful Pesticides
Even if you’re not on board with adding bees to your property like I’m suggesting, you can do one simple thing of benefit. The very least that you can do is make sure that you aren’t using any harmful pesticides in your yard simply to get the lawn and other plants that you’re hoping for.
Doing so can cause absolute chaos to your neighborhood’s ecosystem and is one of the main reasons why the world’s bee population is rapidly disappearing in the first place. Feel free to contact a certified pest control operator or a local nursery to get their ideas about safe pest control. The best management practices can change over time, so make sure you’re up to date with any additional information on pesticides and bees.
Are there any downsides to having bees on your property?
What you’re allowed to do on your property is very different from state to state, city to city, and within various communities. There may be some restrictions to raising bees within city limits or within your very own HOA. Be sure to check before you invest in the equipment and materials necessary to have your own bees. Of course, there are also some issues if this is just a hobby or if you plan to make it a small business. Do your homework and make sure you understand what’s required to pass muster.
The other obvious issue is the possible challenges of having a significant number of bees present where humans are living. If you or a family member have a tendency to allergies, you may find it dangerous to subject anyone close by to a possible allergic reaction. Bee attacks and related bee stings can actually prove to be fatal for some individuals! You can’t fool around if someone has a reaction even if you’re the one that does the majority of the work with the bees and hives.
Some symptoms to look for if someone has been subjected to bee stings include, but may not be limited to, feeling dizzy or fainting, skin hives with itching and rashes, or pale skin. They may also have difficulty with breathing, the pulse is very weak and/or rapid, swelling of the throat and tongue, experiencing diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, and loss of consciousness.
Be prepared to get medical attention from emergency personnel as soon as possible. A worst-case scenario may prove to be the total bee removal of your hives.
Other possible issues with bees and their honey:
Some raw honey can carry harmful bacteria (Clostridium botulinum) which is very dangerous for babies. The CDC suggests we steer clear of serving raw honey to kids less than a year old.
Also, honey bees and their hives have been known to become invested with Varro mites, a very small red-brown colored parasite that is visible on the bees’ bodies. They can attack adult bees, but are more common and reproduce their young on the larvae and pupae in the brood of bees. These mites can cause the bees to develop malformation and overall weakening of the bees. This would adversely affect their ability to gather nectar and make honey, your whole goal for having the bees. The mites can also carry viruses that can kill the bees.
The shelf-life of honey is long if properly stored. Keep your honey in air-tight containers where it’s cool, dark, and away from direct sunlight. The longer you keep the honey the more prone it is to go through some changes. You may notice a darker color, thicker texture, having a slightly different taste, and it usually begins to show signs of crystallization. None of these attributes is a health risk as long as the honey hasn’t become fermented or become contaminated from contact with open air.
You can make your honey like new by heating it up and stirring it to dissolve the crystals.
More Honey Tips
Despite their intimidating stingers, honey bees were never supposed to be something that you and I dread every time we go outside. They were put here on Earth to help with sustaining us and so the circle of life remained in perfect balance. The honey that they produce not only feeds us but can help preppers with natural remedies during an actual emergency situation. Can you think of any other ways the honey bee can assist a prepper to get ready for any type of emergency situation? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below! May God Bless this World, Linda
Copyright Images: Beekeeper on Apiary Depositphotos_428628508_S, Beekeeper With Protective Gloves Depositphotos_502855980_S