See the Salt Lake Magazine article featuring former UDAF Entomologist, Danielle Downey (our bee expert). The food article does a great job of combining information about bees and food. A great plug for the Department and Danielle!
Reasons To Keep Bees As a Hobby
There are many reasons as to why a person may decide to pickup the task of hobby beekeeping. There are likely as many reasons as there are beekeepers. Either way, beekeeping as a hobby is a scarcity in today's modern world, and generally only benefits are gained when one peruses such a task.
The Joy of Honey - Often the number one reason people pickup beekeeping as a hobby is because of the potential to produce honey. Honey was one of the earliest, and remains one of the sweetest, commodities available to man. Because of the recent desire for a do-it-yourself attitude, many people have decided to make a step towards producing such a sweet reward within their own backyard.
Pollination - A second most popular reason to keep bees as a hobby is pollination. Many beekeepers also keep gardens. The simple act of keeping bees often enhances fruit and vegetable production because of all the pollination that the bees achieve.
Entertainment - Watching bees can be fun. A colony of bees, when observed form the outside, or even from the inside if you're lucky enough to have an observation hive, holds the same kind of draw as watching an ant farm.
Education - Some times beekeepers start keeping bees as a project for a science fair, for the 4H club or other similar organization; this educational experience often evolves into beekeeping as a hobby. Many things can be learned from bees; in fact many things are still being learned. Those who enjoy the complex inter-workings of the world around them may find beekeeping to be an exceptionally educational experience.
Stress Relief - Some beekeepers keep their bees to keep their mind off other things. Some even say that simply sitting down and watching the comings and goings of a hive is an extremely relaxing experience. Some have even been known to simply spend the entire afternoon observing the meanderings going on outside a single hive.
Gifts - Beekeepers often have access to goods and supplies, thanks to their bees, that many others do not. Because of this, a beekeeper is able to assemble wonderful gifts to give away during the holidays or for birthdays. These gifts may include your own bottled honey and or beeswax items, home made candles, lip balm, cosmetics and the such.
Animal Husbandry - Many people keep pets, whereas bees cannot be domesticated, the companionship is still often appreciated. Many hobbyist build a bond between themselves and their literally thousands of bees. This can make beekeeping a joyful experience when done right.
Healthy Life Style - Some hobby beekeepers keep bees for their own health. Some keepers collect pollen to supplement their diet, propolis to make home medication and eat a diet with local honey to lower the effects of allergies. Though many of these processes have not been scientifically proven to be effective, beekeepers who practice them often swear by them. The healthy benefits of honey are numerous!
Related Hobbies - Though beekeeping may seem innocent enough on its own, it can often lead to other related hobbies such as:
* Baking and Cooking
* Candle Making
* Home cosmetics making
* Mentoring and Educating
* Retailing hive products
* Soap Making
* Wine and Mead making
* Wood Working
Dear Utah Beekeeper,
Here are some resources available to Utah beekeepers, including county inspectors and hobby beekeeping clubs. The Department of Agriculture and Food has also offered free workshops to beekeepers in the past, all registered beekeepers will be informed by mail of any upcoming events.
County bee inspectors:
Bee inspectors are available to assist Utah's beekeepers. Although not all counties employ an inspector, you are welcome to contact them if you have questions or concerns about beekeeping.
Please check with your local, county and/or city authorities for ordinances regarding beekeeping.
|Box Elder and Cache||Martin James||(435) 760-0805|
|Grand County||Jerry Shue||(435) 259-7541|
|Millard County||Gary Dutson||(435) 864-4844|
|Salt Lake County||Chris Rodesch||(801) 633-6589|
|Sanpete County||John Scott||(435) 283-9457|
|Tooele County||Vance Keele||(435) 882-0123|
|Utah County||Joel Wright||(801) 754-5507|
|Washington County||Casey Lofthouse||(435) 467-2787|
|Weber County||Brock Lenox||(801) 444-9220|
If you reside in a county without an inspector, section 4-11-5 of the Bee Inspection Act states that the board of county commissioners can appoint one upon petition of five or more persons who raise bees.
There are currently over 300 beekeepers in the Beehive State, get to know some! Local beekeeping clubs are an excellent source of knowledge and information.
- Utah Beekeepers website with hobby club links, swarm report/capture list
- Cache Valley Beekeepers (435) 258-0303
- Wasatch Beekeepers (435) 843-0625
- Utah County Beekeepers (801) 822-4114
- Jones Bee Company 2586 West 500 South, SLC
(801) 973-8281 or toll free (800) 382-4233
- Beekeepers currently registered in Utah
- Beekeeping License Application
- County weed supervisors
- Utah Mosquito Abatement Districts
- Plants to attract Utah pollinators
- How to build nest materials for Leafcutter bees and Blue Orchard bees
Diseases and Honey Bees
Pesticides and Honey Bees