SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Without bees, we'd all be eating differently. The insects alone are responsible for pollinating $15 billion worth of crops in the United States each year, or 75 percent of our food.
While most are out in the wild, there are sanctuaries across the world housing hives for thousands of busy bees and now, people in western Massachusetts can learn how to build their own.
Have you ever wanted to be a beekeeper? If so, all the beenefits could be yours.
"This is nature's candy. We've got cut comb honey. [What does that go good on?] Oh my gosh...apple slices, cracker with some goat cheese, you can take a spoonful drop it right in your team," said Jessica Martin with the Hampden County Beekeepers Association.
Martin refers to herself as the queen bee of this introductory school, run by the Hampden County Beekeepers Association. She told Western Mass News that it's perfect for anyone looking to build hives like these in their backyard, each of which holds 30,000 to 40,000 bees and produces honey and wax on a massive scale.
"With enough knowledge to start, you can be Joe Schmoe, all you have to have is an interest in bees," Martin added.
We do mean all the basic knowledge.
“[And this electrical fence is not for you and me...ahhhh. Just kidding] Bears not only love the honey, but they love the bees, the larva, everything in there," Martin explained.
While the hobby of beekeeping looks fun, Martin explained the small, but growing, industry of backyard beekeeping is accomplishing something greater.
"I like to think that we are helping as backyard beekeepers to increase the numbers, so yeah, bees have been on the decline and anything we can do to get those numbers up, which if you're raising in your backyard giving them everything they need to thrive, hopefully that helps," Martin noted.
There are three classes needed to learn all the basics. Registration is currently open. The first class is Saturday at Longmeadow High School.
To learn more, you can CLICK HERE.