The Health Benefits of Beekeeping

Beekeeping has become more popular as a hobby. Many describe it as a rewarding and even peaceful experience. And of course, there’s honey! But did you know beekeeping has potential health benefits? 

Dr. Brad Scoggins, a pediatrician at San Juan Health Partners Pediatrics, is an avid beekeeper in his free time. His interest in beekeeping started several years ago, not long after he moved to Farmington. He got his bees from a fellow physician and began learning the ins and outs of caring for a hive. Today, he has 40 hives, several of which are located in local nurseries. Dr. Scoggins says there are many reasons to keep bees. They help the environment through pollination. They help pollinate your own backyard garden. They produce honey, and the hobby is relaxing.

“Some people just enjoy the therapeutic experience that is just sitting in a lawn chair watching your bees come and go from the hive,” Dr. Scoggins said.

Not only can it be therapeutic, but there are also medical benefits when it comes to bees and honey. Because of the therapeutic aspect of beekeeping, it can reduce stress and help with depression. Pollen harvested from local honeybee hives can provide allergy benefits. Pollen should be carefully stored in a refrigerator or preferably a freezer to ensure the proteins don’t break down over time. Eating local honey can also help with allergies.

“When you eat honey, you're getting some of that airborne pollen that will provide you that allergy boosting benefit,” Dr. Scoggins said. “Now studies have gone back and forth on how effective that is, but I have lots of people around here that swear by it.”

Dr. Scoggins keeps plenty of honey for his own family’s use and even bottles and sells some to support the hives.

“I'm trying to position myself to be the go-to teacher and coach, as well as the supplier of beekeeping equipment and honeybees, in any given season,” Dr. Scoggins said.

To learn more about beekeeping, check out the Four Corners Beekeepers Association online at

To learn more about the pediatricians at San Juan Health Partners Pediatrics, visit   

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