September 03, 2019
Unless you have a massive number of bees, you will never get rich with beekeeping as your hobby. However, that does not mean the money made off the hobby cannot be put to good use. In the case of Allen Kracower, every cent of his profits are donated to a fund at a local hospital to help cancer patients.
Double the Passion
Kracower stated that he has had plenty of hobbies over the years, but none of them caught his attention the way beekeeping has. What started as a hobby has now grown into one of his life’s passions. The other passion, giving, was brought on by the fact his wife had some health problems and now Kracower wants to help those that being overwhelmed by the costs associated with cancer patients that are often overlooked.
You see, Kracower started beekeeping when his wife was in a fight against breast cancer. When his wife, Caryn, was undergoing her treatments, she noticed that some of the other patients were financially struggling with outside factors not covered by health insurance. Things like babysitting and transportation costs can start to add up, so together, Allen and Caryn started a fund at the Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital to help those that needed assistance with these types of costs.
It Was a Very Tough Year
While Kracower noted how resilient bees are, he also noted he fell victim to the harsh winter that has cost so many beekeepers their hives this year. He stated, “Flowers didn’t germinate on time, and bees couldn’t get out because of the cold and rain. I am not sure how many hives I have left.” Prior to the winter, Kracower typically operated with 15-20 hives, each holding about 50,000 bees. Like many other beekeepers, he will now be operating with significantly less, which means less honey and less money for the cancer fund.
Fully aware of how harmful chemicals and pesticides are to bees, Kracower makes it a point not to use any chemicals at all in his beekeeping operation. While it may make things a bit more challenging, he knows it is nothing compared to the challenges faced by cancer patients, who happen to love his honey, by the way. Kracower also stated his Jewish friends will often use his honey during Rash Hashanah.