Thanks for visiting our website. For us to continue writing great content, we rely on our display ads. Please consider disabling your ad-blocker or whitelisting our website before proceeding.
If you purchase an independently reviewed item through our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Read our affiliate disclosure.
Therapy is not just about lying on a couch and answering questions until you have a breakthrough. Talk therapy is effective over time, but active therapies are growing in popularity. Many people benefit from mixing up both kinds of rehab treatment.
There is a new therapy on the rise that offers incredible mental health benefits, beekeeping. While it has not been recognized widely by the medical community, beekeepers are sponsoring it as a new therapy due to its benefits for mental health. There are also some therapeutic beekeeping programs sprouting up around the world.
Beekeeping gives you a great reason to spend more time in nature, which is vital to maintaining and improving mental health. Here are some additional mental health benefits that beekeepers enjoy.
1. Beekeeping helps relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and other common mental health problems.
If you or your loved ones’ are struggling with a mental health disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), beekeeping is a worthwhile hobby to explore. West Virginia veterans suffering from PTSD and other mental disorders have proven the benefits of beekeeping through the Veterans and Heroes to Agriculture program.
Participants have reported feeling their stress and anxiety melt away when they step into a beehive; similar programs have started in other states to provide therapeutic outlets for veterans struggling emotionally and mentally.
You do not have to serve in the military to enjoy the same benefits. Learning more about beekeeping and stepping into the hive yourself may prove beneficial to overcoming depression, relieving anxiety, or just easing the mental impact of daily stress.
Chronic stress increases the risk for heart disease, weight gain, and sleep disturbances. Beekeeping can be a perfect fit for you.
2. Beekeeping can provide a social outlet for beekeepers at every skill level.
Research has shown the importance of social interaction and routine activity for mental health. What better way to develop that social outlet than to immerse yourself in the thriving worldwide community of beekeepers?
According to the National Honey Board, there are at least 115,000 beekeepers in the United States alone, beekeeping is a popular activity for hobbyists and small businesses in many other countries, so there is a sizable community surrounding this activity. Many of those beekeepers communicate daily with one another through online message boards, social media groups, and official beekeeping organizations.
Tapping into this community locally and online is a great way to make friends who share your interests and are focused on positivity. That is excellent for maintaining and improving mental health.
3. Many beekeepers benefit from the adrenaline rush that often comes with beekeeping.
What would make someone pay to be kidnapped? What drives a gambling addict to hand their mortgage money or car payment to a casino rather than the bill collector? It often comes down to adrenaline addiction, which can have a devastating impact on lifestyles and relationships when taken to the extreme.
One way to manage this constant craving for an adrenaline rush is to find healthy outlets. For some, beekeeping will work well. Stepping into a hive with thousands of bees ready to sting takes some nerve. Many beekeepers get that exhilarating rush of adrenaline each time they step in to do their jobs.
4. Tending to beehives is calming and relaxing for many keepers.
Beekeeping is not an adrenaline rush for everyone. Some keepers find the activity mentally soothing. Even those experiencing an adrenaline rush of fear when they first start may come to think of stepping in the hive as a relaxing way to relieve stress and calm their minds.
Beekeeping requires ongoing education, critical thinking, problem-solving, and consistent responsibility.
Do you know someone in recovery, soon to return from rehab, or coping with mental health disorders? Perhaps you or a loved one are preparing to enter rehab soon or need substance use disorder recovery. Once you start rebuilding your life after your treatment, it is vital to occupy your mind with positive outlets. This is especially true when you battled against co-occurring disorder.
Beekeeping is an excellent way to provide a positive outlet because it requires ongoing skill development and problem-solving. For example, one longstanding beekeeper learned the hobby from her father, who continues to keep his hives alive through cold winters and away from hungry bears.
Every climate and environment will come with different challenges. There is always more to learn and a problem to solve as you grow from one or two hives to a collection with thousands of bees. It offers the same mental health benefits as getting a pet without cleaning up hair in your home or changing the kitty litter.
How to Get Started with Beekeeping
There are farm therapy programs throughout the United States for veterans, and many include beekeeping projects. If you are not a veteran, you may find beekeeping programs through local agricultural departments, community colleges, farms, and community farming projects.
You can also search online for beekeeping societies, organizations, blogs, and social media groups. These virtual communities are often full of seasoned beekeepers willing to provide information free of charge to novices or hobbyists.
Beekeeping is a great hobby if you are already struggling with mental health issues. It is also a great addition to a recovery program for those learning how to live with mental health disorders. You can also use beekeeping as a preventative activity to protect your mental health if you are not experiencing a more severe condition beyond the stress we all feel in daily life.
- blogs.va.gov – Veterans use beekeeping to improve well being
- mayoclinic.org – Chronic stress puts your health at risk
- ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Social Support, Activities, and Recovery from Serious Mental Illness: STARS Study Findings
- honey.com– Honey Industry Facts
- abfnet.org – State and Local Beekeeping Organizations
- npr.org- The Science Of Scary: Why It’s So Fun To Be Freaked Out
- bestbees.com – Beekeeping Therapy: Examples from Around the World
- sunshinebehavioralhealth.com – Learn About What Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs Offer
- beeculture.com– Hive House Therapy
- operationwearehere.com– Farm Therapy Programs for Military Veterans