This entire month is dedicated to mental health awareness, and we are looking at some of the potential health benefits of beekeeping. Historically, when someone is feeling down or depressed, we encourage them to go outdoors and breathe in some fresh air. Although being outside can indeed help improve your mindset, those suffering from depression and other mental health issues prefer isolation. When you feel down in the dumps, being outside sounds less than appealing. However, when it comes to beekeeping, one of the unique things is that bees need you! Human nature is to care for living things, and beekeeping can provide purpose and value to those who embark on this outdoor adventure! Beekeeping shifts unhealthy inward thinking to healthier outward thinking because bees require attention and care.
Engaging in an activity that allows your mind to focus on something healthy, whether doing art, taking an exercise class, or beekeeping will help your mental health improve. There are multiple benefits beekeeping has on your mind and mental health.
Beekeepers Find Value in Caring for Bees
Even if it may not seem obvious, there is a clear connection between beekeeping and increased self-esteem, which directly impacts mental health. When people feel low or down, they typically don’t want to see anyone or do anything. These are the moments when even though staying in bed seems like a much more desirable option, beekeepers will go outside and check on their hive(s). The responsibility of caring for something living provides an immense sense of value and gives purpose to each new day. Caring for something alive and requires attention is part of every living thing’s DNA. Additionally, when a beekeeper sees that their hive(s) is growing and thriving or needs extra care, the sense of accomplishment has significant mental health benefits!
Beekeeping and The Outdoors Boost Mental Health
Now, beekeeping isn’t for everyone. However, if you consider it to keep your mind healthy, countless resources are available to learn more about what is entailed. Many beekeepers are associated with clubs and organizations that would love to help get you started.
Beekeeping could improve your mood and overall mental health as you find meaning in your daily responsibilities and activities. Instead of trying to be a green thumb when you aren’t or getting a pet from the pound that ends up being stressful, beekeeping can be an excellent balance of helping bees and leaving them alone to do their natural thing.
Beekeeping Helps Lower Anxiety and Stress
Many people suffer from stress and anxiety. Those who have experienced trauma, including veterans, claim that beekeeping creates calm in their minds. Others think more clearly and believe beekeeping helps sort out whirling thoughts and creates space in the mind. A sense of calm is also known to come from the low humming of the bee’s buzzing. Whether a calming effect or focusing the mind on something outside of oneself, beekeeping has the potential to have several positive effects on mental health.
Beekeeping can truly be a tool for improving mental health. Scientists have long studied the positive effects of spending time outdoors on brain activity. Spending time outside in nature helps control negative emotions and refocus the mind on positive things. So, whether you choose beekeeping or something else, ensure that you carve out time for yourself outside this month.
Harvesting Honey Boosts the Mind
Believe it or not, harvesting honey from bees you care for is incredibly rewarding and an excellent boost to your mental health! Being responsible for something that can be consumed, used, shared, and in some cases, sold elevates the benefits of beekeeping. Also, honey has antioxidants that are good for your body and directly correlate to your mind’s health!
Antioxidants are known to affect the brain as well as protect it. For centuries, honey has been used in medicine to ward off illnesses like strokes and depression. Mental health issues can manifest in many ways, and honey can address several. Honey is also used as a homeopathic approach to memory loss and insomnia. Lack of sleep can adversely affect moods, one’s ability to think clearly, and affects the body’s physical health. Honey releases melatonin and has long been used to help with insomnia. All this should not overshadow honey’s pure, delicious taste and the known benefits of consuming local honey.
So, as we focus this month on mental health, do not skip over the possibility of beekeeping significantly improving your mental health. A mind boost can come from the purpose and value found in the process, exposure to the outdoors, or harvesting honey from one’s hives. If you are considering beekeeping for the first time, contact a reputable beekeeper for insight and guidance in your unique area. If beekeeping isn’t for you right now, make sure to take some time for yourself this month. Also, supporting your local vendors and visiting a local beekeeper to get some fresh, delicious honey is always good!