Two groups of living beings. Both struggling, both in crisis and through a new project about to be launched here in the Ohio Valley, they can each help the other. Those groups are honey bees and military veterans.
Veterans have a 20 percent unemployment rate and a huge suicide rate, and honey bees are dying off at an alarming rate.
The Boots to Bees project would give veterans a job, selling, setting up and maintaining beehives.
Homeowners who like the idea of having a beehive, but don’t have the skills or desire to be hands-on with bees, can turn to the veterans.
“Thanks to PTSD and other debilitating mental illnesses, veterans are unfortunately killing themselves at a rate of one every 65 minutes. That’s 8,030 per year,” said Toni Brancazio.
“You’re gonna lose eventually all your bees. And that’s where we are in the United States right now. And we’re losing them to things like mites, we’re losing them to pesticide, we’re losing them to starvation,” said Martin Wach.
“So if we can bring the veterans in to help homeowners, then they can have the job of helping the homeowner tend the bees and everybody wins,” said Delia Wach.
They say 60 percent of our food is dependent upon pollinating by bees. The project is being kicked off in Utah and in the Ohio Valley simultaneously.
If you are a veteran in need of a job or a homeowner who would like to have a beehive on your property, the number to call is (347) 210-0797.
Their goal is to have a beehive in every backyard.