Bee1, a Welsh company campaigning for the importance of beekeeping and its mental health advantages, has donated a wellness garden to NHS staff in Wales. The garden, which is now at the NHS Trust in Swansea, features an NHS-branded beehive, giving NHS heroes the chance to nurture and maintain their very own NHS bee colony.
Mark Douglas, Founder of Bee1, commented:
“Bee1 has been working with our local NHS Trust to promote mental health awareness and wellbeing for some time. Through our relationship with Viessmann, we were able to donate a wellness garden for staff. This includes a wildflower meadow area, outdoor seating, plus their very own beehive. Staff will be invited to train to look after their own NHS Bees which makes the project sustainable and environmentally friendly, which also promotes the Viessmann brand message. Bees and beekeeping have long been associated with wellness and is also used as a support strategy by armed forces personnel for PTSD, anxiety etc. The garden will be a lifetime legacy of the huge gratitude we owe to the people that got us through such dark times. Thank you NHS Heroes!”
Debs Longman, Head of Fundraising at Swansea Bay Health Charity, is equally as thrilled to welcome the wellness garden to Swansea.
“Pardon the pun, but the whole team are buzzing with excitement to be welcoming our new hive to our HQ in Baglan! We’re all really looking forward to learning and developing new skills as beekeepers, and sharing the benefits of beekeeping with our colleagues across Swansea Bay. Not only are there lots of wellbeing and health benefits to keeping bees, we’re also hoping to be able to raise some funds from the honey they produce. We’re doing our bit to help protect the local bee population, which is really important considering the really important role bees play in our ecosystem.
“We’re so proud to be such of part of something so innovative, and really grateful to Mark and Bee1 for the opportunity.”
This gratitude is echoed by Richard Evans, Executive Medical Director and Deputy CEO Swansea Bay UHB.
“It is widely recognised now that bees are some of the most important animals on the planet. About two thirds of the plants that we rely on for food are reliant on bees for pollinating. Obviously, pesticides have affected the bee numbers, and it’s really important that we support the development of bees and their colonies. This initiative in Swansea Bay is a fantastic one, and will certainly help with pollination in this area.”
Bee1 is a business created to address the decline in the bee population, having developed a number of courses and initiatives that promote the essential role bees play in our community. Bee1 has a desire to help companies with their corporate social responsibilities, offering support packages that involve the local environment, school children, health and wellbeing.
“We use the honeybee as a conduit to link all three together. Bees have recently become an endangered species. We need to act responsibly as human beings and being top of the food chain, by helping those further down to create a better environment for all” says Mark Douglas.
A contribution of the funds raised by Bee1 are invested to support local charities, applied research projects at universities and to develop education programmes for school children to ensure that they are all properly trained and best able to keep honeybees alive and well.