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Program helps veterans find camaraderie through beekeeping

Barry Chignell
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
“We create a safe, educational space for veterans," Ingrao said about his Heroes to Hives program, where veterans can learn about beekeeping in a community of other veterans.";

Have you ever thought of a bee as a healer? 

Adam Ingrao was serving in the Army until his career was ended by an injury. After his discharge, he somehow landed on beekeeping. He found that tending hives was powerful and healing.

Today, Ingrao is working on his doctorate in entomology, and he's helping other vets to discover the healing power of bees and beekeeping by founding a program called Heroes to Hives.

Ingrao joined the Stateside Live Show to talk about the power that bees can have in a veteran’s life.

“I found that beekeeping really was more of a meditative practice than anything,” Ingrao said.

Working with bees reminded him to be in the moment to avoid being stung. He found the practice useful as a veteran and invited other veterans to join him, but it's not just for education and meditation purposes. The program also lets veterans regain the sense of camaraderie they had in the military.

“You see these veterans, who have oftentimes felt isolated because they’re not part of that cohort that they were with in the military, all of a sudden find a new family in these other veterans who are part of this beekeeping program,” Ingrao said.

That support system that veterans find among other veterans with Ingrao’s Heroes to Hives program is one of its key components.

“There’s healing happening in that bee yard,” Ingrao said. “It’s not just beekeeping.”

Listen above for the full conversation.

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