Funded through the USDA's Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program, and in partnership with Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB), the Washington State Beekeepers Association (WASBA), and the Washington Farmer Veteran Coalition (WA-FVC) Healing Through Hives aims to support a new generation of Veteran beekeepers and Veteran-owned apiaries across Western Washington.
The Healing through Hives project supports Military Veterans to receive free or discounted beekeeping training/support to achieve their beekeeping goals, whether as a hobby or a business. Through this project, we offer scholarships and other educational and networking opportunities and a chance to become a WASBA certified beekeeper from beginner to master levels. Hands-on, in-person opportunities to learn and connect with other Veterans and beekeepers are offered at our growing number of Community Apiaries in Western Washington. By 2025, we strive to provide mentorship for Veterans to support beginning beekeepers in meeting their agricultural enterprise goals by providing pathways, networks, and relationships. Find local clubs offering beekeeping courses here. All current and prior military service members, spouses, and dependents are eligible for reimbursement for WASBA beekeeping certification courses upon completion.
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2022-49400-38210.
Healing through Hives recognizes the importance of providing meaningful opportunities for veterans to continue to serve their communities after their military service has ended. Beekeeping not only offers a way for veterans to contribute to the agricultural sector and support local food systems, but it also provides therapeutic benefits that can help veterans overcome the physical and mental challenges associated with their service.
Through our partnership with the Washington Beekeepers Association and the Washington Farmer Veteran Coalition, we are able to offer veterans a wide range of educational and networking opportunities that support their beekeeping goals. From beginner to master levels, veterans can receive beekeeping training and support that is tailored to their individual needs, whether they are looking to pursue beekeeping as a hobby or as a business.
Our growing number of community apiaries across Western Washington provides hands-on, in-person opportunities for veterans to learn and connect with other beekeepers and veterans. These apiaries serve as a hub for veterans to engage in therapeutic activities, learn new skills, and work alongside their peers towards a common goal. In addition to offering educational opportunities, our community apiaries provide veterans with a sense of community and camaraderie that can be difficult to find after leaving the military.
As we look towards the future, our goal is to provide mentorship for veterans to support beginning beekeepers in meeting their agricultural enterprise goals. By connecting veterans with experienced beekeepers and industry professionals, we can help them navigate the complexities of starting a beekeeping business, while also providing them with the guidance and support they need to succeed.
Ultimately, Healing through Hives is about more than just beekeeping. It is about providing veterans with the resources and support they need to continue to serve their communities, while also promoting healing, resilience, and a sense of purpose. We are proud to be part of this important initiative and look forward to supporting the next generation of veteran beekeepers in Western Washington.
Farmer Veteran Coalition - Washington chapter (FVC-WA)
Washington, United States