Buzzin ‘Every time I take part in this project, I feel more comfortable and confident in my skill set. I turn up and meet new people, which used to be something that could make me anxious’ ‘I love how, by the afternoon, everyone gelled and worked together as part of a team, and seemed as if they’d known each other a long time.’ We’re changing lives by using bees It’s unusual, but it’s working. Bee-keeping is on the rise as awareness spreads about the environmental hazards faced by these incredible creatures. And they don’t just make the flowers grow - many of the skills needed for bee keeping are the same that people learn in support settings. We’re currently piloting our Buzzin project, taking the benefits of beekeeping to our service users and volunteers. So far, the pilot is working better than we could have hoped, and both volunteers and bees are thriving. So why bees? Bee-keeping offers the ideal community setting for people to solidify their recovery, and get the problem-solving skills they need to maintain change in their lives. It offers the following things: Emotional regulation skills. You have to calm yourself before handling the bees. Problem solving skills. There’s a lot learn, and often challenges to think about. Exposure to calculated risk. An alternative to the risks people face during substance misuse. Team building skills. Bee-keepers have to work together to ensure everyone’s safety. Communication skills. Bees are great at this, but the bee keepers need to be, too. Business skills. Hive management within a budget, and marketing our new Buzzin’ products. Practical skills. You’ll need to learn these in order to build the flat-pack hives. Environmental awareness. Understanding the need for a sustainable planet, and connecting with the world around you. Isn’t it a bit niche? Perhaps, although the UK’s got a decent number of beekeepers. But we take the point that it’s not particularly common – and that’s part of why it’s working. Re-building your identity. Discovering who you are, or who you want to be. That’s a key part of recovery, and achieving wellbeing. Activities like beekeeping help you define that identity; the fact that it’s not something you come across every day only adds to that. How can I get involved? Buzzin’s not just for people in active substance misuse recovery; there’s a wide range of wellbeing that caring for our bees can help people with. If it sounds like something that might be right for you, talk to our volunteering team, or call us. firstname.lastname@example.org 029 2052 9002 Where can I buy Buzzin products? Good news! You can currently pick up some of the stunning products made by our Buzzin volunteers at Deli Rouge Café, Cardiff. Take me to the Deli Rouge website Show me where Deli Rouge is We'll have more information on where you can pick up Buzzin products in future, so watch this space! The Buzzin pilot is made possible by the RBS Skills and Opportunities fund. The project is a join initiative between NewLink Wales and Recovery Cymru.