The Fundraising Team are buzzing with excitement to announce that we are officially on the path to becoming beekeepers thanks to local company, Bee1, who have donated a beehive to the health board as part of an ongoing wellbeing initiative.

L,R Debs Longman (Head of Fundraising), Richard Evans (Deputy Chief Executive), Mark Douglas (Bee 1) Matron Andrea Bradley, Lead Nurse Miranda Williams, Shaun Hutchings (Viessmann)

Bee1 are committed to reversing the decline in the bee population. Bees are now included on the endangered species list, yet they play a vital role in pollinating the fruit and vegetables we eat. Albert Einstein is alleged to have claimed that, “If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”

Beekeeping has long been linked to wellbeing and mindfulness, and so Swansea Bay Health Charity jumped at the chance to get involved. The Viessmann Group, who provide boilers and heating, offered to be our corporate partner, and pay for the two colonies of bees who will soon be moving into out HQ in Baglan.

The hive is currently in place in an area that we hope to develop as a wellness garden, with plans for the bees to move in the end of Spring. It is hoped that staff will be given the opportunity to sign up for beekeeping classes, and that the honey our ‘Bay Bees’ produce can be sold to benefit staff and patients across Swansea Bay.

Mark Douglas, Founder of Bee1, said, “Bee1 has been working with our local NHS Trust to promote mental health awareness and wellbeing.

Through our relationship with Viessmann we were able to donate a wellness garden for some of the staff. This includes a wildflower meadow area, outdoor seating, plus of course 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. Bees and beekeeping have long been associated with wellness and is also used as a support strategy by armed forces personnel for PTSD and anxiety.

The garden will be a lifetime legacy of the huge gratitude we owe to the people that got us through such dark times.”

As a beekeeper himself, Swansea Bay’s Deputy Chief Executive Richard Evans was keen to be involved in the launch. He said, “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.”

Debs Longman, Head of Fundraising, said; ““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 also doing our bit to help protect the local bee population, which is really important considering the vital 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.”

Follow our social media accounts to stay up to date with all the developments in our beekeeping journey.

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