The Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community and Farm has launched a crowdfunding campaign in a bid to sweeten its beekeeping program.

Sean Farrell is the communications director for the centre. He says caring for bees helps residents connect with the world around them.

“Beekeeping and honey is an amazing opportunity for our residents to really get involved with something outside themselves, connecting them with the natural world.”

In fact, the program has been such a success that the centre has taken to Fundrazr to help expand it.

“We’ve had the program for a couple of years and it’s just had such success, we decided to try to enhance and bring in actual beekeeping certification courses for our residents,” Farrell says. “So we’ve started this crowdfunding campaign to raise money so that we can bring in an instructor and purchase all of the learning materials.”

They’re hoping to raise $7,500 by mid-April – Farrell says they’re already 15% of the way toward reaching that goal. The money will go toward the purchase of five additional beehives (they already have three), as well as beekeeping equipment. It will also pay for 10 residents to participate in the beekeeping and honey producing certification program.

Baldy Hughes residents participate in the facility's beekeeping program (Baldy Hughes)

Baldy Hughes residents participate in the facility’s beekeeping program (Baldy Hughes)

But Farrell says all residents will benefit from the enhanced program.

“Almost all of our residents will have the opportunity to experience the hives and the honey producing,” he says. “But ten residents will be able to have certification and membership in the BC Honey Producers Association.”

With the increased number of hives, Farrell estimates the centre could end up producing 250 kilograms of honey this year.

You can check out their crowdfunding campaign here.