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Crowdfunder: Making second chances a sweet success for disadvantaged workers

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Campaign:  Peace Bees Second Chances


The Peace Bees name comes from the misunderstanding that honey bees are mean and want to sting; rather, honey bees are quite peaceful creatures. Honey bees only become aggressive to defend their hive and can sense fear and negative energy.

This forces the beekeeper to control their mood and to increase their level of respect for the bees resulting in a therapeutic environment for the keeper. Similar to the honey bee, some people are misunderstood and have difficulty finding gainful employment. Some veterans, the disabled, or parolees all face challenges finding employment. The intent of this campaign is to give these people a second chance by teaching them job and life skills, and provide them employment during a 1-year training program.

At the end of their year, the individuals will be ready to transition into the mainstream workforce or even explore opportunities working for commercial beekeepers across the country. To help insure the success of the employees, the Peace Bee program has partnered with Goodwill Industries of Michiana.

Goodwill is providing wraparound support for both employers and the clients/employees. Each client will have a case manager that will be in regular communication with Peace Bees. This is a win-win partnership that will set the bar for other programs to achieve.

Through this partnership, Peace Bees will find candidates committed to embracing their second chance opportunity and the clients will have a proven support system to help insure their success.

Regular conversations between Peace Bees, the employees and Goodwill case managers will provide the wraparound support so many people need. Programs like this across the country are successful and the Peace Bees team wants to bring this success to their area.

The national recidivism rate (relapse into crime) is about 65%. Programs similar to Peace Bees Second Chance see rates as low as 4%.

Using honey bees to teach job and life skills works!

Today, honey bees face a lot of challenges with parasites, climate changes and pesticides. Peace Bees uses methods that mimic the natural environment of the honey bee. The team keeps larger colonies, do not treat with chemicals, and do not supplemental feed with sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

They let their bees be bees. Their methods are so successful they won a USDA SARE grant (Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education FNC14-957) to study and document their methods.

They believe they are giving honey bees a second chance to thrive. Their sustainable, more natural, methods produce the best tasting honey that is free of antibiotics, beekeeping chemicals, sugar syrup or high fructose corn syrup. The honey produced is truly natural.

Until now, Peace Bees has been a family business run from their home. In order to accommodate employees and additional equipment they need to move the business out of their home. This move will cause their operating costs to increase. They need to keep their employees busy and therefore need to purchase more bees and hives. A lot more bees and hives! A hive of bees can cost a few hundred dollars to setup. 

Contributions will help with the setup of a proper facility and assist in first year operating expenses like rent, utilities and insurance. Processing equipment doesn't come cheap.

The campaign's goal is $200,000.



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