From Coal Miners to Bee Keepers

A Movement to Transform Coal Miners Into Beekeepers Is Great News for the Planet

As coal mines shutter across West Virginia, a nonprofit is helping unemployed miners and low-income residents make money by raising bees and selling their honey. It’s extra income for them and a big bonus for local ecosystems.

"Tucked inside an old gymnasium, hundreds of wooden boxes are stacked along a far wall. The space, formerly home base for a summer camp, is now host to labs and classrooms filled with bright, freshly painted blue boxes.

"But children won’t be playing here this summer. Instead, among the boxes and stainless steel vats, displaced coal miners and low-income West Virginians will learn a new trade — beekeeping. It’s part of a program run by the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective, a program for low-income West Virginians to make supplemental income through beekeeping. "

More about the Appalachian Beekeeping Collective

David Trammel's picture

I wish that the government thought more about what to do with people displaced by policies. Now it just seems like they shrug and say "Go take out a student loan and retrain yourself."

Industry isn't any better. I don't know how many times the one I worked for recently complained about the poor quality of people who would apply for jobs there, and yet do very little to train people once they were hired.