For almost two years, the American World War 1 soldier battled a bitter war in Europe. He saw traumatic injuries and death on a scale seldom seen before. Many veterans came home with limbs missing and physical scars. Others suffered from a new psychological phenomenon referred to as “shell shock” and had a very difficult time adjusting to life in mainstream America.
The government did not ignore these damaged men, but looked to find a gratifying occupation for them. Beekeeping was one answer. It was considered a good option because the beekeeper typically works alone, at a slower pace, and has a major contribution to society through the products from the hive. To this end, the Government developed vocational training for veterans in beekeeping to help them integrate back into society and earn a living.
Today, similar programs are still at work to partner veterans with beekeeping ventures. One of these programs through the University of Minnesota offers free workshops to veterans to promote the benefits of beekeeping.