On a hillside overlooking the azure blue waters of Greece’s Leros island harbor, a small group of workers in protective gear are busy smoking beehives.
But these are not ordinary beekeepers. Some of them are patients from the nearby psychiatric hospital, participating in a two-decade project combining therapy with professional fulfillment.
The social cooperative in Leros, housed in a former barracks known as the Caserma estate, is the first of its kind in Greece, explains project manager Andreas Georgiou.
The cooperative “aims to socially and professionally integrate persons with psychosocial problems”, he tells AFP.
“Through the program… they acquire self-respect and self-esteem,” he says.
On the fields of the estate, patients care for the bees and cultivate their high-quality diet—lavender, oregano and other aromatic herbs.
* THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN EVALUATED BY THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO DIAGNOSE, TREAT CURE OR PREVENT ANY DISEASE.