Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Tucson

Post-Coal Cash: Miners Becoming Beekeepers

Chones/Shutterstock.com

As the Appalachian economy struggles with the loss of three-fifths of its coal mining jobs in the last three decades, a surprising option is emerging for some: beekeeping. The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective offers beekeeping training, including bees and equipment and ongoing mentoring, for displaced coal miners and low-income residents of mining towns; so far, about 35 people are participating. Landowners are donating property for the beehives, which will be maintained without pesticides or antibiotics. Honey from a single hive can bring in about $750 a season, or $15,000 per 20, and additional money can be made selling the beeswax for candles and lip balm. The beekeeping collective is part of Appalachian Headwaters, a nonprofit formed in 2016 with a $7.5 million lawsuit settlement from coal mine operator Alpha Natural Resources for violations of the Clean Water Act. The money has been used to fund environmental restoration projects and to develop sustainable economic opportunities in the coal mining communities of West Virginia.


This article appears in the May 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Presented by Transformational Medicine
Show us your best shot of summer in Tucson! Enter our Photo Challenge from July 1-15. The top 5 photos will be voted on by our readers and online friends from August 1-15. The winning photo will be featured in our September issue, and the photographer will win a $40 La Botana Mexican Restaurant gift certificate, plus a $100 certificate to a local business of your choice!
Sponsored By
Join Our Email Newsletter

COMING IN PRINT: 2020 AUGUST Issue
Due Date: July 10. Be a part of our upcoming August issue. Contact [email protected] for cheerful and efficient help with your marketing!
Missed the print deadline? Try email news!

Email News Exclusives with Social Media pushes; ask us about it today! [email protected]

Visit Us on Facebook
2020 Editorial Calendar

Interview with Stephen Dinan of The Shift Network
Eat More Citrus for a Thinner Waistline
COVID Kids: Stress Can Impact Sperm and Future Offspring