Local Mission Using Bees To Teach Hard Work; Bring In Extra Money
TULSA, Oklahoma - Insects are playing a major role in the John 3:16 mission's ministry - and honey bees are being used in a special way.
In fact, one bottle of honey from the bees is teaching some just how much hard work and unity can pay off.
At John 3:16 Mission you are your brother's keeper, but people who participate in a specialized year-long program are taught to be bee keepers through a new business venture called Beeloved Trading.
Organizer Steven Whitaker said, "We want as a part of Beeloved Trading is not to just sell the honey and make money for the mission and kind of make our own way, we want to equip the people that…are in our care to learn to work and have skills."
Nearly two year ago, someone donated a swarm of bees - in that time, one swarm has turned into 20.
Whitaker said multiple parallels can be drawn between the bee's work and scripture.
"Bees are magnificent creatures, and the way they organize and work together, and their camaraderie and single-mindedness. There's so many things that we can use to instruct people, and their work ethic and their desire to contribute to something greater than themselves to believe in something greater than themselves," he said.
The work people have put into the program for the first harvest is now being bottled up and sold.
It's the mission's way of not just relying on donations but doing more to sustain itself.
All of the bees harvest from locally grown wildflowers and plants, but another plus is that 100 percent of the honey sales comes right back to the mission.
Whitaker said, "Local honey has its benefits to your health - it helps with allergies if you're eating that local honey."
The goal from this locally harvested business is to grow the mission by building a special "refuge" for men and women in the program to live.
“We are trying to make is something special," Whitaker said.
He said support has come from all over town and that they hope to keep the momentum going one honey bee, and one bottle of honey, at a time.
Orders can be made online or in person. You can find more information here.