SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A first of its kind program is helping inmates and local bee populations buzz back. It gives incarcerated women a second chance while helping their community and the environment.
Retired sheriff’s deputy Steve Hays launched the Second Chance Beekeeping Program in April, providing participants at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center a chance for a sweeter future.
“Our bees are facing adversities out there with the Colony Collapse Disorder,” Hays said. “It’s pretty unique, so it’s exciting for us to start this and give these girls an opportunity to succeed. I’ve softened over the years and now I’m completely on board with trying to help these offenders out, it’s as simple as that.”
The program teaches everything from B to Z.
But for inmates like Brandee Dammann, the program is bigger than just producing honey.
“It’s taught me a lot of patience about myself and about my surrounds and what I can work towards in life,” Dammann said.
The Second Chance is the first of its kind in the state of California and has already proven to be successful. From capping honey to finding the queen bee, these ladies have mastered the art of beekeeping and are ready to enter the beekeeping industry on release.
“Even with queen rearing, which is like raising queens, you can make like a hundred grand a season, so it’s like why not get into it?” inmate Kiki said.
The honey that is produced is not only used at the facility but will also be given to the Elk Grove Food Bank.