Bees are good for mental health

CREMONA – Tomorrow, Friday 20 May is world bee day. It was established in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly to sensitize the population to care for the ecosystem. In addition to the many initiatives promoted to protect the environment in recent years numerous socio-health projects aimed at personal care were born – especially in the field of mental health – where contact with nature plays a fundamental role.

The Cremona Asst, with the support of public and private partners, has inserted an apiary in the spaces of the bio-psycho-social garden in via Belgiardino, entrusted to the care of expert beekeepers, volunteers and patients of the Psychosocial Center. As he explains Emanuela Ghinagliapsychiatrist at the Psycho-social Center of Asst in Cremona, “the project that allowed us to bring the hives to the green area of ​​via Belgiardino is part of an important collaboration between Asst Cremona and various local entities, with the aim of guide and support access to work for people with frailty, with particular attention to the youth segment “.

The Provincial project “Network actions for work – disability area” is promoted by the Province of Cremona and supported by the Regional Disability Fund (LR 13/2003). It has as its leader the Cremonese Social Company, directed by Graziano Pirotta. “Renewed for a second edition – explains Pirotta – every year involved more than ten boys and girls, who were able to face the world of work with the support of educators for personalized projects”.

In the specific case of the beekeeping activity, the experience was proposed to some boys with autism spectrum disorder who participate in the laboratories of the “Zero30” project, born from the collaboration between ASST and the Sospiro Foundation.

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Bignami, Greco, Biazzi, Dossena, Castagnedoli, Pirotta


Bees live in complex societies: understanding and interpreting their behaviors is a challenge that fascinates and engages scholars and researchers.

«A challenge – underlines Dr. Ghinaglia – that can help our children to learn to observe patiently, control their movements, adapt to the changes of the seasons and to the unpredictable flight paths of our little friends. The seriousness and commitment with which the participants in the project face this challenge will certainly be a good premise for further work experiences “.

The experience of the apiary could never have been achieved without meeting the volunteers of the “Città Rurale” Association, who invested their skills in this project, allowing operators and patients to face the challenge in safety. As he explains Daniele Biazzi, president of the association and coordinator of Cremona Urban Bees, «Through urban beekeeping we manage apiaries located in the city, with the help of volunteers. The goal is to sensitize citizens and public opinion to the protection of biodiversity. After the results obtained with the bio-psycho-social garden, it was thought that bees could also be therapeutic. With pleasure and enthusiasm we threw ourselves into this adventure, the results obtained confirm its validity ».


Carmelo Greco, psychiatric rehabilitation technician Asst Cremona, highlights the results obtained in the field of insertion: “The interaction with a complex family system such as that of bees favors the effectiveness of treatments, with a notable improvement in the management of anxiety and problem solving skills”.

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The enthusiasm and liveliness of the volunteers enrich the experience with the warmth of human relationships and encounters. «I approached beekeeping out of curiosity – she says Romana Castagnedoli, volunteer – I find it a very stimulating and important experience for the integration of disadvantaged people. I met a boy who frequents the therapeutic gardens: his tranquility, his calmness and his tact in managing the bees calmed me and gave me much more security ».

The possibility of getting closer to nature is in itself a condition that favors well-being for human beings. The green area of ​​via Belgiardino – once closed by the walls of the former psychiatric hospital – represents a very interesting urban space and rehabilitation activities to return it to the city and to the people who live there.

As he points out Claudio Bignami, nurse at the CPS of Asst Cremona, «In patient care, contact with nature is fundamental. There is a lot to learn from bees. A bee alone has no sense of existing: there is a family, which I believe is an important thing in life too ».



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