An American teenager has revealed how beekeeping helped him overcome mental health difficulties after his parents got jailed.
Keith Griffith III from Louisville, Kentucky, has established his own business, Beeing2gether. The small enterprise cooperates with farmers and apiarists to provide honey to local grocery stores.
The young beekeeper has also set up an online store offering honey but also t-shirts, gift sets and handmade soaps. He hopes to earn enough to go to a private high school.
Griffith – who learned the skill of beekeeping from his uncle Shawn – revealed he had been in a dark place when his parents got arrested some years ago.
The 15-year-old told local broadcaster Spectrum News 1: “Some things I can say to people going through a mental health crisis is it’s gonna be tough to get through. I came from both my parents being incarcerated.
The young entrepreneur added: “Just keep a good mindset. Always look for the positive and just do something that you have fun doing, like hanging out with your friends, or go take some walks or something, maybe do some beekeeping.”
Beeing2gether says on its website: “You are seen. You are enough. You are not alone. I am with you. You matter. Always remember, we’re better off Beeing2gether.”
Now Griffith’s endeavour has been nominated for the US Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneur Achievement Award.
The government programme intends to acknowledge the efforts of small businesses. The winner of the award – who will receive USD 25,000 (GBP 23,157) – will be announced on the 18th of October.
Around 3,000 emerging firms have applied to make it on the award’s shortlist consisting of 27 nominees.
Griffith said his intention was to protect the environment and inspire others.
Speaking to Spectrum News 1, he explained: “I do all this just to one to spread awareness, help save the bees and possibly teach some people about bees.”
He added: “As a kid, I was like I’d be an NBA player. I never thought one thing about becoming a beekeeper. It’s never been on my list and now I’m here, having fun doing this.”
Now Griffith has intentions to expand his business. He said: “I want to get a bigger bee farm and plant more bee hives.”
The ambitious apiarist was featured on Good Morning America (GMA) – one of the most popular infotainment programmes in the United States – around two years ago.
The clip – in which Griffith explains his beekeeping routine – reached more than 4,500 views on YouTube.
Griffith told viewers: “My favourite part is to take a frame out to harvest the honey. It’s satisfying watching the honey drip down. It’s pretty cool.”
The young entrepreneur is determined to continue. He said on GMA: “I want to go to Trinity High School, and I want to get more bee boxes to raise the population.”
Griffith’s mum has been released from jail in the meantime. She said she could not be more proud of her son.