A University College Cork student is using beekeeping to teach mindfulness to vulnerable young people in a Cork city centre school.

Sarah Kearney, a 4th year Social Work student, introduced beehives to help students at the Cork City Learning Support Centre to develop life skills.

The Laois woman, who has spent years tending to her own beehives, was keen to try a new way of engaging her students during her undergraduate course work placement.

She said she learned a lot of coping skills while managing hives.

"You have to be emotionally regulated; you can't get panicked or run away - they'll come after you!" she joked.

Eighteen months ago, "with protective suits for her students and EpiPens at the ready" she introduced her first beehive containing 120,000 bees to the city centre school and its students aged between 13 and 23.

She says the journey has been transformative for them.

"The hive is a community, and that's helping the young people to realise that they're not on their own; they're not the only ones going through this experience, and by doing it together they might be able to achieve something."

The centre now has eight beehives and beekeeping has become an integral part of the students' lives, according to the UCC student.


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