James Middleton has spoken out about his passion for dogs and how his four-legged friends have helped him cope with depression, but now he’s revealing the surprise hobby that is also helping him de-stress: beekeeping!
“Many of you know I am passionate about dogs, but not many know I am almost as passionate about bees,” he wrote on Instagram on Friday alongside a series of photos of Middleton in beekeeping mode.
Kate Middleton’s younger brother went on to say that he has 10 hives in Bucklebury, where the Middleton family resides.
“I’m fascinated by the little creatures. From their waggle dance to the queen laying her own body weight in eggs a day… there‘s a lot to be said about these humble little creatures,” he continued.
He also shared how the activity has helped him clear his mind.
“Bee keeping to me is a meditation. It’s a chance to escape my mind and be so consumed by something that hours can pass by without knowing it. Meditation is a wonderful tool to help with stress, anxiety, depression and doesn’t just need to be practiced sitting down!”
And he’s not just producing the honey (while battling bee stings!), he’s consuming it.
“Honey is one of natures finest medicines. From antibacterial properties, aiding digestion, hay fever, colds, energy and even as cure for sleeping disorders the list goes on. I have a teaspoon of honey every day and couldn’t recommend it more.
“So as this little homage to the honest little honey bee ends remember raw local honey is best & yes I do get stung all the time but its worth it!”
Earlier this year, James opened up about his battle with depression, recounting his darkest moments before seeking treatment a little over a year ago. He also credited his dogs with providing emotional support.
“I recognize, too, the role my dogs — Ella, Inca, Luna, Zulu and Mabel — have played in my recovery,” he wrote.
“Ella, particularly, has been my constant companion for ten years and she’s been with me to all my therapy sessions. In her own particular way, she has kept me going,” he continued. “As a result, Ella and I now volunteer with the Pets As Therapy charity and Ella is a fully-fledged therapy dog for PAT.”
James later revealed his reason for speaking out on his experience is to help change the stigma associated with mental illness.
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“They believe we can only tackle the stigma associated with mental illness if we have the courage to change the national conversation, to expel its negative associations.”