Rapid City Regional Hospital adds new group of worker bees to crew

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Rapid City Regional Hospital recently added a new crew of 'worker bees' to their team.

Rapid City Regional Hospital has been as busy as a bee in the recent months -- working hard on the construction of a new greenhouse, and increasing the amount of healthy food served at the hospital.
But perhaps the most busy of them all, are the bees themselves.

Farsky says, "They're so docile and you can go up there, stand with them, and watch them doing their thing."
But as time has told in the past few years, bees are on the decline in the world. So Rapid City Regional is being pro-active in the fight to keep the insects around.
Farsky says, "The bees contract diseases from those pesticides and they bring it back to the hive. So it's just killing them off is what it's doing."
Six beehives filled with bees, they're the latest addition to the sustainability plan at Regional.
And all of the buzz is heading towards a lofty goal of delivering honey to the hospital in the fall.

Scott Brinker says, "Fresh, natural honey has some strong medicinal effects to it."
But making honey isn't their only daily task.
Farsky says, "We got the greenhouse going, and we're hoping the bees are going to work with us with that in pollinating plants."
Plants that will be used to fuel the health of patients staying in one of the 300 plus rooms in the facility.
Brinker says, "We could start viewing our food as medicine."
Brinker says many of the hospital's patients may have struggled with healthy eating earlier in life.
Brinker says, "They made the wrong food choices over time and it's caused some long-term health care effects."
And he says he hopes Rapid City keeps being bitten by the healthy bug -- flocking to local food like bees to a honeypot.
Brinker says, "It's hugely symbolic to show we're growing fresh, wholesome vegetables here and we include that in our menu. Not only for our cafeteria people, but our patients as well."