Cultivating wellness and connection through honey bees. Half Mad Honey is not just another beekeeping farm, but an urban organization that is rooted in education, growth, peer support, and recovery. At Half Mad Honey, we believe connections and healing happen around a hive. We love honey bees and want to share that love and lessons from our pollinators with the community around us.
The founders Amelia Mraz and Natasha Pham are the beekeepers behind this organization. Their overall goal is to empower people with mental illness through the therapeutic realm of beekeeping.
Amanda’s story: I fell in love with beekeeping in 2016 when I impulsively signed up for a beekeeping class at Temple University. I was really struggling with my mental health at the time, and beekeeping grew to become a meditative and grounding practice for me, and true therapeutic outlet. As a psychology student and mental health worker, I believe that therapy needs to be expanded outside of clinical settings. Half Mad Honey is dedicated to creating awareness surrounding mental health and wellness, and providing a safe space for all people to learn about bees, build confidence, and connect with peers and nature.
Natasha’s Story: I’m Natasha Pham and I have been a chef for almost 20 years, from fine dining to resorts to camps and now private school. Amelia and I met in 2018 and she got me hooked on bees! We started Half Mad Honey in 2021 to support mental health awareness and apiary therapy. Most people with mental disorders are labeled as “mad”. There is also a reddish, deep amber honey called ‘MAD HONEY’, from Turkey, known to cause hallucinations and lightheadedness. We wanted to incorporate both beekeeping and mental health to destigmatize the ‘madness.’ The value of real food, such as fruits and vegetables, can only be produced through pollination.
Address: The Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Year Founded: 2020