DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Dogs and horses can help veterans cope with their post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, but for a Dripping Springs man bees have been the answer.
Tyler Revel has seventeen bee hives in his backyard and has been keeping bees for three years.
He says the bees have saved him. "You can't explain it until you get in the hive, you focus on what's in front of you, the eggs, the larva, you're looking for the queen and it's calming. You just hear the buzz."
After a career in law enforcement and security contract work in Afghanistan, Tyler was diagnosed with PTSD. "Just seeing car fatalities, bodies, teenagers committing suicide."
"When I first came home, loud environments would send me into a tailspin," explains Tyler. "We'd have lunch somewhere, and we'd eat outside because it's too noisy and I can't be in the room."
Before the bees, he did a formal PTSD treatment called EMDR that has helped many veterans, but not Tyler. "The vibrations and the hands closing your eyes and thinking of your happy place and focusing and that didn't do a quarter of what beekeeping has done for me as far as this is what calms me and helps more than anything."
"It kind of takes away from thinking about any other traumatic flashbacks or you dwell on because you're thinking what to do for the hive," says Tyler. "Sugar water or i gotta make sure the queen is there, it's constant thinking about what you need to do for the bees."
Now staying calm around a beehive seems a tall order, but Tyler say it forces you to focus on yourself and the bees. It's a therapy he wants to share with others. "I think beekeeping has helped me to the point that we go to concerts now, we go anywhere we want and it doesn't phase me."