Beekeeping Requires Resilience, Dedication, Says German Expert
Urban beekeeping has become increasingly popular in recent years, with colonies popping up in cities around the world, placed on rooftops, back yards, and even balconies, Amelie Breitenhuber reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Photo Insert: Bees working on a honeycomb
Technically, anyone can keep bees without specific training, whether or not they're in a city, which might explain its popularity. However, experts often recommend taking classes or learning from experienced beekeepers first, as the time-consuming hobby comes with a responsibility for thousands of animals and requires a lot of technical knowledge and dedication.
In Germany, for example, beekeeping is also a recognized profession that involves a three-year training. Chiara Koeser works as a professional beekeeper for the Chamber of Agriculture of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Her job is both challenging and keeps her grounded, the 23-year-old explains during an interview.
First lesson: every day on the job is different as beekeeping involves complex and diverse tasks. "On a typical summer's day, we load the van with tools and equipment early in the morning," Koeser explains. She then drives off with her team to check on the bee colonies.
"We have to make sure the bees have enough space for the brood, in order to prevent them from swarming. We also set up new honey chambers if necessary and basically check whether all colonies are doing well," the beekeeper says. Each step needs to be documented carefully for her colleagues.
Even though bees are active during the warm summer months, wintertime is still pretty busy for beekeeper Koeser. "We need to prepare the bees for winter, to make sure that they have enough to eat," she says.