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Mad for honey


Beekeeping booms

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This year’s mild spring in Switzerland promises a good honey supply this year. In the canton of Aarau the number of people wanting to learn about beekeeping has increased significantly and is on a par with numbers 30 years ago. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

The film More than Honey by Markus Imhof, a Swiss director, is about the disappearance of bees all over the world. But it’s also about the intelligent and social behaviour of bees. Its images are fascinating and shocking at the same time.

It’s also thanks to the big success of this documentary that the number of people wanting to learn about beekeeping has increased and is on a par with numbers 30 years ago.

In the beginning, one has to get familiar with the tools: the cigar to calm down the bees, the brush to sweep them off or the veil to protect the face.

And what else does it take? A lot of patience and time. According to beekeeping instructor Peter Stadelmann, beekeepers have to invest at least one or two hours a week per colony. For some people, that’s too much and they stop.

Brigitte Bürge has been keeping bees for 10 years. Spring, just before the honey starts running, is the busiest time of the year.

One of Bürge’s queens had a difficult start. She’s been flying in an area where the European foulbrood bacterial disease has spread. So she had to be kept in quarantine for 60 days before being put together with other bees.

Despite the hard work, Bürge is passionate about beekeeping and is happy about its growing popularity.