WORKING IN NATURE IS MY PASSION
I was born in a farmhouse built in 1747, 100km from Hanover in Germany. My parents were always passionate about nature and had a large garden where I spent many hours. I went on to train as a horticulturist and did an apprenticeship in growing trees, landscape gardening and nursery production.
I followed this with a study in garden technology and became a garden technician while also undertaking arborist work.
With all of that under my belt, I gained a good understanding of how things work together in nature as a whole.
A deep longing for travel and new experiences led me to leave Germany in 1988 and come to NZ. I spent my first year at the Wilderland community on the Coromandel Peninsula where I learned organic bee-keeping from Archie Hislop a veteran beekeeper.
He was such a great teacher with his livelong experience in beekeeping. Also, his brother Ivan Hislop (91 now) from Kaikoura gave me deep insights into Apiculture over the many years of our friendship and still is.
Extensive travel for 7 years followed throughout Indonesia, the Philippines and NZ. Everywhere I went I gained more insides about different types of honey bees and biology in general.
I love working in nature. So much happens around the beehives including all kinds of other creatures trying to fit into the surroundings. Insects, in general, are so interesting and the way they have developed through history is fascinating. The honey bee APIS MELIFERA has been part of human culture for thousands of years.
Organic Beekeeping is indeed a challenge because of the many Honeybee diseases we have in NZ.
Going through ups and downs has kept me on my toes to sharpen my skills..........
My more in-depth study of bees started in 2006 when the Varroa mite came to the South Island and I was employed as a swarm catcher through MAF (now MPI).
These days I maintain a range of bee colonies in Nelson and keep contact with some other Organic Beekeepers.