An Austrian apiarist has revealed how he got into beekeeping by pure accident.
Brothers Günther and Michael Hödl co-manage an organic honey farm in Stockerau, Lower Austria, and a store in Vienna.
Günther told the MeinBezirk news website: “I once thought that planting some fruit trees on our family estate would be a nice idea. Then I realised that they have to be pollinated.”
That was how his beekeeping activities got started, and following their modest beginnings, the brothers obtained a beekeeping certificate before steadily increasing their activities.
In their online shop as well as in their Hofladen store in Wattgasse 67 in the Viennese district of Hernals, the Hödl brothers offer not just various types of honey and beeswax candles but also a honey-based wine and a vinegar-honey syrup called Oxymel.
Referring to the complex hierarchy of a colony and the numerous responsibilities of the social insects, Günther underlines: “The life of a bee is incredibly complex and fascinating.”
The Federal Agriculture Ministry recently announced that there were more than 33,000 beekeepers in Austria.
The 456,000 honeybee colonies that exist in the small Central European country’s nine states produced 4,100 tonnes of honey in the 2020/2021 business year.
In its 2021 honeybee hive statistics, the European Commission ranked Austria 13th among the EU-27.