Honey is the perfect Christmas gift, a hobbyist beekeeper has claimed.
Leo Guggenberger from the Tyrolean town of Brandenberg said: “Honey is a sweet delicacy which also embodies biodiversity. It’s an ideal present.”
Leo manages 20 hives. His “Rund um die Biene” online shop does not just feature his products but also those of other apiarists.
Speaking to the MeinBezirk news website, he argued: “Beekeepers should be enabled to concentrate on the bees instead of marketing and sales.
“Getting active online could be an insurmountable effort for some. You do have to possess a certain amount of knowledge.”
Speaking about honey and beeswax as possible Christmas presents, Leo said: “Sustainability and the support of regional activities are increasingly important nowadays. The products of local beekeepers offer ideal opportunities, especially at Christmas.”
The IT expert and leisure-time honey farm manager added: “Regional beekeeping guarantees high-quality honey.”
Looking back on his beekeeping beginnings six years ago, Leo said: “My father was a beekeeper. When he fell ill, I started giving him a hand.”
He underlined: “Apiculture helps me to keep my inner balance. It’s important to be relaxed at the hives. The bees immediately recognise when you are stressed.”
Leo, who hopes that more beekeepers start offering their products on his website, told the regional Rofan Kurier newspaper: “Bee honey is like good wine. Each type reflects the unique circumstances of the region where it was made.”
Austria’s beekeepers were in charge of 456,000 colonies in 2021, according to the Federal Agriculture Ministry. Just one per cent of them engage in apiculture full-time and make a living by selling honey and other products.
The Central European country takes 13th place in the European Commission’s apiculture statistics. The ranking is topped by Spain, Romania and Greece. However, Slovenia has the highest per capita rate for beekeeping among the EU-27.