One of Germany’s oldest beekeepers deliberately gets stung at the beginning of each season, claiming bee venom boosts his body’s immune system.
Former chemist Heinz Hoffmann, 90, who is the eldest beekeeper in the German city of Frankfurt, located in the state of Hesse, reportedly harvests up to 700 jars of honey per year.
Hofmann – who is originally from the region of Silesia, divided between Poland, Czechia and Germany – was introduced to beekeeping at the age of nine.
At the time, he helped his physically-handicapped uncle to pull out the honeycombs. He said: “My interest was awakened early on.”
However, to his community’s utter shock, the 90-year-old man confessed that he voluntarily exposes himself to a handful of bees at the beginning of March or April.
He explained that the stings never influenced him negatively and furthermore boost his immunity, and said: “It gets my immune system going.”
The OAP – who has never owned a computer or a mobile phone – added: “My family doctor says he wouldn’t exist if all patients were like me.”
He furthermore consumes about half a litre of honey per week himself, for additional health benefits.
Hoffmann, whose main hobbies include sports shooting and cycling, has had regular customers for the highly-appreciated bee nectar for decades.
During the season he places his beehives in shady areas in private parks and in the city forest on purpose.
He explained why, saying: “So they don’t fly early in the morning to collect nectar, but have more time to take care of the honey.”
He added: “You have to watch them closely. If a colony raises a second queen, she should be removed. Otherwise there is a risk of splitting, and a queen will fly away with a swarm.”