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European Journal

Germany – Hire a bee

German beekeepers are now an average of 60 years old due to a drop-off in new, young recruits. To make up for the shortfall in personnel, many have resorted to hiring out their hives.

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Imker mit Honigbienen

Germans eat 1.4 kilos of honey annually per head. The industry faces problems on various fronts, from a decreasing bee population, to overfertilization, and excessive use of pesticides. The main problem, however, is the dwindling number of beekeepers. There are now just 400 professionals – and supplies would be even lower were it not for Germany’s 80,000 amateur beekeepers. The search is now on for outsiders willing to hire a hive. It may not be a lucrative pasttime, but it certainly is fun.