Change to our Privacy Statement

Daimler AG has undergone a reorganization. From 1st of November 2019 Mercedes-Benz AG will be the controller or joint controller of the website within the meaning of the GDPR. Please also see our Privacy Statement (update as of November 1st, 2019).

The art of beekeeping: Falk and his bees.

A man standing with a dog in front of a Vito, with trees in the background

Falk Meyer has been a passionate beekeeper ever since he was twelve years old. With his Mercedes-Benz Vito, he transports a new batch of frames to his bee colonies in order to give them more space.

A passion for the honey bee.

A white Vito turns onto a wooded property. Between the trees there are over a dozen bee hives arranged in small groups. Falk Meyer gets out and fetches metal buckets with a chisel, broom and a protective jacket with a veil from the Vito. While the bees are humming rhythmically, Falk puts on his protective clothing and brings his smoker to fume and soothe them with the smoke. The hives are already busy: Bees buzz around and launching from the flight hole towards the flowers. The industrious animals constantly land fully loaded with yellow pollen on the approach boards and seek their way inside the hive. Falk carefully pulls a honeycomb, covered with bees, out of the hive and looks at it carefully. The passionate beekeeper knows very well why his heart has always belonged to the honey bee.

“It is a very uplifting feeling every time you harvest your own honey. When the extractor has that fragrant aroma, then you try the honey for the first time, it’s phenomenal.”
A man in a beekeeper's suit is holding a honeycomb with bees next to his face

Scared of contact, not here: The buzzing of the bees has a calming effect on Falk.

Bank clerk on weekdays, beekeeper on weekends.

Falk Meyer has been a beekeeper ever since he was twelve years old. He started beekeeping 20 years ago quite by chance: In an over grown garden, he found a bunch of old, strange boxes that aroused his interest. At an info-event in his village he met an experienced beekeeper called Willi Arbeiter, who taught him the basics of beekeeping and actively supported him. “In the beginning you make mistakes which the bees partly offset. But the mistakes always lead to you gaining even more knowledge and then you do it right the next time.” What looks like a full-time job is in fact a hobby for the committed beekeeper. Beekeeping is the perfect counterbalance to a full-time job in a bank. “However, it is a hobby that requires a great deal of specialist knowledge and time. Putting a colony of bees in the garden and leaving the bees to themselves does not work.”

A beekeeper pulls a honeycomb out of an open hive

The dedicated beekeeper came by his extraordinary hobby by chance.

Apiculture Meyer: Homemade honey from happy bees.

Bees, along with cattle and pigs, are among the most important domestic animals on our planet. Falk’s bee colonies pollinate several million flowers over the course of a year, making an important contribution to the conservation of trees and other plants. The philosophy of apiculture Meyer: “It is important to me that bee colonies are kept according to their nature. This means the beekeeper’s actions must be in harmony with the development of the bee colony and that he disturbs his bees as little as he possibly can. It is also important for him to treat his honey with care.” In Germany there is of course a purity law for beer, but there is also one for honey – the honey regulation. This says that beekeepers may not add or remove substances to honey. Just as the bee stores the honey in the honeycomb, it later lands in the honey glass. “You simply cannot produce food more naturally. ” And you can taste that, says Falk: “Depending on the location, you can tell the between different regions.”

Activate YouTube content

Yes, I would like to view content from YouTube. Read our privacy policy and cookie guidelines for further information and decision options.

X9yr6qecsOk
YouTube aktivieren
Play on YouTube
3:07

Falks top tips to help bees.

  1. Do without a short cut “English lawn”: Bees feed on nectar and pollen. They find neither food nor nesting places in a cut lawn.
  2. Sow wildflowers. With (native) wildflowers you can create a bee pasture, which serves the insects as a source of food.
  3. Buy or build a bee hotel for the garden or balcony: This also benefits wild bees, which are endangered as well as honey bees.
  4. Buy honey from the region: Thus, domestic beekeepers and a species-rich wild life will be supported.
  5. Become a (hobby) beekeeper yourself: A course with a beekeepers association for newcomers together with an experienced beekeeping mentor are the be-all and end-all, especially at the beginning, to learn theoretical principles and to have a competent expert at your side in practice.

  • A beekeeper goes from his Mercedes-Benz Vito to a storage area with materials for beekeeping
  • One hand holds a smoker, the other opens it and smoke flows out
  • Two hands pull a honeycomb out of an open bee hive
  • A man in a beekeeper's suit holds up a honeycomb with bees

The “supreme discipline” of beekeeping.

Meanwhile Falk takes care of 50 bee colonies at five locations. He has an online shop and delivers his own harvested honey to numerous traders in his area. “At the beginning, I just gave the honey away to relatives or friends, that was still all manageable. But with more than 20 colonies you can no longer consume the honey alone. So, my clientele base has built up over the years.” In addition, Falk devotes his attention to the breeding of the Buckfast bee, a breed that comes from the English monastery Buckfast. “Breeding the queen is probably the ultimate discipline in beekeeping. It combines all the skills a beekeeper needs to master in order to maintain good and efficient bee colonies and ultimately to succeed.” Additionally, the beekeeper is involved in a program that aims to tackle the fatal mite infestation of bees, which is a major cause of bees dying. After his work is done, Falk climbs into his Vito and drives home with a good feeling – his bee colonies are already busy producing honey, which he can harvest in the summer.

A Mercedes-Benz Vito driving along a forest road

With the Vito, Falk regularly travels between his five locations.

With the Vito to homemade honey.

The bee’s year is varied and depends on the annual rhythm of the bees. His Mercedes-Benz Vito helps Falk with the necessary work.

  • The bees are largely left alone at the beginning of the year. From February, the bees are only checked to see if they still have enough food. “If I drive out to my bee colonies through the fields or through the woods, the Vito’s all-wheel drive is indispensable.”
  • In April the bee season starts and with it comes a lot of work. So that the bees have enough space to store the honey, honey chambers are set up.
  • April is also the starting point for transport to the rapeseed fields or to the orchards. “The bees need the temperature to be cool during transport. The windows in the Vito’s cargo area provide good air circulation.”
  • From May onwards, the swarm inspection ensures that the bees do not swarm out unchecked. This would mean that about half of the colony would look for a new hive.
  • The honey harvest in June marks the culmination of the work. “The Vito has a long wheelbase, so I can load more, which makes sense when the colonies are harvested.
  • When the lime trees have blossomed, the honey extraction is finished. Now the bees are treated against the Varroa mite. After the treatment, the bees are fed in preparation for the winter. Most of the work is now done.
  • Falk concludes: “The loading space of the Vito offers a lot of storage space. The uncomplicated engineering and the all-wheel drive also make it a vehicle that I find very suitable for everyday use”.

A man fastens a bee hive inside a van with a lashing strap

The Vito is ideal for Falk to safely transport his equipment consisting of beehives, frames, honey buckets and so much more.

A man and his dog are standing in front of a Mercedes-Benz Vito with the side door open

Faithful companion: Falk's dog Qooper is always with him.

Close-up of bees in an open hive

The Buckfast bee is considered to be extremely gentle and easy to care for.

Two hands holding a honeycomb over an open bee hive

The honey tastes different every year depending on the location and the flowers available.

A man with a beekeeping veil holds a golden honeycomb up to the light

Falks bees have already diligently produced honey, which can be harvested soon.

Bees buzz towards the flight hole of a bee hive

The hive is teeming: A honey bee colony can contain up to 80,000 bees in summer.

Photos: Maren Wiesner

More Links to explore: imkerei-meyer.com, Falk and his bees – @Facebook, @Instagram

Vito

The Vito helps you get ahead – both out on the road and in your business. Its cost-effectiveness and quality are as exemplary as its versatility and safety.

Mercedes-Benz Vito
Slider images