This is thanks to the organic beekeeper Daniel Pfeifenberger. He has followed the traces of old bees in Salzburg and has been looking after 200 to 250 bee colonies with the non-profit association Bienenlieb since 2012. These live in and around the city of Salzburg and enter the honey here. From the wooded mountains the bees fly down to the chestnut and lime avenues, to the parks and allotments.
High organic standards
As an organic beekeeping Bienenlieb is controlled every year by the Austria Bio Garantie. According to this, the bees live in untreated wood and biomaterials in a species-appropriate manner. "We work according to the high organic standards and go beyond them because nature's cycles are important to us as a whole," says Daniel Pfeifenberger. "We feed the bees our own honey and organic beet sugar. We use untreated, residue-free wax. That is important for the bee brood (before hatching) and for the honey, which is stored in the honeycombs.
Organic honey from the city?
Isn't that a contradiction? In the countryside, an essential criterion for organic honey is the careful selection of sites. Beehives are therefore set up in an environment without intensive agriculture. And in the city? "Here the organic guidelines are the same as in the country. Salzburg is a city with several hectares of green areas and many small gardens that ensure diversity. When choosing a location, it is important to keep an appropriate distance from emission carriers, so that no evidence of vehicle traffic can be found in organic honey," says Daniel Pfeifenberger. The city of Salzburg has set up its own bee pastures to provide insects with a good habitat. Bees are not only irreplaceable for the production of honey.
38 % pollination & 55 % biomass
"The most important thing about bees is not honey. Honey is only a by-product." Expressed in numbers this means: a bee colony brings about 0,3 % wax, 6 % honey, 38 % pollination and 55 % biomass. "The bees hatch, collect nectar, are eaten by birds and go back into the earth as fertilizer. A single colony of bees produces biomass that is important for the environment. If pollination and biomass of the bees are eliminated, this brings big problems. Nature needs bees," says Daniel Pfeifenberger.
If the bees are doing well, our environment is also doing well, it says Bienenlieb. Today, however, the bee is a threatened insect whose population is declining due to the widespread use of pesticides and the lack of habitats. When bees and other insects die out, nature collapses. It is high time to change these dynamics by creating, preserving and maintaining habitats for insects. "Areas with flowering plants are important. As beekeepers, we can cultivate honey bees and honey bees build up a food supply in order to make do with it for two months. Wild bees live without food supplies, they are dependent on flowering areas."
So what should we do? Blossom strips at the edges of fields, a few square metres of bee meadow in their own garden provide the endangered animals with more habitat again. "Taking care of habitats for bees also means reducing the use of pesticides and generally not using synthetic sprays. Neonicotinoids are as addictive to insects as nicotine. They always get the same problem substance. If pesticides are omitted, nature regulates itself and wild bees can settle again," says Daniel Pfeifenberger, who is committed to preserving bees.
Show business for swarming
The Bienenlieb association in Salzburg operates the Bienenhof for the sale of honey and beekeeping supplies. The association also offers training courses for beekeepers. More than a thousand kindergarten and school children visit the association every year and get to know the world of bees better.
"Children are fascinated by bees. Bees show very beautifully, how cycles function in nature". And thus an idea buzzed around the bio beekeeper already longer in the head, which he realizes this year with the association bee love.
The bee farm will be converted into a show business and the whole area will be used for raising awareness, both for children and for interested adults. "The Krefeld study shows that in the last 28 years the insect mass has decreased by 75%. You don't see insects disappear in everyday life. Honey bees need much more attention, as do wild bees and insects such as flies and butterflies. The bees are very well suited for advancing thinking in cycles and for creating an awareness of how important insects and bees are".