As in every apiary, the main work in beekeeping is done from mid-April to about the end of August. This is especially true when, as in our country, the production of honey only plays a minor role. From a certain size of enterprise it is increasingly difficult to find suitable employees. They must be prepared to work up to 16 hours a day during this short period of time, including Saturdays/Sundays, and must also be qualified in beekeeping, especially for breeding queens. Such a requirement profile is fulfilled by very few people and, of necessity, the owner usually does most of the work himself. Under these general conditions, most beekeepers have limits on their growth.
With Waldemar Wagenleitner, I have an employee at my side who meets these requirements. Together with occasional temporary helpers, we both do the work involved in beekeeping. In summer there is no private life for us. We have internalized this in the meantime and don’t complain about all the work after a 16 hour day. With Jens Steinfeld we also have a partner who is responsible for the complete administrative part of our business. This keeps our backs and above all our hands free for concentrated work with the bees.
Dr. Peter Stöfen is the owner of the apiary he founded in 1990. After an agricultural apprenticeship and agricultural studies in Nürtingen he studied dentistry. For 39 years uninterrupted work in his own dental practice, in addition to expert opinions for courts and health insurance companies. Since 1990 development of a small apiary with initially 2 colonies, after the cultivation of the paternal farm with monocultures already at that time seemed more and more questionable. The bees took the place of the classical agriculture. Slow and continuous development of beekeeping according to agricultural criteria. 2004 Establishment of the Friedrichskoog msting station with some colleagues. Afterwards specialisation of beekeeping in queen breeding and reproduction. 2006 Training as master beekeeper in Veitshöchheim and successfully passed the examination as a master beekeeper. 2010 Construction of a (bee-)farm building on the paternal farm in Elpersbüttel.
Today Peter Stöfen is responsible for the overall management of the apiary. Besides the breeding work and the selection of the queens, he is primarily responsible for the production of bees. They must be available in abundance and this is the actual prerequisite for successful queen reproduction. On the one hand this concerns the generous filling of the Mini-Plus units with bees, on the other hand the generous keeping of young bees, which can produce royal jelly due to their age, for the keepers. These keepers overflowing with bees are provided with a few larvae. The result is then guaranteed high quality and long-lasting queens. On these wheels it turns alone! That cannot be delegated!
Waldemar Wagenleitner was born in Siberia and has lived in Germany for 45 years. We met on the dental chair some years ago. Since that time he also works in our apiary. This was the first time he came into contact with bees. However, from the beginning it seemed as if he had done nothing else in his life. He takes care of and creates the mating units and is more and more responsible for all the work I have to do. He has internalized the 3/5/8 dictation of the queen breeding like no other. But all other things are also in the back of his mind during the season. In addition, he takes care of the acceptance and placement of the mating units of foreign breeders on the Friedrichskoog mating station..
Jens Steinfeld is a trained historian and Scandinavian and started his academic career as a research assistant at Freie Universität and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. As an independent publisher he subsequently published over 40 different business papers on Central and Eastern Europe in Berlin. Since 2007, he has been a highschool teacher of history, geography, economy/politics and computer science. With a healthy respect for the bees, he is the one of us who has a hat for the bees. On the other hand, hardly anything shakes him at the PC and in everything that has to do with digital media, he is at home. Besides he speaks 7 languages and so he can actually communicate with quite a few of our customers.
Conclusion: A strong team!