Urban Beekeeping with Heinz Risse

A short excursion into the world of bees at Prinzessinnengärten.
13 Aug ’13 by Sara Community, Making Berlin

Whether in Tempelhof, at the new rooftop bar/hangout Klunkerkranch or the newly founded area of the former Bar25, nowadays called Holzmarkt: everywhere in the city people are committed to bringing nature back into the city. But not only Berlin-grown produce is trending right now. Bees are also a large part of the concept. In most urban gardens, there are a couple of hives that are being taken care of by the beekeepers. They treat their bees with care and love. The bees are supposed to live as free and natural as they can, and although they usually do produce honey, the yield is not the centre of the mission.

Beekeeping Workshop with Heinz Risse

Beekeeper Heinz Risse was kind enough to show us his bees during an Urban Beekeeping workshop. He explained the importance of bees and how they actually thrive in the city. The city, apparently, makes for a very good hotbed for beestocks: with all the different kinds of flowers and greens growing, they can selectively dine on the best of the best.

Risse, our beekeeper from Prinzessinnengarten, even deposited a hive on the roof of the Abgeordnetenhaus (house of representatives). He is part of the project Berlin Summt. The initiative is trying to raise attention for the lack of beekeepers in Germany and, most importantly, the dwindling number of honey bees in the wild by installing beestocks in popular places and where you certainly wouldn’t expect them (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berliner Dom, etc).

A beehive up in the branches of a tree

Since honey is pretty much used for everything and bees have become a major ecological and even political issue, we should appreciate the honey we use and the bees that are producing it. Even after stepping on the same bee twice (and getting stung twice – I don’t even know how that could have happened but it did) I am inherently dedicated to getting out of the way of bees, but you know what? It was nice to get friendly with them after all.

Prinzessinnengarten, 10969 Kreuzberg, Berlin

Four comments

  1. oh, i would love to win that! i just talked about this project in the prinzessinnengärten to a friend of mine. she’s a teacher of future kindergarden teachers and now whats to cooperate with the guys. its just such a nice project to support. and the prinzessinengärten are one of the nicest places in the whole city anyways. great article

  2. Gimme the whisky.

  3. .. der Heinz ist nicht nur für den Prinzessinnengarten eine Bereicherung, Nein, auch für die Berliner Stadtbiene :-)
    Einen prima Bienenkurs, wesensgemäß, hat er uns da vermittelt!

    Vielen Dank nochmals dafür

  4. Great pictures, and a very good article about an even better project! I can only recommend that you get engaged more in beekeeping!