PODCAST EPISODE 33: Weronika Wasiak, beekeeper, Miód Wasiaka, Krobia, Poland
“Bees are making things which, for me, are an absolute miracle of nature. This is the constant fascination of their lives.” This statement belongs to my Polish friend and former colleague Weronika Wasiak; it shows the inspiration she takes from bees and her deep passion for beekeeping – one that spans a century. Based in Krobia, Poland, Wero (as she is affectionately named) came to tour Australia and New Zealand three years ago now. She came, as all good beekeepers do, not just for a holiday, but in search of bees, and I was luckily enough that she stayed in my home and worked with me at Ben’s Bees for a number of months. Working with Wero was a really special experience. That time was full of great laughter and happiness, jokes and fun, frivolity and skill sharing. How wonderful to have a fourth-generation European beekeeper as a partner in crime, and I am forever grateful for the time we shared. For these reasons and many more, it is my pleasure to introduce Weronika Wasiak to the BEES WITH BEN beekeeping podcast for episode 33.
Wero and I met via the international beekeeping grapevine. Her social media pages were brimming with positivity and happiness, travel and adventure, and after a set-up by our mutual beekeeping friend Michel from Founex, Switzerland, we soon sparked a friendship. Wero’s family business Miod Wasiaka – which dates back almost 100 years – sells honey and other bee-related products; for Wero, this exchange of goods is not only about nutrition, deliciousness and health benefits. It is also about reminding us of the bee–human connection, and how important it is that we look after the bees as they generously provide us with so much – honey, pollination, existence. When asked why beekeeping is an important job, Wero replies: “The mystery of their work, which is not always visible, makes a huge difference in the world of nature and biodiversity.” Wero is happy and wise, and she learnt about the pleasure of bees from her father (who she refers to as her “guru”), who took over his father’s hives. The family connection is strong, and her skills and passion speak of this lineage. In fact, bees have often felt like a positive omen in Wero’s life: once, when buying apricots in a local garden, she saw some bees drinking from some broken fruit. She began taking photos, charmed by the bees, when the apricot grower, Marceli, approached her: “Are you the granddaughter of my friend Jan?” Having never met her grandfather, Wero was filled with joy to hear the gardener’s stories of Jan, who rode his bicycle to the city to collect frames and beeswax even at a very old age. A beautiful connection, all thanks to the bees!
Tune in to hear Weronika and I chat about her family business, our time working together in Australia, creamy rapeseed nectar honey, Poland, travel, and the pure joy of beekeeping!