PODCAST EPISODE 4: Manuel Hempel of Vindfløy Bybigård in Bergen, Norway
As you will find out, the last time I saw Manuel Hempel was in a karaoke bar In Canada. Obviously, my stellar singing voice made a great impression on the young, 34-year-old beekeeper from Norway, as we have stayed in touch ever since. To be serious, I met this incredibly passionate fellow when we were both at the APIMONDIA beekeeping and honey production conference in Montreal, Canada, and was struck by his story. Passionate about all things bee-related, Manuel is a keeper in a part of the world where the climate and terrain is tough – the city of Bergen on the southwestern coast of Norway. Although Bergen is not as wild as the mountainous areas of Norway, and the sea makes the climate milder and therefore suitable for bees, I am in awe of this young beekeeper, his perspective and story.
Vindfløy Bybigård is a beekeeping project in downtown Bergen, named after the Vindfloy (wind transducer) on Mt. Floyen where Manuel’s first hives were situated in 2013. Manuel run beehives from backyards to rooftops in different neighbourhoods all around the town of Bergen, seeking to “engage with the public and local institutions to create awareness for the city as an urban ecosystem, promote biodiversity and support local bees and pollinators by contributing to a more insect friendly environment in town”. What a legend! He is also very passionate about education, running workshops and giving presentations on bees at different events. In turn, Manuel and his bees have been involved with amazing groups such as Spire Bergen, ALF (Integration Center), SLowfood Bergen and the Bergen International School.
I am thrilled to introduce Manuel to the Ben’s Bees Community in Episode 4 of the BEES WITH BEN podcast. Listen in to hear us chat about the honey cooperative called HONNINGCENTRALEN (which translates to Honey Centre) – an awesome initiative where the price of honey is fixed so that all beekeepers can sell their honey for a good price and maintain its high quality. Food for thought until I next meet up with Manuel at the 2021 APIMONDIA in Ufa, Russia, for more chats on bees and hopefully a little karaoke 😉 Tune in! https://anchor.fm/ben-the-beeman