The real estate agent who became a beekeeper

Becoming a professional beekeeper was not something I even considered as a student so I trained an economist and became a real estate agent. In year of 2000 , I got my dream job, brokering shopping malls and larger commercial properties for a British-American consulting firm. My goal of doing 100 million deals was reached! It wasn’t my money, but I got to play with the big boys, in my mind a proof of success. But the grass isn’t always always greener … What I found was a hard corporate culture mainly populated by self-serving individuals and after four years the burnout was total. It took 3 months of sick leave for me to see more clearly and once the fog eased, the decision was simple. From now on, I would only do things that were fun and rewarding. I resigned and started working as a musician and singer ( Not as far fetched as it may seem, I supported myself by busking during my student years, curious how it sound? click here). Later I co-founded a digital printing company and then Kristinehovs Malmgård which is a social enterprise with the goal of creating jobs for people whom have difficulties entering the labor market. I have also been involved in starting the company Belgoklubben.be

The first hives

In the summer of 2006 I bought three bee colonies to keep as a hobby at my summer cottage. I still remember how I, for the first time with fear mixed delight, opened the hives and started inspecting the frames. I immediately got into a flow state and forgot about time and space, a state that I still easily enter  when I open a hive. After about a week as a hobby beekeeper, I  finally knew what I was meant to do.

Beekeeping is not like other businesses

I have always been very goal oriented person and always made plans with clear milestones to tick off. So of courses I approached beekeeping in the same way, an elaborate five years plan with the purchase of 20 hive and then a doubling of the number of colonies through splits every year. There was only one thing I kind of missed to account for. The fact that the bees had their own plans. I had to learned the hard way that beekeeping is nothing like other ventures. In a ordinary business venture ,when something doesn’t go according plan,  just roll up your sleeves, put in as many extra hours as is needed to solve the problem. In beekeeping, however, there are windows for when certain thing can be done, if it doesn’t work out at that time, well, then you will just have to wait until next year for new chance. Extremely frustrated for a result oriented person like me but also a useful lesson that has made me more patient. The targets have by necessity become less important in favor for the process. Yeah, I know it sounds like the usual Carpe diem-stuff but nonetheless it is true.

The goal of my beekeeping is no longer a certain number of hives or a certain amount of honey. It is simply having as many hives as I can attend to with a reasonable work load. Nor is the target a certain annual income. The annual income is, incidentally only a fraction of what it was when I was in the middle of my career but I’m quite OK with that. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and that it is what is most important to me nowadays.