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Torben Schiffer


I learnt conventional beekeeping from my grandfather in 2006.

My first awakening happened when I treated my hives against varroa and then found hundreds of antennae on the mesh bottoms. This was the bees’ response to the recommended treatment: self-mutilation.

It is this experience which spurred my search for better ways of keeping bees. Through my experience with pseudoscorpions I was led to examine and research the climatic conditions of modern hives.
I was fortunate to be asked by Prof. J. Tautz to do research the differences of climatic conditions in tree cavities and modern beehives and its effects on bee health. We have been able to establish impressive data that lead us to conclude that the majority of bee hives in common use fail to offer the bees an environment that is appropriate to the needs of the species, with concomitant effects on the bees’ health.

I am much encouraged by my finding many wild bee colonies in Germany, and these have become my passion. I believe they have much to teach us. All we need to do is to cultivate an honest and open attitude to learn from them and apply this learning in all ways we can. We can already conclude that most of the bees’ problems in our time are man-made.

Torben Schiffer
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