When I was searching for culinary stops in the north of Germany I found three manufacturers which I’d live to visit. About two weeks before I got there I wrote the three of them and asked for a personal meet&greet. Unfortunately nobody replied which was very unusual so far. That’s why I searched again for some alternatives just one day before I arrived in that area. I found a couple who is running a farm with Galloway cattle and a woman who is producing honey. So I wrote them and hoped for a quick reply.
I was very lucky that both of them answered within that day and wanted to meet me. After those meetings I am even more happy that faith brought us together….
Texting with Agnes already before the meeting made me even more curious about her. To be honest – I thought I found a copy of myself, but more about that later on.
So I meet her in her tiny house at a camping side, which she and her former husband converted. It’s such a lovely and cozy place and I felt homely immediately. We sat on her small terrace and started talking right away. The meeting was supposed to be about honey but all we spoke about was life in general. Agnes isn’t running the honey business anymore, which means that it still exists and she is still managing it but the daily tasks are done by another institution supporting people with disabilities . She founded „Flügelchen“ about 10 years ago when a strange incident brought her to that business. Once she was cycling along an alley, lost in her thoughts, when a car was crossing her way and made her struggle. She tumbled off the bicycle and the driver stopped the car to make sure that she was ok. That was the beginning of a long friendship. And he became kind of her teacher, too – because he was a beekeeper. In the first place she was just interested in bees and beekeeping. But through the years she developed a passion for it and made it a professional business, too. She produced many different kinds of honey with roughly 50 bee folks and sold it via online shop, some food stores a her own little shop on her farm. But a few things had changed and made her rethink. It was time for something different then why she decided to move to Lisbon to work on her second book. The first one was published soon after the founded her own business. I call myself very lucky that she gave the book to me as a gift. I’ve read it within a few days as it was very inspiring and talks directly out of my soul. Our lifes or the attitude towards life is very similar and made it easy to hang on thoughts about it. We realized that everything in life has it’s time and that everybody should allow themselves to go through that phases. It is normal that something, which feels right at one point in life, doesn’t feel right at another one. For example the place where you are living at, the job you are doing or the partner you are sharing life with. Keeping that in mind makes many things easier. The burden of a decision (where do I move, which job will I do a.s.o.) isn’t that heavy anymore because you allow yourself to rethink and re-decide whenever you want. That doesn’t mean to throw things away as soon as they get uncomfortable but to allow yourself to develop and change with time. We also talked about the path we are following and how we got there. Most of the times it was caused by incidents or influences no one did expect before. You never know where life leads you and you simply can’t know what you might be able to do. Agnes, for example, never thought about writing a book or working as a beekeeper but life taught her differently and made her the woman she is today.
After reading her book I learned a lot more about bees and was surprised by so much details around that topic. Did you know that bees are the third important farm animals after cattle and pigs because they are causing 80% of the pollination in our agricultural landscape? Without them the whole population on earth couldn’t exist. Another fact I didn’t know was that bees are flying a distance of several hundred times around the world (in comparison) to fill one jar of honey. Keep in mind that bees do just fly within a territory of about 7 km! Besides that they are orientating on significant trees and bushes as well as the position of the sun. Furthermore do flowers have a specific pattern human eyes can’t see and which reveals itself by sunlight. That’s how bees know where to land and where to collect the sweet juice. In general there are two generations of bees per year. Those who are born in spring do just live for 3-6 weeks and do different jobs within their short time of living (collecting nectar, taking care about the queen bee and the juniors etc.). Bees who were born in August are just collecting food to survive the winter and to reproduce themselves in spring.
Fascinating, isn’t it?
There are much more information about bees but also helpful advice about life itself within the book of Agnes Flügel. I definitely recommend to read it for both reasons. It’s good to rethink the way of life you have chosen from time to time… furthermore it’s a duty to realize the importance of such a small animal!
Check out the book “Die Honigfrau” (Publisher: Ludwig Verlag) for more information about the book or her website (http://www.fluegelchen-honig.de) for more information about her honey.