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Beesharing start-up brings bees and German farmers together

Beesharing start-up brings bees and German farmers together

Beesharing start-up brings bees and German farmers together

A Hamburg based start-up has developed a social network that aims to connect beekeepers with farmers, to ensure higher crop yields and promote beekeeping in Germany.

Sharing bees

A start-up based in Hamburg, called Beesharing, is looking at bringing beekeepers and farmers together through a new platform. The idea behind it is that farmers can bring bees to their fields to pollinate their plants and thus increase their yields. The platform was developed by Otmar Trenk and Nils Gerber in 2014 so that beekeepers could network with each other.

In the German agriculture industry, a trend has emerged that has seen small businesses closing down and large agricultural cooperatives occupying more and more land to try and be more cost-effective. According to the German Farmers Association, the average farm in Germany covers about 62 hectares. So, in order to pollinate such large areas, a lot of bees are needed.

The right bees for the job

The start-up introduced a new service last year for farmers and their advisors. The platform allows them to indicate how large of an area they need pollinating, what crops are being grown and whether there are other agricultural fields in the immediate vicinity. This allows them to calculate how many bees are needed for their fields, as well as what kind of bees they need: mason bees, bumblebees or honeybees.

Farmers can order bumblebees and mason bees directly from Beesharing; if they are in need of honeybees, the start-up will put them in touch with suitable beekeepers nearby. Farmers can then “loan” bees from the beekeepers, where they stay on the field for 10 to 14 days before being collected by the keepers. Mason bees and bumblebees that are sold through Beesharing stay in the area even after pollination.

The start-up also started marketing honey from its beekeepers last year. The company is currently operating in German-speaking countries but plans to expand into France and North America soon.

William Nehra

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William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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