My career was entirely dedicated to bees from the first insights in 1993. It finally led to BeeSafe, established in January 2013. My “mission” is to translate bee science, leading to studies that make sense. I stand for bee health, in all its aspects. Whether it be agricultural studies testing effects of plant protection products, clinical studies for bee health products or teaching veterinarians about bee diseases. I like to keep the whole picture in mind and think that making science available doesn’t mean simplifying.
How I started with bees
I decided to study biology when I was only 10 years old. However, it took until 1993 that bees awakened my interest: first bumblebees and then solitary bees. Their parasites and diseases were especially thrilling; I always say that my patients have at least six legs. Here’s a story about one of the key experiences on my way. Parasites finally led me to honey bees. For my PhD on the mite Varroa destructor, I worked in Thailand and Brazil.
Later, I coordinated a (German) federal breeding project for enhancing honeybee health and varroa tolerance. During these years, I worked in the bee institutes in Hohenheim and Kirchhain in Germany, which made me gain valuable experience in teaching, extension and consulting.
The road to BeeSafe
The year 2008 was the starting point for first freelance activities as consultant and instructor. For two years, I performed several higher tier honeybee studies in Germany and Austria. Later on, I continued these activities in two CROs (from 2010-2012) until starting BeeSafe. I work mainly in Germany and Italy but performed pollinator studies also in Austria, France, UK and Spain. My language skills (Spanish, German, English, French and Italian) and contacts to bee researchers and beekeepers help to perform studies in several European countries.
When not talking bees, studying bees or teaching others about bees, I love to read, walk and run. Half a hectare of garden keeps me busy in the summer months when I try to create a home for – you may imagine – bees. I travel a lot, mostly for work, but from time to time I just like to sit somewhere outside, observe plants and animals around me and just enjoy myself.
What you can expect from BeeSafe
Everything I do and the advice I give is based on science and my more of 25 years working with bees and their health. I stay on top of latest publications and developments. This means that my approach to bee health has changed over the years. I now follow a One Health approach. The insights of the past years on honey bee diseases impacting other bee species are responsible for that. Science isn’t binary. New results and observations lead to new approaches.
Despite leaving academia, I’m still a scientist. So, you can ask me to design a study on the effect of 5G on bee health. But I won’t sign a manifesto against 5G to “save the bees”. Because there isn’t any data supporting the claim that bees suffer from this technology.
Working with BeeSafe, with me, means evidence-based studies and consulting. It means data evaluation with a profound understanding of bee biology. I will put your problem in the context of the whole picture – for better studies and solutions. In my courses and talks, I make bee science accessible without simplifying. Because you have to know what bees need to save them.
Before starting our collaboration, we will have a first 20-minute Zoom call to speak about your needs and in which way I can help you. I need this information to calculate consulting projects according to your needs. These first 20 minutes are for free, independently if we start a collaboration or not. They serve to define your issues and if I’m the right one to help you with the solution. The first call isn’t a consulting session.
After defining the project, you will get an outline and a fixed price for the project. A first rate will be due immediately after accepting the quote. I will start working on the project only after getting a formal confirmation of the quote and after payment. Consulting projects don’t include fieldwork or travel costs. If necessary, these will be accounted for separately.
Any fieldwork goes into a separate project. For determining the best form of a study, again a short introductory call of 20 minutes helps to give me the necessary framework for me developing a roadmap and quoting your study. Valuing both your and my time, I don’t do any quotes without having this information.
The price will be carefully calculated according to the requirements of the study and BeeSafe’s role in it. Fieldwork does not include services as communication with stakeholders or authorities, expert opinions or similar work. This will be accounted for in a separate project.
If a study requires more time than initially planned due to additional requirements and/or missing information, the costs will be charged in a separate quote. In case a study is stopped or delayed, the already incurred costs will be charged.