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. In my opinion, making science accessible 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 Ph.D. on the mite Varroa destructor, I worked in Thailand and Brazil.
Later, I coordinated a (German) federal breeding project for enhancing honey bee 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 my first freelance activities as a 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 with 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 science-backed and the foundation of my more than 25 years of working on bee health. I stay on top of the latest publications and developments. This means that my approach has changed over the years. I now follow the One Health concept and try to put bees into the picture. Science isn’t binary and valid for all times. New results and observations lead to new approaches.
Despite leaving academia, I’m still a scientist. I need data, experiments, facts for my work. I’m not available for anything that is only based on opinions or anecdotes. You can hire me for designing a study to confirm or reject observations or reports. But I won’t support anything without scientific evidence.
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 it. 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 project and in which way I can help you. This 20-minute investment saves time for both of us: You get an idea of whom you’ll be working with and I see if my expertise fits your project. The first call isn’t a free consulting session. It only serves to define the problem and to decide BeeSafe is the right partner for you. I’m happy to sign a non-disclosure agreement before we talk.
After defining the project, you will get an outline and a quote. I start working only after a signed confirmation of this quote. A first installment will be due immediately after acceptance. Consulting projects don’t include fieldwork or travel costs. If necessary, these will be accounted for separately. If a project is canceled by the sponsor after acceptance of the quote, the already incurred costs (at least 25%) will be charged.
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 consulting 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 (at least 25%) will be charged.
Courses and talks
I do courses and talks related to bee health. These aren’t courses for beginners in beekeeping: I address advanced beekeepers, veterinarians, plant protection experts, etc. The topics include everything around bee diversity, honey bee health, and bees and agriculture.
Talks and courses can be booked by contacting me via firstname.lastname@example.org with these details:
- date of the planned event
- extent of the event (1-hour talk, half-day seminar, etc.)
- subject you’re interested in
- background of the audience
- number of participants
- online or real life?
Depending on this information, I will calculate the total price, consisting of my honorary and any expenses.