When not at work, managing director Huét keeps herself busy buzzing around her bees
How did your interest in beekeeping start?
Through an old relative who was a beekeeper. He was so enthusiastic and I needed a hobby as a diversion from ‘the day job’ that was going to hold my interest. The honey and produce you get from a colony of bees is a bonus, but it was not that which really made me interested initially or has kept my interest for so long. It was being able to learn new skills and maintain these valuable pollinating commodities which are so under threat today.
How did you build up your skills?
Courses, both theoretical and practical, workshops and having a great mentor. The local bee inspector and local beekeepers association also play a very important role in education.
What have been the highlights of beekeeping so far?
Queen rearing – without a queen you don’t have a viable colony. Raising queens and waiting for them to take their mating flight and then watching to see if they start to lay is nature at its best – and sometimes worst and most cruel.
How has the experience changed you?
I have more patience now. Some things can’t be hurried and have to be done in just the right way and in beekeeping taking short cuts is often a pointless exercise. I’m also far more aware of my natural environment and the weather. Everything is
weather-dependent in beekeeping.
Any crossover between beekeeping and your insurance day job?
Yes – handle bees carefully or the sting will get you. It’s the same in insurance, utmost care is needed. Think, plan and only when you have a plan do something – don’t just do anything, for the sake of doing something.
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