Some people get excited about Mick Jagger and some about Lady Gaga, but here at Comvita®, we were thrilled to host an international rock star from the beekeeping world – Gilles Ratia.
Gilles is world famous in the beekeeping industry, spending six months of each year travelling throughout different countries on his motorbike, meeting with beekeepers, giving lectures, reporting on trends and investigating how beekeepers work with diverse geography and climates. Back home in France, Gilles resumes his role as the President of Apimondia (a.k.a the International Federation of Beekeepers Association) and organises the bi-annual Beekeepers conference (around 10,000 people attend from all over the world).
Alan Bougen (Comvita® Co-founder), Cliff Van Eaton (Apiary technical advisor to Comvita) Gilles Ratia (President of Apimondia International Federation of Beekeepers Association)
On this visit to New Zealand (his second), Gilles has given lectures in Gisborne and Auckland to NZ beekeepers. He presents his well-informed thoughts for the reasons behind such things as declining bees, colony collapse, the connection between intensive farming and intensive beekeeping, pesticides (apparently the new generation of pesticides are 7000 times more toxic than older pesticides such as DDT!) and the rise of inner-city hobbyist beekeepers in places like Paris and New York, amongst other topics.
An extremely interesting person, with a passion for bees and the people who work with them, it was an honour to host him at Comvita®. If you’re interested in learning more, check out any of these websites:
or Beekeeping Globetrotter: www.worldbees.com, the online diary of Gilles trip.