How everything started
Our beekeeping involvement started back in 1984 when Marja visited beehives for the first time during her agriculture and forestry studies. That experience became the spark that inspired her to take her first vocational beekeeping course. She bought her first beehive during the summer of 1986 and during this beehive purchase trip, her then-boyfriend, now-husband Ari came along. But soon Ari also became passionately involved with honeybees and before long the farm’s beehive count rose to 50 hives.
Ecological issues have always been important to us and organic production was a point of focus during our Helsinki University Agriculture and Forestry studies. During the end of our studies, we decided to move to a farm and in 1990, after extensive searching we found our new home—a small farm close to Korpilahti.
In our early farming days, we enthusiastically tried all sorts of farm activities: potato farming, sheep, chickens, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, geese, and mushroom cultivation. And of course, we always took care of bees. It was in these early years that we also welcomed some other additions to our farm, our three children.
Gradually we came to the conclusion that it would be better to focus on just one production area, and in the beginning of the year 2000, we made the decision to focus on the thing that filled us with the most passion and enthusiasm from the beginning—our honeybees. Soon after, we started to add more and more hives and eventually stopped production of all other agricultural projects.
Beekeeping is all about cooperation with the honeybees. With a smile, we can say that we are living in symbiosis with the bees; we take care of the bees and the bees in return take care of us. As the bees really are free to come and go, and they choose to stay with us, this may well be an accurate description.