Organic Beekeeping Honigstadt - Honey from Neuwaldegg
Honey from the city. What may sound a bit contradictory at the beginning, it is not at all, as Uli and Karl Heller from Honigstadt explain to me. Because in Vienna bees find a unique habitat. I met Uli and Karl (and their great honey) about our Foodcoop. And since we are as close as neighbors, I visited the two and their children Marika and Pauli without further ado to find out more about them, Honigstadt and their bees.
Shortly introduce your offer…
We have an apiary and produce the Viennese honey, primarily lime blossom honey because there are many lime trees in Vienna.
At first glance, this may not be so obvious that there is such a good honey in Vienna. But even when our biocontroler comes he is always enthusiastic about the standard, there is hardly any other like ours. Simply because there is no agriculture in Vienna.
There are no small gardes close to our location, because they are often real poison camps. And there is always something blooming in the city. You have the parks, the avenues, many brownfields and there is really a good management of Vienna, from the city gardens to the park management, which is great for the bees. And so Vienna is an ideal location.
Our locations are in Schwarzenbergpark at Manameierei and in Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark. The Schwarzenberg Park is by the way the oldest landscape garden in Austria and here are beautiful lime tree avenues.
How did you get the idea to make exactly this products?
Karl always kept bees, even as a child. And no matter where he was, he was beekeeping. And I (Uli) have always been interested. Then, as we moved to the 17th district, we thought, it fits in well. Since you can do it right next to the place where we live. And that's how we started.
Why do we keep bees in Vienna? If you see the bees as a bio-indicator, that is, if I derive the state of the living space from the condition and the well-being of the living being, then you have to say that in the country where the agribusiness is at home, the habitat is already pretty much destroyed. There, bees survive hard. If, for example, the rapeseed flowers, is sprayed, thereby the bee colonies are weaker or die, in between, they will find nothing, because a lot has already been harvested. There are no more green fallow land, no more waysides that bloom. Well, you do not have that in Vienna. Here there is a continuous flowering. And so Vienna is an ideal location for bees. I also have this diverse habitat in the city center. There are enough beekeepers on the roofs and the bees are not hungry. In July and late summer, they may even find better conditions than in the Vienna Woods, as the Vienna Woods are beech forests and there is not much flowering at this time of the year.
Although we never think of a rooftop terrace, since I prefer to be in the beautiful nature and do not want to be on a terrace.
Why did you choose Vienna as location?
Because we live here. We have both been in Vienna for a long time, Karl used to be in Uganda in development aid before.
How would you describe your company ...
What really distinguishes us is that we do it all by ourselves and that there is a lot of care involved in every step of the process.
It starts with the construction of spruce beech boxes from local forests to the care of the bees, that's clear, to the point of skidding, we just do everything ourselves. Also the website. This makes it a very coherent thing, as it is simply a concern for us.
Our honey is an absolutely genuine product, it is subject to no further production steps. It is hurled, bottled and ready. We do not filter the honey, we do not add any fruit additives, or whatever. It's just pure honey. That is why our honey crystallizes too. It is never warmed up. It's just the very pure quality.
Production site is in our house in Lower Austria. But once we also made it in our flat but at some point, then the whole floor was just more picky then everything else
Which products do you have?
We have the lime blossom honey in Vienna and then the mountain blossom honey from our location in Lower Austria. It's a bit different every year, too. We have the honey examined every year, you can do a pollen analysis here, and every year is a bit different. Very interesting because the location is always the same. Last year, for example, in Neuwaldegg we had a very strong stony clover impact, which did not exist in the year before. But the lime tree is always the dominant.
What we also produce are a lip care and a cream, simply because we have all the products you need. The main ingredients are honey, beeswax and propolis (putty resin, strong antibacterial effect). For cosmetics, we use the so-called capping wax. You only take the wax, if you uncovered the honeycomb before spinning. This is a very pure wax, which has a very high proportion of propolis.
.Where can we buy your products?
They are available in our favorite organic food stores and above all in the well-stocked Demeter shops in Vienna, because we are the only Demeter certified beekeeping in Vienna
Uli's and Karl's tips for Vienna
Why we like living in Vienna ...
We just like being in Vienna. And especially here in Hernals where we live, it is simply a particularly beautiful corner of Vienna. It has already a more suburban character. Just a cozy Grätzel.
Vienna is so diverse and the city has a great educational offer. And since we both work for the city of Vienna as well, we have even more insight into what structures are here and how well everything works.
Our personal Vienna tip …
What you really have to see are the blooming wild garlic flowers at the Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark, that's just so nice. As far as you can see is wild garlic, as in a magical world. Everyone is totally silent and completely enchanted.
And the Arena, I like to go there (Karl)
And in summer you have to go to the Old Danube, swim and enjoy. This is also our main occupation when we are in Vienna during the summer time, hanging out by the Old Danube. That's just wonderful, that creates a real holiday feeling.
Our favorite place in Vienna ...
What is simply beautiful here in the vicinity in Hernals is, if you go up the Himmelmutterweg, right next to the wonderful vineyard, and then turn up into the Korngasse. From there you have such a beautiful view over Vienna. I often go up there myself.
Our favorite restaurant in Vienna ...
If we go out to eat together, then often in the 2nd district to the Schöne Perle, this is a reminder of our time together in the Leopoldstadt. Otherwise, we often go to the Brunnenmarkt, here we really like the AnDo. Here in the 17th district we also like the Buschenschank St. Peter.