Olaf Nils Dube

Bees and Humans - A Friendship

With illustrations by Isabel Pin
(German title: Bienen und Menschen)
ca. 159 pages
Olaf Nils Dube
Foto: Olaf Nils Dube
© ond

Olaf Nils Dube was born in Dresden and grew up in Darmstadt. He studied German Studies, Philosophy and Russian Studies in Berlin and worked as a journalist and press-speaker of an association, before devoting himself to beekeeping fulltime. He lives in Berlin.

Rights available

How bees save a human life

»To me, bees are still among the most fascinating animals on this earth. They exude a profound primitiveness that you can get very close to as a beekeeper. Every year I discover new aspects to them, get to know their cycles and preferences better and am as excited by their nature as I was on day one. Sometimes my bees feel like good friends.«


What is a person who dreams of a simple life, and is almost suffocating in the pursuit of a career, to do? Stuck in the wrong life; this feeling plagued Olaf Nils Dube for years. When he was in his mid-thirties, he gathered his courage, resigned from his position of responsibility, and left his spacious apartment in Prenzlauer Berg for a circus caravan. He took up beekeeping; like many other young people these days, incidentally. Back then he heard from all sides: »You can’t make a living from that!« And yet that is just what Dube went on to do, with the help of his bees. For they, after about ten million years of evolution history, are after all experts in survival!

In his book, Dube reveals what they taught him, what is important for beekeepers, what the destruction of bees would mean, and why bee-hives are veritable treasure troves. Above all, he depicts the moving history of our millennial-old friendship with a species that never needed us, while we would perish without them.