"And from the 23rd of November we'll see you at the Christmas market, you know, in front of the Bank." With such clues as this, the beekeeper Manfred Hirt is currently making arrangements with his customers. This has become a beloved routine of his: "Yes, I really am at the Spandau Christmas market every year, which has been part of my life for over four decades, as much as my family and my bees," says beekeeper Manfred Hirt, the longest-serving Spandau Christmas market trader.
Robinias and comb honey
Both before and after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the honey producer from the Lüneburg Heath came to the metropolis of Berlin - a market full of customers. In addition, he could produce robinia honey here like in few other cities. The special thing is that this honey not only tastes delicious, but it's also the only local honey to remain liquid for over a year. "When the railroads appeared, this tree was an excellent means of securing the light soils of the region into embankments - so Berlin became a robinia city," explains the beekeeper. Manfred Hirt draws customers to his stand with much more than colorful anecdotes: he has a range of honey made from rapeseed, pine, sunflower, linden tree and robinia. This is alongside honey soap and skin cream, honey candy, honey wine or schnapps. He offers beeswax candles as well. 2016 was a good year for bees, confirmed the beekeeper. As a result, considerable amounts of heather honey have long been available for sale. This year there is even a very traditional comb honey - a speciality from the Lüneburg Heath.
Beekeeper crafts from the region
Honey and beekeeping seem to keep you young - the 77-year-old, who is far from thinking about retiring, serves as proof. 16 years ago, he made himself at home in the region with his two-legged and two-winged family members. He migrates with the hard-working yellow and black striped colonies from the orchards up to Werder in Brandenburg. Nonetheless, he always ends up back at Berlin's largest Christmas market in Spandau every Advent. The 43rd Spandau Christmas Market will take place from the 23rd November to the 23rd December, daily from 11 am. A guest post from Partners for Spandau