If KPMG partner for tax services Frank Stoltz is not at his desk or with a client, chances are he can be found on the office roof, minding his bees.
The Luxembourger first got into beekeeping 15 years ago following the death of his then father-in-law. “Nobody was there to take them over, “ he recalls and, since he grew up on a farm, he decided to adopt them. “I just wanted to find out whether it would be something I would enjoy,” he says, adding: “I had to adapt more to the bees than they did to me. They were just getting on with their job.”
He picked up advice from the beekeeping community in Luxembourg and soon discovered beekeeping was a good way to unwind after work. “If you’re putting your head in the hive, you’re not thinking about tax any more. I think that’s the nice part about it. You can change from one topic to another and free up your mind pretty easily and quirkily.”
After KPMG moved into their new premises on boulevard John F. Kennedy in 2014, staff suggested he could house some hives on the roof. Today Stoltz splits his time between a handful of hives on the Kirchberg plateau and those on the roof. “I guess that most people know the hives are up there. I’ve brought over 50 people at least to the roof,” he says. In the last three years, the bees have been adopted as something of a mascot by Stoltz’s employer – they feature on the firm’s Christmas cards and the honey itself is give away to clients.
Stoltz, who also enjoys hunting and being in the outdoors, says another thing he likes about his hobby is that it enables him to spend quality time with his daughters in a more natural environment. “I bring one or both of my daughters here regularly if I come to see the bees, especially during weekends… I grew up with the outdoors but for them it’s changing – they are growing up in the city and spend time in a playground or flat or house.”
He also enjoys sharing his knowledge with other and during the summer helped give a workshop about bees and beekeeping to scouts.