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Ein Interview mit Corinna und Cornelis

Corinna Hölzer & Cornelis F. Hemmer | Deutschland summt!
Cornelis F. Hemmer (Geographer) and Dr. Corinna Hölzer (Biologist)
It's starting to buzz at WeShape, our team is very happy about the cooperation with “Deutschland summt!” (Germany buzzes!). The association fights the population decline of insects; informs, inspires and mobilizes for nature conservation. 
In an interview with WeShape, the initiators Dr. Corinna Hölzer and Cornelis F. Hemmer introduce the project.

Dear Corinna and Cornelis please introduce your organization to our readers in a few sentences.

The two of us are married, and when it didn't work out with having children of our own, we dreamed of a foundation, which is also sustainable. In 2010, the time had come. We risked setting up the foundation without any significant endowment capital, which is rather unusual. Since the beginning, we have had to constantly generate new funds in order to implement our ideas and employ our 9-person team. But it's a lot of fun to implement our own project ideas!

How did the idea of your project come about, how did it develop?

The first project of our new foundation at the end of 2010 was "Berlin buzzes!” With the bee as an ambassador for more urban nature. This quickly became the city network "Germany buzzes! We're doing something for bees" and we developed a whole range of activities to raise awareness of wild and honey bees and their importance for us humans.

We had noticed from our earlier nature conservation work that it is almost impossible to get journalists and thus the general public excited about the topic of "biological diversity". Too complex, not descriptive, not emotional. Hardly anyone valued bees or other insects.

We wanted to create emotions with our mascot and the direct encounter with bees. Bees are important pollinating insects, without which we would have far fewer vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables on the table. Their pollination services enable flowering plants to multiply. Plants and insects lay the foundation, so to speak, for all ecosystems.

That is why we have been informing, inspiring and mobilizing a wide range of people and organizations to become active for biodiversity themselves from the very beginning. We develop holistic solutions. Bees are just the beginning.

What drives you every day, what are you passionate about?

It gives us energy for our daily work when we notice how positively people react to our offers, for example when they participate in the nationwide planting competition, create nature gardens, build wild bee hotels or attend garden seminars. They often describe to us their experiences on their doorstep that they didn't have before, because a sod and a thuja hedge can hardly create experiences. Seeing the sparks fly and how the bees suddenly become more important really drives us!

Cracking "hard nuts" and inspiring people who previously had little interest in nature conservation is always a challenge that we gladly accept. After all, there is nothing more fascinating and valuable to us than the incredible mutual adaptation of animals to plants and their habitat! To help to preserve these treasures, and to do this together with as many people as possible, is what we burn for with all our heart ☺.

If you had to name in 3 key words, in which areas you change the world for the better, what would these three words be?

  • Bee experiences
  • Conservation communication
  • Habitat Conservation


Thank you for these exciting insights. We are happy that we can support you together with the staff! If you want to know more, you can find detailed information here on the website of Deutschland summt!