Meet Negar Mirsalehi, sister of Gisou Founder Negin Mirsalehi, and the brand’s first-ever beekeeper-in-chief. “Since I was a little girl, I would spend every single Sunday in the Bee Garden with my father. My father would show us the hives and tell us about the bees and we’d finish the day with a nice picnic together.”
Decades later, she still spends every Saturday and Sunday in the Bee Garden with her father, not only for tradition’s sake, but to hone her skills as his apprentice, devoting hours to practicing and perfecting the craft of beekeeping.
Continuing the 6-generation family tradition of beekeeping
If you ask Negar to describe when she is happiest, she says: “Being outside with nature, watching the flowers blossom and working with my hands.” One thing was always clear to Negar: no matter where life took her, she would find a way to keep her father’s passion for and knowledge of beekeeping alive and pass it on to future generations. “I’m looking forward to creating memories with my daughters in the Bee Garden,” says Negar. “They’re potentially the eighth generation of beekeepers!”
The unique composition of Mirsalehi honey
In the Mirsalehi Bee Garden, a wide variety of flowers abound like thistle, white clover, wild blackberry, fireweed and hogweed, among many others and “it is the composition of these florals,” says Negar, “that makes our Mirsalehi Honey unique and unreplicable” — it’s also the source of the brand’s proprietary Mirsalehi Oil Blend, a key botanical complex found in every product in the collection.
Beekeeping, the Mirsalehi Way
“My father brought his beekeeping practices to the Netherlands from Iran — a totally different environment. Everyone is trying to find a way to create habitats for bees to keep them going. Over the years, we’ve seen that the bees are having a hard time and hives are getting smaller and winter is getting harder for them to survive,” says Negar. “Past generations created lives around beekeeping and now it’s our generation’s responsibility to build awareness for the importance of bees, evolve and grow beekeeping as a practice.”
A typical day as a beekeeper
What exactly does a typical day as a beekeeper look like? “I obsessively check the weather 10 days in advance at all times – it really makes or breaks your week. I study and observe the trees, types of flowers that are blossoming in the Bee Garden and then I check on the bees. I open the hives, see if they’re healthy and have an open food supply and of course, check on the queen. If she’s healthy, she will lay eggs and that’s an indication of a healthy hive,” says Negar.
Negar officially stepped into her role as Gisou’s new Beekeeper-in-Chief on June 1, 2022. As Gisou’s Beekeeper-in-Chief, “Negar will lead our Gisou Bee-Learning Course to raise awareness around the importance of bees, advance our Female Beekeepers Project and create the ultimate beekeeping experience in our very own Mirsalehi Bee Garden,” says Gisou CMO & CDO, Nathalie Manivong. “With 5 years of intensive beekeeping training under her belt and decades of growing up in the Bee Garden, she’s the perfect person to carry on the family’s legacy.”
Negin adds: “I am so excited for my sister to officially join the Gisou family. Together, we hope to inspire a new generation of beekeepers and Negar will be at the forefront of carrying our family’s legacy onwards and forward!”
Keep an eye out on the blog as Negar shares her knowledge on bees throughout the bee season!