Aimo Nurminen

Aimo Nurminen was one of the key founders of our association. His groundbreaking work has laid the cornerstone for our current efforts of preserving the dark bee Apis mellifera mellifera population in Finland. In memory of his lasting heritage, below we publish two posts written in Finland and abroad.

Lassi Kauko, the President of our Association

Aimo Nurminen died in an accident on 31.12.2018 at the age of 74 years.

Aimo Nurminen was the key person in the Finnish work with dark bees.  He started his work when the number of Finnish dark bee colonies was very low.  Over the years, he was able to expand the population and was eventually producing 150-200 queens a year.  The queens were mated on the island that many of participants of the 2018 SICAMM Conference visited.  His success in getting desired matings was better than almost all breeders of any breed of bee present in Finland.  Practically every beekeeper with dark bees has queens produced by Aimo.  There was even demand for those queens abroad, for example in Germany. Aimo was planning to concentrate on producing queens only for breeders and for export in the future.  Selection of dark bees was planned to be a big part of his future work.

In addition to breeding and evaluation of the bee stock, he had other activities related to dark bees: his bees were located in many places such as the summer residence of the President of Finland.  Other locations were in the city of Turku and shopping centres.  He was displaying dark bees in observation hives during annual fairs. Connections to the ice hockey team TPS and the group protecting the Baltic sea were part of his PR activity.

Besides bees, Aimo was interested in honey. Together with his wife Raija, he developed a brand of Dark Bee Honey with black labels.  They were also developing other products such as honey with lemon or sea buckthorn.  The honey for the above-mentionned ice hockey team had its own label too.

Aimo’s important role extended well beyond breeding and conserving dark. Owing to his manifold activities, he was respected in the whole beekeeping community in Finland.

Marleen Boerjan, President of SICAMM

Many of you have written heart-warming words in response to the sad news that Aimo Nurminen, our host during the SICAMM 2018 conference in Mustiala, Finland passed away on December 31. These words of sympathy will bring relief and support to his family and especially his wife Raija. 

I remember the warm welcome of Aimo and his wife when we, participants at the SICAMM conference, visited Pakinainen island and the breeding station where Aimo and his beekeeper colleagues had managed the pure breeding operation of the dark bee since the year 2000.  I am sure that not only his colleagues in the Finnish Association of Dark Bee Keepers will miss his enthusiasm and impressive craftmanship, but also his friends in SICAMM.

I took the photo below showing Aimo as a beekeeper in excellent form when we visited the Kultaranta Garden in Naantali.

In the name of all his SICAMM friends I send our condolences to Raija and family.

Marleen Boerjan, President of SICAMM
Wageningen, The Netherlands
January 5th, 2019