Heidrun Singer is wearing magnifying glasses and, armed with a minuscule spoon, she scoops the young larvae out of the honeycomb. “We’re giving nature a little nudge,” she said, laughing. We can dupe the bees and ‘reprogram’ them, a bit like a hacker! In principle, these larvae are destined to become ordinary workers, but once they’ve been placed in an artificial royal cell, the workers start feeding them royal jelly and thus turn them into queens!” Heidrun’s family has been in beekeeping for three generations, and her daughter is already learning the ropes of the trade. “My breed of bees results from centuries of rigorous breeding: they aren’t aggressive and produce a lot of honey. Which means that my queens are much sought-after throughout the world.”