The Orta Lake: a small treasure chest set in the beautiful landscape of the Piedmont Alps, close to its much more famous relative, the Maggiore Lake.
It’s the environment where Mauro Rutto, a construction engineer and architect with a huge love for bees and for the place he lives in, has started his beekeeping business “Gocce di Miele”, i. e. honey drops. His organic honey is available both in the local stores and on his own online shop.
In fact, Mauro has created his website https://www.goccedimiele.it with WebSite X5, and he has set up a small e-commerce too.
Let’s find out more about Mauro’s story.
Hi Mauro, you are a sweet-hearted engineer: where does your love for bees come from?
«Hello! My love for bees dates back to my childhood: the first sweet substance I tasted, that should never miss at home, was honey…chestnut honey, actually. We could say that honey is in my DNA!
During my studies, I moved to Pavia and lived there for 16 years. Then, I moved back home to Omegna and, in 2012, I created my first apiary made up of 9 hives. Two years later, I started my beekeeping business Gocce di Miele, and since then I have been leading a double life: I am a construction engineer and architect and in my spare time, a beekeeper.»
Between studying, construction sites and apiary, when did you decide to move online too?
«I needed to get known both as an engineer, at first, but then later as a beekeeper too, and internet was just my natural harbor. I think the web is a fundamental tool to improve one’s visibility.
I’ve always had great interest in IT and graphic design: because of this, I developed my first web pages by programming in HTML myself. I then decided to look for a more intuitive software in orderto avoid coding, and finally I discovered WebSite X5.»
Was it love at first sight with WebSite X5?
«Yes, I was looking for a user-friendly and affordable software, I stumbled upon it and never left it ever since.
I like it because it is easy to use, and I can get very nice results with little effort. What I prize the most is that with WebSite X5 I can work on my website locally and without internet connection.
I also appreciate the possibility of creating responsive websites: nowadays, having a website which is perfectly browsable on desktop and on mobile is a real must.
I like WebSite X5 so much that I use it for all my websites, and I often recommend it to friends and colleagues.»
You are mentioning different “websites”, because goccedimiele.it isn’t the only project you created and brought online. Apiario d’autore is another project of yours: Can you tell us something about it?
«Bees are wonderful beings, crucial from the food chain, but also highly threatened. I wanted to contribute to the protection of bees and pollinating insects in general. But how?
I thought art could be a good way of raising awareness, so back in 2019 I started the project Apiario d'Autore ®, now in its fourth edition. Every year, 15 artists decorate hive front walls, then, they are used and “refined” by the bees themselves. The result is then exposed in traveling exhibitions.
I tell everything about that on https://www.apiarioautore.it/: for this website, I started off one of the WebSite X5 templates and then developed a blog and a shop where I sell my apiculture products.»
Web and bees seem very different worlds, but…
«…but the former one helps the latter, and to some extent, they aren’t different at all.
What I mean is that in my experience, websites and social media can be fantastic sounding boards for any kind of initiative, whether it is commercial or social, and they can therefore give any project the visibility it needs. However, in order to get the most out of these resources, they need to be regularly and carefully followed, looked after and updated.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if we’re talking about a website or a bee family: in both cases, you need to take care of them in order for them to thrive and bear fruits. And if we have a good season, it’ll be well worth it.»