In a previous life, Xavier Tan was at the pinnacle of the corporate world. As a worldwide logistic manager, he spent his days liaising with clients from all over the globe. Yet, Xavier felt unfulfilled.
In 2008, Xavier left his company as they were relocating to another country. It was then that he had his first intimate encounter with bees. He met a friend doing beekeeping in Malaysia, and learned more about how useful these little creatures are. Even so, there didn’t seem to be a viable way of pursuing his newfound interest full-time.
Thus, Xavier settled for the next best option – offering humane hive relocation services. Meanwhile, he dabbled in stocks and tutoring to make a living.
He worked with various eco-friendly organizations that helped refer his relocation services. At that time, the few companies already providing this service lacked proper knowhow about beekeeping and bee relocation. As a result, many of the relocated colonies were unable to survive.
Xavier knew he had to do something more to help the bee population. He took a leap of faith and started Nutrinest – a multi-avenue business promoting bee conservation in Singapore.
Nutrinest is the first beekeeping company approved by the Singapore government. It provides humane beehive re-location services, educational visits to the bee garden, and workshops on honeybee conservation, among others. Various schools and organizations have engaged his services, including but not limited to, Temasek Trust, Wildlife Reserve Singapore, Chatsworth International School, and Spectra Secondary School.
Xavier’s passion for bees is clear as he regales me with information about them.
“Bees are harmless.” Xavier repeatedly emphasizes. To prove his point, he leads us to where the hives are housed. While thousands of bees are located within the hives, none of them stung us, or showed any interest in our presence.
When asked about the most fulfilling part of his job, Xavier cites instances when families are convinced to co-exist with hives on their properties instead of removing or relocating them.
Being a beekeeper might be less glamourous and lucrative than his previous profession, but Xavier finds the trade-off more than worth it.
“What other job can save thousands of lives at a time?” Xavier questions. In fact, Xavier has saved over a million little lives since he left his corporate job.
Xavier chose to make a difference through beekeeping, what kind of change do you hope to ignite in your career?