Mendel was voted the Abbot of St. Thomas' Abbey in Brno in 1868 upon the death of his predecessor and mentor Abbot Napp. Mendel was humbled to assume the position, thinking he would have more time for his experiments. He also desired the extra income to finance the education of his younger sister’s three sons. Attempting to stay away from the stress of politics, Mendel concentrated on another scientific interest - meteorology. Applying statistical analysis ahead of other meteorologists, Mendel monitored ozone levels as he was interested in its potential for damaging crops. Furthermore, the brilliant scientist also had a keen interest in bees. Referring to them as his “dearest little animals,” Mendel crossbred bees in the 1870s in order to improve honey yields. Mendel’s bee house in the monastery’s garden is the first bee research center in Central Europe.
Photo: Abbot Gregor Mendel
Photo credit: Mendel Museum of Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic