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Ancestral method of honeycomb

The honey is ripe, it's time to remove the supers to give you a noble comb honey.
Let me explain my vision for beekeeping.

I chose a different path than the current beekeeping for my passion as a bee shepherd.

For me, over-exploitation of the bee means using the means available for intensive breeding of queens, in order to compensate for a high rate of bee mortality and to permanently replace the queen to obtain overpowering colonies, This makes it possible to hope for honey harvests in large quantities and to use the pharmacopoeia.

I started with imported bees when I was a neophyte in the beekeeping world. Along the way, after suffering setbacks, I began to research bees, existing breeds and ways of driving hives in a way that took into account the well-being of the bee and especially that of our native black bee.

How I proceed with the honeycomb collection!
This is part of a set of reflections.

After deciding which bee I would work with, it was obvious how I wanted to produce honey. I am not giving you a lecture on honey extracted in centrifuge, I have already tried this method. I also tested the ancestral method of extracting honey with the help of the press: it is a much longer work, but its result speaks for itself.

He is no better shepherd of bees than one who passionately promotes the work of his bees. The beekeeper that I am is not proud to glorify the quality of his honey. What a lover of good honeys has not noticed a primordial difference between the flavors of a honeycomb that has decanted in operculum waxes of the year and a honey from the extractor!

There is no difference for those looking for a price before looking for quality.

For consumers who are looking for flavours, quality, know-how, then, there is enough to bring water to the mill. The honey of the jura flows slowly from the press and thus retains the whole of its scents and scents. There is no air supply in the honey as with the centrifuge. So there is no dispersion and loss of tannins and no oxidation. It is a honeydew job that is much longer to get this delicious nectar, it takes room for storage of honey combs to squeeze and a lot of time. It is the price to pay to sublimate the work of my bees without damaging the fruit of their labor. To the delight of purists.

I gave up the boxes for the honey harvest  

An elevation corresponds to a half body of hives. I preferred the small increases, which are even smaller, but which allow to harvest only the excess honey produced by the bees and not to overexploit it by superimposing the increases. The mini elevation is a kind of honey loft. With this principle, the queen clutch in the hive is not blocked by a lack of space, the colony is well balanced, the bees are not idle, They must produce and build wax for the jambage frames of the hive bodies.

This exceptional comb honey is harvested exclusively in the High Jura, in the absence of pesticides because there are no large crops. It is a pasture region that is conducive to the development of our famous cheese «Comté».


Parmi tous les miels qui sont proposés sur le marché. Dans les grandes surfaces, il y a des miels étiquetés UE/Région UE  à des prix défiant toute concurrence. Comment savoir ce que l’on achète ? Entre miel coupé, miel chauffé, miel stérilisé, c'est tout sauf du miel. Mais ce n’est pas cher, alors cela dépend si l'on cherche un prix ou si l'on recherche de la qualité et de l'authenticité.

C’est donc un miel en rayon « Haut de Gamme » que je vous propose dans ma boutique. Tant par la qualité des miels du Jura situé en montagne, loin des pesticides et des grandes cultures, que par la méthode employée pour anoblir ce trésor que nos abeilles et la nature nous restituent. C’est pourquoi ce miel du jura est vendu à un prix supérieur à celui du marché et des grandes surfaces.

Parce que ce n’est pas un miel ordinaire. C'est pourquoi je vous invite à découvrir ce miel en rayon naturel et bio.

The harvest of the honey frame

When spring gives way to beautiful summer evenings and our daughters have kept enough honey and pollen to allow the colony to spend the winter, the honey frames are ready to be removed from the hives.
For this, I use a special framework». This is a process that allows the bee to get out of the box and reach the hive, but prevents it from doing the opposite. It empties naturally without stressing them. This requires additional handling for shepherd bees: come the day before put the frames covers on the hives. (photos)
But what a joy the next day, when you arrive at the apiary to pick up your bullion. One ingot per hive corresponds to about 10% of the total honey of the hive (which means that you cannot feed on sugar to replenish honey reserves in autumn). Bees continue to come and go as nectar returns. And you, you harvest your hives quietly, without stress on both sides. Once all increases have been grouped in the vehicle, proceed to the laboratory. (photo of honeydew progress check)

Cold-pressed honey

The honeycombs are sorted, the most beautiful, well loaded in honey and completely sealed, will be reserved for the sale of honey in organic department, in a box engraved and made by two artisans of the Jura (for the sake of proximity and short circuit).
The others are one by one disconnected from the wooden frame and then deposited in the press. When the tank is filled to its maximum, I make a first pressure to compress the waxes which allows me to fill the gap between the honeycombs. When this operation is completed, the honey slowly starts to flow through the small holes in the tank.

It’s time for six to eight hours of pressing, depending on the type of honey. The pressing time is not the same if you squeeze a dandelion honey or a fir honey, more fluid. It is necessary to be present to turn the crank of the press whenever the pressure on the waxes decreases and according to the flow of honey that flows from the wall.

Thanks to this principle, honey does not heat, it retains all of its tannins. Comb honey is raised in fresh waxes because with this system, bees are forced to build new wax cells every year. To do this, you must agree to produce less, because they need about six to ten kilos of honey to produce a kilo of wax. This is the guarantee of a pure and natural honey.

In honeydew, there is little or no volatile odour from the tannins of honey, since it is not extracted at high speed, as in a centrifuge. They do not dissipate in the ambient air, the pressed honey remains compact, because there is no introduction of micro air bubble inside. This is how the whole of the honey ferments are preserved. This concept does not degrade the chain of sugars present in the nectar and preserves the totality of taste, nutritional and also therapeutic qualities of honey. In apitherapy (soft medicine), it has been known for a long time that raw and pure honey has many qualities: antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and many others.

As I explained above, this approach is part of a set of reflections that aim to produce less, but to produce better, with a very high quality honey, to make it an exceptional pressed honey.
With this way of proceeding, I reconciled myself on the one hand with a natural beekeeping and on the other hand, I reconnect with an ancestral honey production, since I offer you a honey as before the arrival of the extractors. It was the only way, at the time, to market honey. Depending on the region, it was called "honey with a knife", "honeycomb" or
"Honey cake"

The centrifuge to banish

What I don’t practice anymore!

Extraction of honey by centrifugation. It is impossible with this honey extraction system to obtain a high-end product. The frames of the increases are placed one by one in the centrifuge and when the start-up begins, the honey is extracted at high speed. It heats, it is modified and its tannins dissipate in the air of the laboratory, the honey is ejected against the stainless steel walls of the vat and causes air bubbles in the nectar, which causes the honey to oxidize before it is potted. I used this technique, which is repeated in modern beekeeping, but when I decided to evolve towards a sustainable beekeeping more respectful of our black bees, it seemed obvious to me to also change the harvesting technique of this precious nectar. So clearly I’ve invested in a stainless steel press for the honey harvest. The result speaks for itself. You get a squeezed honey that has nothing to do with a centrifuged honey. It retains all its tannins, wax particles, propolis and especially it has not heated. So it is not altered, it is not oxidized. This is the only way to sublimate the work of our bees and give you a high quality honey with intact nutritional and taste values.

natural wax

I also recovered a natural wax production made by our bees. I produce less, because my bees are forced to make waxes for honey, but I have every year the wealth of having a stock of wax of incomparable quality, Cest of fresh wax of the year, not polluted by chemistry and produced by our local black bee.

It is a boon that opens to natural beekeeping to present on the market of cosmetic pharmacies, a wax of high quality and natural.(photo of a pure wax).

Bees are doing very well. They build with small wax scales that they produce (see photo of the bee). The spokes are worked with astonishing precision. Built alveoli are used to store honey, raise broods, store pollen and store heat. In the picture we see this beautiful white wax. It is as tender as butter and yet it bears all the weight of the colony, honey, pollen and brood.

Today, what I propose is a traditional honey, practicing a sustainable beekeeping while following the beekeeping cycle and highlighting a natural wax production. All products of the hive are valued, which allows the shepherd of bees (me) to pursue his passion.

I am not trying to revolutionize the world of beekeeping, I am not pretending, I want to show the new shepherds that it is possible to produce differently, even on a small scale, without falling into the industrialization of beekeeping.

Of course, this is aimed at people who are sensitive to the disappearance of our endemic bee and the different beekeeping practices of today by ignoring the pharmacopoeia and all its derivatives. More info on honey consumption

Protein candi bread

Homemade candi sugar from honey and organic pollen is intended to give bees a boost when they leave the winter. The first container of about 700 gr is to be distributed at the first rising moon of the year. In 2023, the moon will be on January 21. This candi protein is powerful, it should not be considered as a food supply, but simply as a way to restore fishing to bees who have just spent 4 months partitioned inside the hive. Winter bees that live for 4 to 5 months are reaching the end of life, so it is essential that the transition be done with spring bees in the best possible conditions. This year the hazelnut kittens froze (so the bees could not enjoy it). The next pollen arrives only at the beginning of April with the first dandelions, so it is important to fill this gap with this candi that brings the queen enough energy to restart the laying.Shop

Organic propolis, another hive product...

Manufacture of a propolis mother dye for use in the manufacture of candi

Propolis

Propolis is a material that bees use to cover all the interior surfaces of the hive to ensure its impermeability, strength and disinfection. They make it from various resins that they collect from the buds and bark of trees (especially on poplars and conifers), to which they add wax and salivary secretions.
Propolis plays a hygienic role by creating a beneficial layer against microbial or fungal invasions. The entrance to the hive is constantly adapted and restructured with propolis to adjust its dimensions and orientation according to the climatic conditions. This passage constitutes a kind of sterilization cell at the entrance of the hive, hence the name propolis which means, in ancient Greek, "front" (pro) the "city" (polis).

Propolis is soft around 30°C, then sticky at higher temperatures and finally rigid at temperatures below 7°C. Its color can change from light yellow to almost black brown, By going through a whole range of browns according to the varieties of resins harvested by bees. It tastes acidic, even bitter and has a sweet smell linked to the aromatic resins it contains.
It is given many therapeutic properties such as: treatment of herpes, gingivitis, respiratory tract infections and many others. By its antiseptic substances and antibiotics, it activates the immune defenses. In the form of balm, propolis has a healing power.

Propolis in the form of granules, chewing gum, in a hydroalcoholic solution (see photo) or in an aqueous solution to restore its multiple powers of protection against external aggressions. In addition, it helps us to fight the ills of winter.

The propolis I harvest is exclusively intended to be redistributed to my colonies or young swarms when there is a shortage of food (famine). Propolis acts as a stimulant when mixed with food syrup for young swarms that do not have foragers.

Contact me:

Honey from the bees
35 Le Bourg Derrière, 39150 - Fort du Plasne, France

Phone: +33 6 32 58 28 00

Siret: 39093649000031

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