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Common sense beekeeping

Take a step aside to have another vision

My daily work at the apiary is done on natural bases, with respect for the local black bee, biodiversity and for a healthier result. Respect the living world, in particular that of the endemic local bee. From a healthy beekeeping practice made of common sense which will give birth to pure honey in its wax case. It is only at the end of this work that we can speak of organic honey.

The preparation for the wintering of the hives is done by controlling the food reserves. If a colony does not have enough stock of nectar and pollen. Balancing is practiced, which consists of taking a frame of food from a strong hive and giving it to a weak hive. If this is impossible to achieve, due to unfavorable climatic conditions (when there is danger for the survival of the colonies). So it is only in this case that we add syrup to compensate for the lack. The syrup is made from honey and pollen, it's the only food I give my bees.

They say that the black bee is aggressive!

Nonsense, she is only semi-wild and lets us know. When you enter the apiary. You are not at home, but at hers and she is the one who decides to let you into her privacy, for that you have to be observant! I visit my girls without the gloves, which allows me to have direct contact with them, sometimes they tell me by jumping on my hand, without poking me, that they don't want to be disturbed, and so I know I have to equip myself.

The choice of the species in link with my convictions

I select colonies of endemic (local) black bees, a breed adapted to our mountain climate since inception, they are known for their hardy qualities. This species stores a lot of pollen and nectar and consumes quite a few reserves, it is very thrifty, which is a definite advantage when winter goes into overtime at the start of spring.

It is nonsense for me to be in organic beekeeping and to work with an imported or hybrid bee. The choice of the local black bee should be mandatory for any beekeeper who chooses organic beekeeping. This only engages me, these are my deep convictions.

For me, the organic designation means guaranteeing high quality honey using practices different from conventional beekeeping and guaranteeing the well-being of black bees. It is to do without the pharmacopoeia.

Order swarms

The jamb frame and the natural wax

I work with what is called the jamb frame, it is a brace that goes right through the frame and allows the black bees to build their own wax. They evolve in a natural environment, free of chemicals. I put an empty frame on April 5, 2020 and on April 10 it is 90% built (see photos)

Each year, the native bees build the waxes of the new frames introduced into the hive, at the rate of three per year. This rotation allows endemic bees to be in a healthy and natural environment at all times.

I only keep the lid waxes (wax that closes the honey cell on the frames of Bernard strips). This wax is intended for the manufacture of small wax strips, which I attach to the jamb frame using the hot wax burette to guide the bees in their construction of the cells. I use the same principle for comb honey in small wooden frames where the bees make a pure wax.

Pressed honey is to magnify the nectar of our bees

The entire honey harvest is strictly controlled. It starts with hygiene. How are the honeys sampled and harvested? What are the tools used to harvest this precious nectar (press or extractor)? I don't use an extractor (centrifuge) because it causes oxidation before the honey is potted. I prefer to cold press my honeys so as not to alter their exceptional quality and their incomparable taste.

Storage of honey

Harvesting begins when the honey reaches a humidity level of approximately 18% (use of a refractometer). I make sure of a healthy production, of a noble product, which has not undergone any alteration, because the waxes are pressed slowly for 6 hours in order to harvest an exceptional honey. In respect of the environment, I only use glass jars and I have set up a deposit service (for local consumers).

Disease prophylaxis and Varroa treatment

Disease prophylaxis

This requires constant prevention and monitoring, without the use of chemical molecules. If a colony is infested, I use natural remedies, such as essential oils.

To fight against this parasite, I leave my hives fully closed. The entrance to the hive is reduced, the bottom plate remains in place all year round (even in the event of a heat wave). This allows the colony to keep a warm temperature inside the hive. In this way, we observe that the varroa grows little, if at all. If a hive was infested, one would be allowed to use thymol or formic acid.

Organic beekeeping: a guarantee of quality

Natural beekeeping takes into account all these production factors, so as to guarantee you, the consumer, exceptional honey.

To go further in the process, get involved! Become a “consum’actor”!

How ?

By buying honey or a swarm raised naturally from a beekeeper who collaborates with the endemic (local) black bee. You will be certain of acquiring a quality swarm and producing noble honey of rare quality.

With the swarms, you participate directly in saving the bee "Apis mellifera mellifera L1758", known as the black bee, which has lived in our region since the dawn of time.

This species is unfortunately endangered. Since the post-war economic boom, the great fashion has been to work with imported or hybrid breeds. In addition, poor beekeeping practices have been adopted with the aim of excessive productivism. They have only aggravated the situation of the black bee.

I don't blame the older generation, but I think we can do otherwise. I remain optimistic, because new beekeepers are setting up with a new vision, more respectful of bees and more ecological. Protecting the planet means taking care of biodiversity and everything around us, including our endemic Jura black bee!

Composition of hive products

Royal jelly: the superfood

A whitish substance secreted by nurse bees, it is the main food of young larvae after they hatch and during the first 3 days of life. It is also the queen's only food throughout her life, which is 50 times longer than that of the workers! The bees only produce what they need and do not store it: it is therefore a rare product, which contains the proteins and nutrients of the pollen ingested by the bees. It is an extraordinary source of nutrients and metabolic elements.

The propolis

The natural antiseptic

Propolis is a resinous vegetable substance that bees collect in spring and autumn from the buds of certain trees. The resin is then mixed with salivary secretions and wax. The bees cover the walls of the hive and the egg-laying cells with it to avoid any microbial contamination. The composition of propolis is complex, it contains more than 300 components including: resin, wax, pollen, essential oils, minerals and trace elements.


Source of protein

Pollen, different for each species of plant, is the male fertilizing element of the flower. During foraging, the pollen clings to the hairs of the bee. She then collects it in the form of a ball on her hind legs. Pollen serves, like royal jelly, as food for young larvae and bees. They make reserves and store it in wax cells hermetically sealed with propolis. A source of protein for bees, pollen has stimulating properties for the body.


Energy supply

Honey is made from flower nectar or foraged honeydew. The harvest is stored in the crop and then transformed thanks to the salivary secretions of the bees. The foraging bees transfer their harvest of nectar or honeydew to the workers who absorb it and then regurgitate it again to another worker until the nectar is transformed into honey. They then store it as a food source in the cells of the hive. The honey is dried by the beating of their wings and kept in good storage conditions by closing the cells with wax. The composition of the honey varies according to the flower(s) visited.

The wax

Versatile material

Wax is an element produced by the bee itself, at the level of its abdominal wax gland. Chewed by the mandibles and enriched with pollen and propolis, it becomes the building material of the hive. Man has been able to use its many physical properties both for the creation of objects (candle, gripping materials, coating of fabrics, etc.) and in cosmetics.

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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