"A home for the bees" partnership
You must surely know this quote, whose author has not been clearly identified “If the bee were to disappear, mankind would not have more than a few years to live.” It is certain that the fate of mankind is indeed linked to that of the bees, pollinating insects essential to the balance of nature.
However, for some years bees have been mistreated and are suffering from colony collapse disorder (CCD). In short, the hives are being emptied of their bees...This syndrome is very worrying because of the ecological importance of bees as pollinators.
In the face of this ecocide, and fully aware of the health-giving properties of products from the hive and the essential role bees play in biodiversity and the ecosystem, Arkopharma Laboratories is engaging in an eco-responsible action through their flagship brand Arkoroyal® by creating the First Responsible Beekeeping label and is taking action to promote the protection of bees by supporting the actions of “A home for the bees.”
It is through the actions of “A home for the bees” that we are working to protect the French beekeeping sector by sponsoring French beekeepers so that they can maintain, nurture and renew their beehive stocks.
DISCOVER OUR BEEKEEPER PARTNERS
Professional organic beekeeper based in Isère, France. He has received the French organic farming (AB) certification from Ecocert and Nature et Progrès (organic label based not only on technical criteria but also on environmental, social, economic and ethical aspects). Read
DAVID and KARINE
Two young beekeepers, inspired by Brother Adam’s method of apiary management who created their beekeeping business in Maine-et-Loire, France in February 2011, just across from Lake Ribou, close to Cholet (a sensitive protected water catchment area in the Cholet region). Read
Stéphane got started 4 years ago, after a dead, hollow, walnut tree fell in the courtyard of his workshop. The tree housed a beautiful swarm that no one had seen 7 meters off the ground. Bees interested him since he was a child, he now has around twenty apiaries. Read
Philippe was introduced to beekeeping around twenty years ago in Colombia. Since 1995, he has been settled in Guillaumes in Alpes-Maritimes, France where he has gradually developed a beekeeping and lavender cultivation business. The honey he offers has the French organic farming label (AB). Read
Thierry is a professional organic beekeeper based in Isère, France.
He has received the French organic farming (AB) certification from Ecocert and Nature et Progrès (organic label based not only on technical criteria but also on environmental, social, economic and ethical aspects).
He discovered beekeeping in 2010 and began by retrieving wandering swarms. With no family connection with beekeeping, he gained his experience by training and working with beekeepers in Australia.
Currently he has more than 200 hives.
Thierry uses Warré hives, which favor gentle beekeeping that is respectful of the bees.
Most of his apiaries are located on the uncultivated Alpine uplands around Grenoble, France (Chartreuse, Vercors, Belledonne, Ecrins). Thierry practices local transhumance within a small radius (40 km) during the season for honeys of the region (chestnut, acacia, high mountain).
The Chartreuse apiary:
The hives are located in the Chartreuse Regional Nature Park, at an altitude of 800 m, which offers a diversity of natural environments. The park is made up of forests which vary from oak to beech-fir woods up to the spruce trees at an altitude of 1500 m in addition to expanses of grassland and meadows.
The spring water sourced from streams and the wetlands surrounding the apiary are of excellent quality.
The honey collected by the Peuple Zélé honey house follows the woodland blossoms predominantly of linder and chestnut spikes and the chartreuse flowers found in the undergrowth such as brambles and raspberries with a fresh, floral, naturally creamy taste.
Thierry practices massal breeding and selection of these bees in order to get the best out of each bee (productivity, character, etc.).
He thus began his flock with local “black” bees derived from swarms gathered in the valley, which allowed him to create other bee colonies with natural controlled crossbreeding. Today he has colonies with a mixture of origins that are locally adapted.
DAVID AND KARINE DEVERGNE
Karine and David are two young passionate beekeepers, they draw inspiration from Brother Adam’s method of apiary management.
In February 2011, they created their beekeeping business, whose headquarters are located in the commune of Maulévrier in Maine-et-Loire, France just across from Lake Ribou, close to Cholet (a sensitive protected water catchment area in the Cholet region).
As their headquarters are in this protected area and their practices respect French organic beekeeping specifications, they will soon receive the French organic farming label.
The apiary is called Les Abeillers du Lac de Ribou. In May 2011, their population increased by 200 swarms leading them up to the professional beekeepers status.
The Ribou apiary:
The main apiary extends over almost 4 hectares next to Lake Ribou, the local flora there is rich and varied (bocages of rustic hedges and meadows mostly farmed organically).
There, a multi-meadow flower honey, and acacia, linder, chestnut, and bramble honey can be harvested. They will also develop the sale of propolis and the production of homemade gingerbread.
The bees to be sponsored are of the Buckfast strain and a certified line that only Dominique Froux, a professional beekeeper who collaborated with a Grand Master of beekeeping (Brother Adam at Buckfast Abbey in England) and who developed this gentle, productive farmed bee, can lay claim to in France.
Stephane got started 4 years ago, after a dead, hollow, walnut tree fell in the courtyard of his workshop. The tree housed a beautiful swarm that no one had seen 7 meters off the ground.
Bees interested him since he was a child, and this opportunity pushed him to go for it. After 4 years of work, he now has around twenty apiaries, either bee breeding apiaries, or production apiaries, the latter migrating according to the blossoms.
He harvests 7 different honeys depending on the seasons and hive placements within a radius of 40 km around his workshop, exclusively in the Vexin region.
Stéphane has been registered as a professional for several months, in the beekeeping branch of farming. He taught himself everything, by reading a great deal and making many mistakes; he has the good fortune to be a quick learner and a self-starter.
In the Vexin apiaries:
The budding operations workshop is located in Enfer, France (95420). It’s no coincidence that the French word enfer means “hell”; where better to make some devilishly good honey?
Creamy springtime, creamy linder, acacia, multi-summer flower and woodland with a strong predominance of chestnut ....another woodland honey without chestnut, very sweet and fragrant and in addition a special honey from the flowers of limestone cliffs rich in essential oils, collected in September (slopes of the Seine).
In 2016, Stéphane had 220 colonies. 80 being a base for breeding, the remainder production colonies. As every year, some were defective and needed to be replaced. Eventually, Stéphane wants to achieve the number of 350 honey production hives and 100 strain production hives of swarms.
He is also thinking of transforming his honey into products such as gingerbread using a wood fire, nougat and other sweets, and spirits. Moreover, in 2015, he trained in honey-based baking and confectionery.
Philippe was introduced to beekeeping around twenty years ago in Colombia.
Since 1995, he has been settled in Guillaumes in Alpes-Maritimes, France where he has gradually developed a beekeeping and lavender cultivation business. The honey he offers has the French organic farming label (AB).
In recent years, he had a population of about 100 hives despite large winter losses. Up to now, the winter apiaries have been located in the Gorges de Daluis site. Philippe practices transhumance as locally as possible within a radius of 20 km as the crow flies, except for the lavender on the Plateau de Valensole (Alpes-de-Haute-Provence).
The Gorges de Daluis apiary:
The operation benefits from an organic label and has a bioclimatic honey house built from local larch, straw and soil, which uses solar thermal energy, located at an altitude of 1300 m.
Philippe works mostly with local “black” bees, a very old strain of bees and a few ligustica strain bees as a result of its geographical proximity to Italy.
Philippe spends the winter in Central America where he is trying to develop a beekeeping business with local people. He is particularly interested in apitherapy.