Hi all. I am new to this site - so please excuse any errors! I live in rural France and want to start keeping bee hives. My concern is all the farming area around me and the spraying with insecticides and everything else they use on the crops. I know that the honey that comes from the top of a hotel in Paris is “cleaner” then the honey from the rural areas! What do you think - should I continue with my idea? Thanks!
I know of quite a few that keep bees in rural France. Native bees tend to be aggressive and poor producers according to my friends so get yourself some decent Buckfast, maybe Superbee from Cyprus. Are there Vespa Velutina where you are?
Thanks for this Dee. That is interesting. There are not many hives around here - and perhaps there is a reason! Yes, we do have Vespa Velutina (hornets) - is this bad news?
Yes it is. I’ll find you a link to a beekeeper in France who deals with them. You can follow him on YouTube or maybe Facebook. Where in France are you?
Thanks Dee - really appreciate you advice. We are in the Cote d’Or, Burgundy. We live in a lockhouse on the Burgundy canal, and have a lot of trees and foliage around us which is why I thought bees might be a nice idea! We just leave the hornets alone, and they seem to leave us alone, but I would be interested to see what this guy in France does.
I’m afraid Asian Hornets are a real pest for honey bees. They will hawk for bees in front of the hive and the bees in the end refuse to fly out. Then when the hive starves the hornets finish them off. Mark has a method for catching the hawking hornets and anointing them with poison to let them return to their nest to poison the rest.
I’m not a believer in killing hornets but if they are threatening my beehives I will do so. They are not yet established in the UK but a few nests have been found and dealt with, hopefully before new queens issued.
Here’s one video to get you started, Richard is in Corseul in Brittany
Then there are a few from Mark who is actually in Portugal.
Maybe you should try a cheap and cheerful standard local hive first. If you can’t keep on top of the hornets that Flow Hive will be such a waste of money. Good luck.
Brilliant thanks for the links! I think I may just put this idea to the back of the list of goals this year!
I’m sorry I didn’t intend to put you off. Is there a beekeeping club anywhere near you. They can give you more of an indication of how proactive in defending your hive you would have to be. Vespa crabro is indigenous here but not a pest and quite welcome to a few bees.
Oh no, you haven’t really put me off - I must just do a lot more research about it all!