Parisian Bees

While vacationing in Paris, my husband and I were wandering around the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) and came across their bee yard.

I had forgotten that there a Rucher Ecole (bee school) there.

I was watching the bees and checking out the hives, etc when I noticed this sign:

“Attention Opening of the hives is in progress.  Risk of Stings. “

We decided to hang around a few minutes to see what happened.  While waiting, I wandered around taking some pictures of the hives, the bee yard, and their hive stands.  I love how they have the yard set up – gravel base, small fountain in the middle, and all the hives on the hive stands in a semi circle around the storage area.  It allows quick access to everyone you and the bees need without being in the flight pattern.

I was even able to shoot a quick video.

Here’s a shorter one from a different angle:

It was amazing to see the number of bees that were coming in and out of the hives.  I think I read online that there are about a million bees in that area.  I’m not sure if that’s possible, but the quantity we could see was quite amazing.  We often compare our yard to Grand Central, but it’s nothing compared to this.

It turns out our timing was pretty impeccable.  After waiting only a few minutes,  white beekeeper suits started to pour out of the small classroom across the path from the hives.  I waited a few minutes, then wandered over the barrier to see if I could take some pictures.  I got a couple from far away, then wandered a bit closer and was called out by a french man who literally wagged his finger at me.  He told me if he lets me over the barrier than everyone will want to be there and it will cause a problem.  So, I went back to Wayne chastised and disappointed.  I tried to watch them the best we could from a far for a bit before wandering off.

There are also hives on top of the Paris Opera, but we weren’t able to see them from the top of Galarie Lafayette (we tried!).  Apparently once or twice a year you can purchase small quantities of the honey from the Luxembourg Gardens and from the Opera.  The rest of the year Parisian honey is available at Les Abeilles.  We did not have time to visit the shop, but I have it on my list if we ever get to return.

I also found this site which has some neat pictures from the beekeeping school.  Unexpected international beekeeping, how fun is that? 🙂

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