The apiary of La Troche, under the winter sun (1989)

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This is the little apiary that I am exploiting (since 1982), with my brother Francois. We have 10 beehives each. Depending to the flowering occurrences, every year we harvest honey once, twice or even thrice: springtime honey, from fruit trees and safflower, acacia honey and honey from all the flowers of the summer. My best crop was an exceptional 450 kgs. Usually, it is only about 100 Kgs, because we abandon the biggest part of honey to bees for their winter supply; only the excess is harvested. On the other hand, some sickness such as varroas decimate a few beehives every year .
The apiculture became a passion for me when I reached retirement age. Unfortunately, that is a very laborious hobby and the years are beginning to take its toll !! Consequently, we now harvest only once each year except if the acacias bloom exceptionally well.

March 2003: Twenty years have passed since I started this apiary that brought to me so much satisfaction. But the time came when I had to stop this endeavor and we decided to sell the beehives, the bees, and the apicultural equipment. We put a short advertisement in the newspaper "want adds", and a few days later everything was sold.
All the beehives were sold together as a whole, but when the buyer came to take possession, Francois and I decided to keep one beehive each, because we thought that we would miss this empty apiary and our frequent visits to our bees.
Maybe we will reap a little honey if weather allows it, but it will now be a tiny harvest, and without excessive fatigue.
Here is a view of the apiary in the spring of 2003: two beehives on scales, instead of the twenty we previously had.

April 2004: The beehives that we saved "swarmed" again in 2003. Then, this year (2004) each one of us now had two beehives... Our good resolutions have already slipped our mind.
Moreover, on this April 2004, two swarms exit again. Luckily, Brother Francois was successful in putting his own on a weak hive. As for mine, it got away, and I don't know where it went...The bees have probably found a home in an old tree stump! However, the bees waited long enough to depart, to allow me to take a photo before they left. (Photo below)

Gingerbread : From my first years of apiculture apprenticeship, I was interested about the various utilization of honey, particularly hydromel and gingerbread. As for the hydromel, I confided it to specialists who operate by exchange (honey><hydromel)

As for the gingerbread, I soon became an expert . Each winter, I regularly make at the same time two gingerbreads (2 X one and half pound). I only use some honey (not adding sugar) and it is always very well-received. (below, picture of gingerbreads)

Two gingerbreads newly cooked