Indefatigable, our bees roam the pine forest within a radius of three kilometers around the Resort. Its hectares of pine, chestnut, arbutus, oak, fern and broom forest, all free of pesticides and enriched with an extraordinary variety of flowers, represent a real opportunity to produce a tasty and high quality honey.
The establishment of 20 hives whose activity contributes to pollination, essential for the reproduction and survival of plant species, is fully in line with our approach to sustainable development.
Jerome, a young beekeeper from the Basque Country, is in charge of the exploitation of the apiary. Share with your children his passion for bees. Young and old, he will teach you how to protect these hymenoptera today threatened by the ravages caused by pollution and especially by intensive agriculture (treatments, loss of biodiversity, rarefaction of flowering plants) but also by its ferocious predator, the Asian hornet.
You will keep a wonderful memory of this introduction to the world of bees, you will learn to observe them closely, you will learn the techniques of extraction of honey and will taste its different flavors based on flowers.
The richness of the Landes forest allows to produce some varied honeys:
- the honey of flowers of Landes, sweet and with balanced aromas, is foraged on the wild flowers of the forest
- the fruit of the Littoral des Landes, fruity and intense, comes from the wild flowers of the dune
- chestnut honey with slight bitterness and produced in early summer
- the heather honey of the Landes with pronounced aromas is produced in the summer
- Callune honey, variety of heather with late bloom, in autumn. It is a rare honey, with a strong taste, whose production remains modest.
Other products of the hive:
- Royal jelly, also known as “bee milk”, is the whitish substance secreted by young nurse bees exclusively for the feeding of larvae at the early stage of their development and the only food of the queen. To obtain this for him, the beekeeper must remove the queen from the hive to encourage the workers to raise more larvae to become queens themselves and thus produce more royal jelly. Presented in freeze-dried or fresh form, it is recognized for its vitalizing and balancing virtues for the body, but must be used with care.
- Propolis is a resinous substance mixed with the salivary secretions of the bees and with the wax that they provide to ensure the tightness of the hive and its cleanliness. Grilled propolis, fresh and unoxidized, has therapeutic properties, especially in O.R.L.
- The wax secreted by builders to build honeycombs is widely used in dermatology and organic cosmetology, but also in home care products. To harvest 1kg of wax, wax bees must consume 10 kg of honey
- The pollen, brought back in the form of a ball by the foragers, is stored in the alveoli. It is valuable because it is the only source of protein in the colony without the queen’s spawn stopping and making these insects unable to rear the larvae. Excellent dietary supplement, its micro elements stimulate immune defenses and fight against fatigue.
The organization of the hive
Bees raised by humans in a hive are called domestic and live in a well-organized society where each has a well-defined role.
- The queen is the only fertile female and therefore the only one to be able to lay eggs. She is the mother of all the individuals who make up the colony: the workers, drones and future queens. To be queen, a female egg must be deposited in a royal cell – larger than the others – and the larva which is derived from it fed only by the royal jelly-feeding bees, exclusive feeding of the queens during their 4 or 5 years of life. Shortly after she was born, she mated with several males (the drones) during the mating flight. A queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day.
- The drones, larger than the workers but smaller than the queen, have only one role: to fertilize the queen. For the rest, unable to feed themselves and without sting, so without defenses, they die quickly after six months.
- Female workers make up the bulk of the hive. Female but sterile bees, they are sacred workers whose role evolves during their life. The first three days, they are responsible for cleaning the inside of the cells. From the fourth, they become nurturers of young larvae and also produce royal jelly thanks to two glands that have developed. Between the 10th and 12th day, these two glands atrophy to make room for others capable of making wax. Bees are then builders, able to also perform various tasks: they help to unload the foragers or to ventilate the hive to maintain a constant temperature or even to defend their habitat of the possible predators. It is not until the 20th day that they will perform as foragers many flights outside the hive to bring back pollen, nectar or water before dying to the 40th Other workers are then ready to replace them.
Preservation of the bee
Today, awareness campaigns for the protection of the bee are organized throughout France. They can take various forms, such as the installation of hives in the city, on roofs of buildings or in parks and gardens. Many associations campaign and inform the public about the major role of bees in the pollination of the flora in its entirety and the cultures and on the attacks that they undergo because of the phyto-sanitary products used not only in agriculture, but also by the ordinary citizen in his own garden.
The New Aquitaine region, aware of the threats to the species, including the black bee mostly high in the Landes and the Basque Country, has implemented the “Bee Plan” with an allocation of 700 000 € to beekeepers those most affected by excess mortality to help them rebuild and develop their herds.
Currently, various initiatives are being carried out across France with politicians to try to adopt a plan for the protection of endangered species, but also with citizens with original experiments that offer to sponsor hives in exchange for a few jars of honey. or other products.