Honey Bees in Paris - Urban Beekeepers

Image 28 of 112
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Jean Paucton in the Parc de la Villette puts a swarm of bees into hives to populate his apiary. "I started by setting up hives near Guéret in the Creuse. Since, agriculture has changed. At the time there was a great diversity, they planted clover, they made hay, all the farmers had hives. Since, the hedges have disappeared, like the farmers. There was a guy in the area who knew a bit more than the others, who came to harvest and take care of the hives. Some people were scared stiff of their bees which were of a local breed. I started that way, I had two, four, then ten, then twelve.  I had practically nothing to do, it worked very well, I came a few weekends each year, the bees had enough to eat. Then the hedges disappeared, the sides of the roads are now treated with Round-up, a herbicide. The pivoting point came in 1994 when the fields of sunflower and rape appeared. Monoculture established itself with the death of the old farmers. The young have taken over the farms and have started treating. The hives weakened and a whole farming tradition has disappeared."