Hello from Northern Brittany.

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Plenty of honey

Field Bee
Aug 24, 2015
Reaction score
Brittany, France
Hive Type
Number of Hives
260 + (Nucs and Honey production)
Hello Everyone. Just coming to the end of my 6th year in beekeeping here in North brittany, (near St Malo) and only just discovered this Forum!!! Slow I know!!
Started with three hives, that I bought and through the "french style of artificial swarming" i quickly learned how to make reasonable colonies.
Since then i have also been swarm trapping each spring and summer (averaging about 18 wild or feral swarms each year) and to date my colonie numbers are up to over 100.
However its been a massive learning curve. Most of my colonies were until this year, of the black bee variety and subsequently very difficult to work with, however they do have a few good qualities!!!. This year was the first year i have had good honey crops, mainly because i took serious look at my honey production and realised i was depleting my production colonies far too much, that never recovered in time for summer honey flow.
So this year i went over to a more sustainable way of beekeeping, using nucleus colonies as brood factories, that gave me bees and brood for all my bee work. and spare nucs should i need them. Next year i will double or treble the amount of nuc factories, as their easy to manage and their so easy to harvest brood from to put in to cell builders.
I also started queen rearing this year! Wow what fun and so satisfying to be able to raise your own queens and bees from your own bees!! If you think its difficult, then think again! all you do is set it up right for them and the bees do the rest, after all its the bees that are the professionals!!!!
So Yes i am a big fan of Mike Palmer, and i was fortunate enough to visit his Apiaries in Vermont last month. I had an absolute fab time. I learnt so much in my week there. Lots of re queening with push in cages, Harvesting queens and lots of general bee work. I consider myself privileged to have experienced this!!

So where am i going from this. Next year I am becoming semi profesional, and will be doing my existing job (landscape Gardner) along side bee keeping.
The great thing is, is that i have got rid of clients that have no possibilities of putting Hives in their gardens and instead taken on others that have large gardens in ideal locations, yes living the dream i suppose.
I consider myself very fortunate that i have also started working with the only full time beekeeper around here, who has mostly buckfast genetics in his apiaries and now i am using his mating yard and grafting from his lovely stock, how good can things get.

I also mentor a couple of new beekeepers which is very rewarding. I think its also good to give a little back and share the problems you have had, but lets face it were all in the same boat. Were all, always learning and are trying to share as many experiences as we can so that we all can find out why honey bee is such a fascinating little insect! I also run a blog. www.beesinbrittany.--------.com where you will find lots of stuff on making nucs, swarm traps and stuff i have had fun doing. I dont know it all, anyone who does, please inform me!!

This is a great forum, teeming with really enthusiastic beekeepers of all abilities and I look forward to posting and sharing my successes and most importantly my failures, in the hope that someone had has similar experiences!!
Knowledge is out there!!!

See you all soon!!!
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Concentrate on your Black bee strain... it will pay dividends

Learn from your yellow bee friend... I have found that the Italian derivatives can make excellent surrogates in breeding the sometimes "difficult" Amm

We are almost neighbors!

Yeghes da

When I see Amm colony supers stacked 6 high and despair as the yellow bees have consumed everything I understand why I pursue the holy grail of the perfect native black bee!
Too interesting.
I googled plentyofhoney and got a sex toy website....
Merci beaucoup
Now found the --------...thanks
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hello richard,
and best of luck.
we are neighbours! Sort of!

You're now my closest English speaking beekeeper! prepare to be hassled!!
we are neighbours! Sort of!

You're now my closest English speaking beekeeper! prepare to be hassled!!

Hassle away, will help where i can. Cant guarantee i will know the answer!! will pm you
Hi Richard saw your youtube stuff good work and keep posting please :) if I ever get down your way I'd love to see your set up
Sure always good to meet fellow Beeks. I am planning a trip over to the UK next summer around the third week of July. Richard
You're more than welcome if you're ever wiltshire way too

I'm in Avignon, seen your videos if your down our way look us up.

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