Eric the Half a Bee went the Monty Python song that some of my colleagues at school took great delight in walking around the school singing. During the last week I received a notice on facebook that there was an open day at a Honey producer in south Strasbourg.
So, after she had finished her Sunday morning observances JTO and I headed to the southern end of the tram network I have written about before. There was then a walk, the direction both of us had but didn’t quite know exactly. However, between us we managed to walk in the right direction and we came upon a street closure which then led to the street containing the honey producer. On our left was a someone providing rides upon Shetland Ponies, we were faced with the Strasbourg society of small animal keepers, and you knew they weren’t keeping them as pets and to our right were a number of other stalls down the street in front of the honey producer’s factory.
One of the first thing that happened was that we were caught by a couple of children (second picture) seeking for us to pay €5 towards the tombola. The winners won a pot of honey every week for a year, which was an attractive prospect, but more importantly, contributed towards the cost of training Frédéric, a student from Ziguinchor in “the luxuriant delta of the Casamance”.
We walked around the stalls which included everything from clothes made in Venezuela to artisanal soaps and cosmetics, where JTO bought some soap. We watched some people being shown a working hive and then walked into the yard of the factory and were asked if we wanted a tour, which we did. A very nice man then explained the process they go through to make the honey, the importance of pollination to the agricultural economy and showed us the equipment they use to take hives out into various places around Alsace which pollinate different plants for the farmers but also results in the company getting honey from the exercise. The hives have to be moved at night when all the bees have returned. If they are moved in the daytime, those who are out of the hive will not find their way back, even if the distance moved is very small.
After the tour we got a tasting, which went down very well with a group of children with us at the time. It wasn’t so bad for those of us slightly older either, getting a taste of honey that was being produced in front of us.
After the tasting we bought some honey and headed home. An instructive day about the importance of bees to the economy, and in the process to make honey. Here’s the song in full…..