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Paris Revisited 2010

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Concours des Miels et Pain D’Epices
Official honey tasting of beekeepers of Île de France

9:30am headquarters - 26 rue des Tournelles

1:30pm  luncheon by the Canal - Bastille metro

free time (we chose to visit the Jardin de Plantes)

6:30pm – dinner with Claude Cohen and translator, Chloe Thion


Amélie Cohen
Secrétaire de l'A.D.A.Île de France

27 avenue de la favorite
94350 - Villiers s/Marne

20 Associations et groupements
plus de 2.500 Apiculteurs

Association des Development de l’Apiculture en Ile de France
Concours des Miels et Pain D’Epices




Metro Metro walls



4 tables of jurors – 10 to a table – each groups divided into 5
each table to judge 2 rounds of 8 honeys = 16 different honeys
one panel table recording and counting ballots (6 people)

bread/water/apples to cleanse the palate.

Among the participants (several whom we mad met last year/total 40+)

Michel Ricard:  the organizer
Christine:  secretary of Societe Centrale d’Apiculture /on computer
Gille Boddaert  - President Societe Centrale d’Apiculture / Parc Georges Brassens

Jean Manant – beekeeper/part of jury table with Erika Decker
Thierry DuRoselle - beekeeper/ botanist studying relationship between plant and bee
Chloë Thion– translator for Klaus Koepfli and young apiculturise
Jean Paucton- beekeeper atop Paris Opera house
Amélie Cohen - Secrétaire de l'A.D.A.Île de France

Arrival on move Assembly moving Beekeeper assembling Watching, waiting in movement


Note to jurors:
Judging to be done in silence
Choose a table/group representative
Read the form carefully
Remember that each has her/his own taste prefernce
Awards will be given based on merit – honeys have numbers only/no names
 (2 medals –gold, bronze / 2 money awards)


Jars to taste being readied Klaus looking around Thierry, Erika and Jean


the colour, scent, taste – body, texture, crystallization (and in its degree and conformity) – the honeys consist of:

Colza – a clear gray colour with a fine crystallization leaving a slight trace of a cabbage scent.
Acacia – liquid, clear yellow to water clarity. Soft taste with a flower scent.
Tilleul –  (LIME but not a citrus)rapidly crystallizing, varying degrees of yellow tint, scent of flowers, menthol, with pronounced taste sometimes leaving a bitter aftertaste in the mouth.
Chataignier  - (Chestnut – deadly to our bees) does crystallize sometimes with large granuals, with an amber to chestnut colour.  The scent leaves a certain bitterness – a course honey.
Tournesol  - (Sunflower)  fast crystallizes with a yellow to light yellow colour, leaving the palate with an pleasant taste without fading.
Reolte au Printemps -  (Springtime) these honeys are all different and have no particular qualities – generally clear in colour, fruit nectars they can quickly crystallize. Flowers, tastes vary to region.
Recolte en Ete -  (Winter) like the Printemps honeys the tastes are varied, less bitter, stronger.
Foret – (Forest) always strong, brown in colour with a variable crystallization. Sometimes a taste of liquorice or mint the honey actually comes from the sap and milk of the apids. Highly priced in Europe but not considered honey in the United States.

The moisture content of the honey is between 18 and 19% - anything higher will be disqualified.


Klaus and Chloe the translator Participants

Given these parameters we were then handed ballots –
Judge name / section/ examiner#/ sample#

We judged on:
odour/ flavour/ intensity
taste/ chemical feeling
tactil testing/ crystallization/ unctuously

Scoring points ranged from 0 to 8 – and those varied within catagories.
One then added up the computations – top being 20
Commentary was then written and signed.
All was assigned to a ‘compute’ page with an agreed upon ‘table’ commentary.
Ballots were removed after each group had completed their set of 8


Klaus and Chloe Into judging




Luncheon Amelia organizing food orders Enjoying the moments Amelia in motion Gille and Claude Jean

During our ‘free time’ we walked with new found friends, Jean Manant (beekeeper) and Thierry DuRoselle (beekeeper and botonist studying the interplay between flower and bee/insect) to the Jardin de Plantes – a most remarkable park housing one of the most thrilling glasshouse gardens.


Erika and Klaus Jean, Klaus and Erika by Bastille Canal - Paris Erika at canal


Jardin des Plantes / Thierry DuRoselle - beekeeper/ botanist studying relationship between plant and bee

Founded in 1626,  Jardin des Plantes was first established as a royal garden of medicinal plants and wasn’t open to the general public until 1650. It was designed and planted by Guy de La Brosse, the physician of Louis XIII.


Entrance History Looking into the Gardens Plant life Klaus on the go
Thierry Rouselle The length of it Colours of bark Garden house to The Green House

Soon after, John Baptiste Colbert was named as administrator of the garden and strived to bring the garden back to its original splendor after a period of decline. In 1693, he appointed Dr. Guy Crescent Fagon as overseer of the gardens. Fagon chose some of the finest botanists of the era to assist with the administration of the gardens, and during that time, the Jardin des Plantes grew immensely.


Twisted vine bush Tree overhang walk The Green House Front door Green House side view
Green House side view 2 Reflected plants Glass structure Glass structure 2

From 1739 to 1788, the Comte de Buffon took over the supervision of the garden, and again, many additions were made, including an enticing labyrinth that kids love. The maze still exists today. The Mexican Hothouse built (1834-36) by Rohault de Fleury, is an early example of French glass and metal architecture.


Mexican Hot House Mexican Hot House - full view Dancing Bull Honeybee motif in stone

A slight rain continued through the evening.



DINNER with CLAUDE COHEN, President of ADAIF - Restaurant Le Ruisseau

We met up with Claude Cohen, President of ADAIF, and translator, Chloe Thoin, spending a wonderful evening dining at Le Ruisseau on 137 Ave Galliene, Sainte-Mande.  A quick metro back to our Hotel Vivienne at AveVivienne/Montparnass.  A splendid time was had by all. 



Conversation about bees was covered throughout the day as follows:

Products against the varroa?
All these treatments have authorizations by the veterinary surgeons.

To nourish?
Yes - light syrup September (to maintain the laying)
Candy/sugar during the cold months (December, January)
And, end of February - March at the beginning of – nourishing syrup
Division of the colonies
Yes - in spring if we need colonies.  These new colonies will produce
honey only the following year.
Acarine Disease
Yes – acarapis woodi -  tracheal mite
The Beetles ?
It is about AETHINA TUMIDA, ?
no - It is not present in Europe
Yes - American foulbrood:
Very serious - treatment: transfer and destruction by fire of all Moveable frames.
European foulbrood: less serious. If the colony is strong, the european foolbrood
will disappear by in spring with the first harvest of fresh pollen. No treatment.
Moveable frames  (Plastic)
Yes – little used in super boxes. These are moveable frames made of  plastic - non-colouring, neither white, nor black.
They are little used.  Difficult to clean and disinfect.
One covers them with beeswax (light layer) so that bees will accept the frames.
 I have never seen moveable frames/plastic in the brood chamber.

Brood Drone
Very seldom, at spring, some bee-keepers put 1 or 2  moveable framers of super box,. In brood chamber.
In this case, the workers bees build broods cell where the varroa lays.
The bee-keeper destroys these cells - the pressure drops
The hive off :
Yes - often – the bee-keepers recover them to create new colonies or To reinforce a
weak colony.
Bees Disappearance
Downtown and in the residential areas - approximately 5%
 In the country approximately 25% -
often much more in the intensive lands under cultivation/farmlands  (Corn - colza (seed) etc.)

Production :
Sedentary hives –
Paris 40 / 50 kg (per hive)  -
Suburbs (ours) 30 / 40 kg
And in the 2 cases, if the queen is young and favourable time,  80 / 100 kg
A the country - 15 / 20 kg

Currently the hives have many residues built up in the waxes from pesticides  and/or the plant health product.  They think that that influences the health of the colonies and the lifespan of the queens.

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