Interview d’Odile Mermoud, apicultrice

Odile Mermoud, beekeeper
Epalinges Are there flowers that are more attractive for bees than others? There are plants that are more attractive for bees than others. Honey and pollen plants. Nectar plants are those that give nectar.
Pollen plants are those that provide the bees with pollen, which they gather and take to the hive to cover their food needs. Does the type of flower influence the taste of honey? There are as many different honeys with different flavours as there are plants and terroirs. Honey offers an infinite range of flavours. A bee gathering nectar will give a honey a different flavour, year after year. The taste of honey even differs from one hive to the next. What should each one of us do for the bees? There are a few things you can do. For example, get our honey from a regional beekeeper. To encourage regional beekeepers, in fact. If you have a small plot or garden, you may not be able to mow the grass regularly. Which means leaving in small flowers, which the bees greatly appreciate. Avoid using pesticides and insecticides in your garden. If you must treat your plants, prefer environment-friendly, organic products. Avoid treating your plants in the daytime. Treat them in the evening when the pollinators are more active. You can also hang up small insect houses. Wild bees will greatly appreciate them and use them as a shelter in winter. You can also sponsor a hive and have your name on it. You will then receive your own honey to enjoy or offer. What do you need to look out for when purchasing honey? Go to a beekeeper who harvests honey the traditional way. If the bees were to disappear, would we also disappear? I honestly think this isn’t as worrying as some people seem to think. However, it’s a fact that they pollinate 90% of wild flowers. These plants would disappear after three years without being pollinated, Which means that there wouldn’t be any fruits and vegetables pollinated by bees at all. Bees are very precious for that reason. They give us many things, pollination among them. It’s a tremendous service they give us. If you could talk to bees, what would you say to them? I speak to them all the time! I encourage them and congratulate them for their work. I’m not sure that they always understand what I say to them, but I communicate with them all the time. I’m really very grateful for all they do for us. And everything they give us, pleasure and fascination. Thank you, bees.


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