The bee museum at Bouin Plumoisin, near Hesdin, Nord Pas-de-Calais, had an “open weekend” – they threw open the doors to their cellars and workshops and invited everyone in to see how they work, learn about the products and meet the bees!
This weekend they were bottling mead – a honey wine, incredibly sweet and quite alcoholic. The mead ferments in enormous wooden barrels and is then syphoned by hand into bottles – the old guy doing it really seemed to enjoy his work – I think the fumes might have been affecting him.
The bottles are then corked on an automatic machine and stacked on crates ready for the markets and specialist shops of France but judging from the coach loads of old ladies arriving I think there is definitely a fan club nearby!
Its still too early in the year in Northern France for many flowers but there were plenty of bees in the gardens and loads more new bee hives ranging from the ultra modern plastic ones to ancient old hives or glorious chichi little houses. They also had the most amazing bug hotel, I definitely want one of those for my garden.
Inside the building there was a glass bee hive so that you could see how the bees live – there was a glass tunnel to the outside and the bees came and went as they pleased and it was fascinating to see the honeycomb being produced without having to wear equipment or risk being stung.
As usual we stocked on up honey beer, more bee pollen, soap and spicy honey bread. The more I research the bee pollen, the more intrigued I am and convinced of its health properties. Several of my friends and family are now taking it and we’re all keeping notes to see if there’s a discernible difference in our energy levels or how we feel. I’ve said it before, in the 18 months I’ve been taking it – not a single cold and that despite a flu epidemic in my part of the world – I think its definitely a super food of the now let alone the future.