Strangely, it appears that honey bees the world over are suffering from a mysterious illness named Colony Collapse Disorder and are disappearing at a rather alarming rate. Bee keepers are finding their bee hives disserted and speculate that pesticides may be destroying the bee’s natural homing powers leaving them unable to find their way home. You may wonder why this is such a big deal, but bees are a pretty big part of the food chain and play a major role in agriculture by pollinating crops. In other words–no bees, no crops. Interestingly, at the same time country bees are disappearing, their urban neighbors seem to be thriving and more and more city dwellers are getting into apiculture.
Paris, with all of its magnificent parks, turns out to be a perfect place to be a bee and hives are being found throughout the city. In fact, there are said to be some 300 registered hives in Paris. I had already heard of the glamorous honey bees found on the rooftops of the Paris Opera and Grand Palais, but was delighted to find an even closer producer in my own backyard thanks to Spring Boutique who carries Remy Vanbremeersch’s honey.
Vanbremeersch’s honey is produced in hives found in the 19th and 20th arrondissements of Paris and, in addition to Spring Boutique, it can be found on certain days at his stand at the marché aux Place des Fêtes. Thanks to the thousands of species of plants and flowers which can be found in Paris parks, the honey has a delicious fragrant taste, which is unlike the honey of bees who often feast on mono-culture crops.
If you insist on the more chic honey from the Opéra de Paris, it can be bought at the Opera’s boutique and also from Fauchon. You can also find Parisian honey at Les Abeilles a shop devoted to all things bee related in the charming Buttes aux Cailles. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait until autumn of 2010 to taste the “miel de Grand Palais” whose hives were only installed this past May.
Place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris
21, rue de la Butte-aux-Cailles, 75013 Paris