The culture of keeping the hive is spreading

More and more municipal agents are called in to take care of apiaries. Improper handling and the swarm may die. And the test becomes an accident. The community may own or manage apiaries or employ beekeepers to provide and maintain hives. Regardless of the organization, training agents is a must.

The contents of this study are adapted to each situation. They have the opportunity to address a variety of topics: the basics of bee biology, the regulations and health monitoring of hives, the operation and maintenance of a hive, beekeeping equipment, the acquisition of products from the hive and public awareness of the role of bees.

Support from a beekeeper

Since 2013, the city of Dieppe (978 agents, 28,200 inhabitants, Seine-Maritime) has installed beehives. In the beginning, a professional beekeeper provides equipment and swarms. “Within the green spaces department, the municipality is asking for agents who are likely to be interested in the management of hives. In 2014, three volunteered to train and ensure follow-up”, explained Nicolas Verdier, responsible for the tree’s legacy. “A professional beekeeper, service provider, trained us for four years in the life and maintenance of a hive,” he explained.

With his mission completed, four new agents leave for eight days of training with the Syndicat apicole de Haute Normandie. The association brings together enthusiasts: professionals, multi-active people and leisure beekeepers. It offers, in particular, two training courses, one basic, the other advanced, to people interested in the subject. Its cost: 120 euros per person. Dieppe incorporated these sessions without a plan into its training.

« A Venours [Vienne], we welcome public service agents to professional retraining. We can imagine specialized training for local beekeeping authorities,” explained Claire Tessier, manager of education at the vocational training and agricultural promotion center in Poitiers Venours.

Honey is offered to the students

“We show the children the role of the bee in pollination”, testifies Nicolas Verdier. In 2022, Dieppe taught almost 950 students from CP to CM2, i.e. 38 classes. The agents are trained by the beekeeper. “We learned to introduce beekeeping. It cannot be improvised. With the smallest stupidity, it can be dangerous,” he continued. A training module for the beekeeping union is dedicated to harvesting summer honey. The city collects it from the communal central kitchen, then puts it in a pot and distributes it to children at school or at events.

“We launched a call for applications, fifteen agents volunteered”

Lucille Foucher, “energy, environment and mobility” project manager in Vanves (585 agents, 27,900 inhabitants, Hauts-de-Seine)

“The municipality raises residents’ awareness of the role of bees in protecting biodiversity. Four hives were placed in 2020 on communal land. We launched a call for applications within municipal services to identify agents interested in hive maintenance and training.Fifteen volunteers, including a leisure host.

Every Thursday, from 12 pm to 2 pm, from spring to autumn 2020, the organization La Fabrique qui pique leads a training cycle. The first part focuses on theory. Then, we put the hives, the swarms and keep them daily. The municipality paid 14,000 euros in 2020 for training and the supply of hives and equipment. »

Biodiversity, regulations… two days of initiation

CNFPT offers a two-day “beginning beekeeping” training to introduce bees, understand beekeeping regulations, integrate the scientific and technical bases for beekeeping. -install and maintain an apiary, and learn about wild honey plants.

“The aim is to support territorial agents in setting up or hosting beehives in their areas, by understanding the challenges in terms of biodiversity”, explains Céline Gerbaud , consultant in ecological engineering training in the Pays de the Loire. At the national level, delegations invested in the subject. Faced with the growing enthusiasm of the communities, the number of sessions increased from three in 2020 to eight in 2022.

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