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Local Provençal honey markets

GOURMET

Fete du Miel a Mouans-SartouxThree honey-licious events will celebrate and raise awareness on beekeeping as well as honey making. Provençal cities organise traditional honey festivals every year but 2020 has proved difficult for these events. Now, two of three festivals will be happening in August and the third will be coming up in October. Open to all and free of charge, everyone is encouraged to participate and learn more about respecting the all-important bee and the liquid splendour they produce.

As a result of the painful sting that bees sometimes provoke, they are often misunderstood regarding their significant role in our ecosystem. Their part in pollination, which is very important for both ecological and commercial reasons, is still not very well known by the general public. Consequently, honey festivals are an extremely enjoyable way to learn more about this precious endangered species. They manage to raise awareness on bee’s impact on the environment as well as beekeeping in fun and enlightening ways through various activities.

In Provence, beekeeping is regulated to remain ethical and guarantee a reasonable but quality market. Throughout the PACA region, there are 3,600 Provencal beekeepers that operate around 163,000 hives which, in the end, produce 2,500 tonnes of honey every year. What else is there to say other than that it’s quite a dynamic organization!

Here is a chronological list of events in the PACA region which are organising honey and bees festivals:

2 August, Forcalquier

This event, which has been taking place every year for the last two decades is characterised by the great diversity of honeys presented at its market. Open to all, everyone will have the opportunity to learn about all the scents and flavours of honeys made in Provence from the local producers and beekeepers. From common lavender flower honey to the more unusual honey made from strawberry trees, the vast variety of regional products will most likely be a delightful surprise to visitors.

Event opens at 9 am at the “Place du Bourget”.

 

9 August, Mouans-Sartoux

Fete du Miel a Mouans-SartouxA reviewed version of the Mouans-Sartoux Honey Festival has been optimally organised without further delay. Normally occurring in April the event is planned around multiple interactive activities dedicated to inform visitors about all subjects concerning bees, beekeeping, and honey making. However, this year’s event will be predominantly demonstrative to respect health regulations.

Activities to look forward to: live extraction of honey by professional bee-keepers, honey tasting and, of course, cooking demonstrations from collaborating beekeepers and renowned chefs !

Market opens between 5 pm and 11 pm.

 

Early October, Les Arcs-sur-Agens

Happening every year on the first weekend of October is the honey festival in les Arcs-sur-Agens in the Var. Here is what to expect from the festival (in the hopes that loosened health measures will be applied):

-       Stations for honey tasting.

-       A demonstration in a glass-enclosed environment where professional beekeepers will take care of their colony of bees.

-       Live honey extractions with experts illustrating their methods and techniques simultaneously.

-       Workshops for children designed to be fun and informative regarding the subject of bees and their role in the ecosystem.

-       Photo contest where the theme will be “beekeeping.”

-       A market with farmers representing the regions local products: wine, olive oil, cheese, etc.

Event will be at the Place Général de Gaulle.

 

- Charlotte Gillet