Bees - little workers that need our protection

In 2016, worldwide honey consumption bordered on 2 million tonnes! Worryingly however, the bee population has never been so low.

Ruches Barrière, Le Majestic

In 2016, worldwide honey consumption bordered on 2 million tonnes (with Europe accounting for 25%)! Worryingly however, the bee population has never been so low. Barrière is helping to protect these precious and industrious workers.


While techniques used to repurpose beeswax are achieving extraordinary results, the bees themselves are in danger. Today, over 13 million colonies, roughly 7 billion individuals, are unaccounted for – an alarming observation according to some specialists, who suggest bee colonies could become extinct.


But why is this alarming? If bees disappeared, it would spell the end for the pollination of fruit and vegetable crops.


Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the stamens of one flower to another flower of the same species, which results in fertilisation. By collecting pollen and nectar and travelling from petal to petal, bees encourage pollen exchange. These insects are therefore an indispensable part of the process.


Bee protection – an essential task


For a number of years, fingers have been pointed at the negative impact of pesticides, otherwise known as "phytosanitary products from the neonicotinoids class". Members of the French parliament voted to ban these substances in January 2016. However, the vote was held up by the sticky hives of administration. The "Le Monde" newspaper suggests that French honey production fell to just 10,000 tonnes in 2014, the lowest level in history. 32,000 tonnes flowed from hives in 1995, and 20,000 tonnes in 2011.


So, in the meantime, economic stakeholders or institutions such as the Caisse des Dépôts and Paris' Opéra Garnier have become proud producers of "urban honey". How? By installing a network of beehives on their roofs. Barrière is one of the companies helping to protect bees. From Cannes to Dinard, Ribeauvillé, La Baule, Enghien-les-Bains and Paris, a dozen of the Barrière's establishments are home to a total of 54 beehives – a definite starting place but time is of the essence.

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