Le Rucher de l'Ours, passion for bees and honey since 1975 !
Le Rucher de l'Ours is a very nice small company which has its roots in the 70's back-to-the-land movement. Today we keep focusing on ecological values, solidarity economy and responsible consumption.
Created in 1975 this massive multi-regional gives a living with full-time work to 4 people...
Recently, a significant investment, with many hours of work and training, has been initiated for the development of direct selling with the creation of this website. Our ultimate goal is the complete independence of the company in commercial matters.
Le Rucher de l'Ours exists since 1975. Today with 300 beehives in the Pyrenees mountains we produce around 10 tons of a wide variety of honeys. When the production is not sufficient and in order to meet the demand, we appeal to the colleagues around, but absolutely remain in the qualitative line that has brought us here for over forty years. We exclusively sell French honey.
Le Rucher de l'Ours' team
From left to right :
Philippe WEIBEL: Beekeper, photographer, mechanic, sweeper, accountant, seller, computer beginner, passionate about bees and honey for 40 years and about this small company and incidentally leader of Le Rucher de l'Ours.
Sylvie: She was given an inexhaustible energy, she takes care of everything and the rest, she was hired as a secretary but she prefers the work of honey, she puts in jars, prepares the orders and the invoices, answers the phone, welcomes you at the shop... and always smiling! We owe her the commercial success of this website!
Laurent: He has been with us for over 18 years, he prefers working in the open air with the bees but you can also meet him at fairs and markets.
Francine: She was recently hired to prepare the packages because of the website development but she is only here in the morning because she is also mayor of the beautiful village Saint Martin-lys.
Agathe: The daughter of the house, she preferred to fly with her own wings, but she has been part of our development. As she speaks 6 languages she has translated this website.
Jérome: He has just arrived and will leave us temporarily to pass his beekeper degree (maybe the succession...) Le Rucher de l'Ours needs new blood, as you may have understood!
Georges: Our friend and colleague beekeeper, main supplier when our bees haven't worked enough. Georges is a force of nature with a matchless knowledge about bees and a local man with a huge heart.
We are located in Axat, a small village in the upper Aude valley. At the foot of the mountains, on the road to Font-Romeu, close to the coast line, the location is ideal for migratory beekeeping.
Our beehives hibernate near the coast, where they benefit from a milder winter climate and an earlier spring vegetation. Which saves us having to feed them, since our bees consume their own honey.
In coastal scrubland, Rosemary is in bloom from march, followed by Wild Lavender, and White Heather with its characteristic perfume.
After the first spring harvests, we move the hives to the moutains during May to produce Acacia honey, Linden honey, Raspberry honey, Rhododendron honey up to 1700 m of altitude. In order to harvest mono floral honeys, we move the hives before and after flowering.
Quality of our honeys
We are now a little cramped in our 200m2 building, a project of a new honey house is on the agenda, 2015 will bring many changes for sure.
Although we are not member of an organisation issuing statements, we have always worked with the spirit of our deepest convictions: the greatest respect for nature, bees and their products.
- Our bees eat their own honey.
- We do not treat our bees with antibiotics.
- We do not use chemical repellents while harvesting the honey.
- Our honeys are cold-extracted and cold-conditioned and never mixed.
- Our honeys crystallise naturally. We use a mechanical mixing process to make them creamy.
"We always say that bosses work hard! Allow me to doubt it..." It is true that we can spend time watching the bees going in and out of the hives, tirelessly, a bit like a fire in the fireplace or a wave that spins in the back of a boat...