When we ask him how long he’s been making honey, Gérard Jourdan interrupts us with “it’s almost ten years… I taught myself everything!” Indeed, Gérard has no formal training, he learnt on the job: born into a family of people of the land – farmers for generations – Gérard has the outdoors in his blood. He discovered bees thanks to his uncle who has a dozen or so hives, a hobby that he enjoys alongside a professional job. Which is what Gérard did as well to begin with, known as being “multi-active.” Gérard helps his uncle to move his hives, a migration as necessary for the survival of the bees as for the diversity of the honey, “I take care of about 100 hives of which some are moved 3 or 4 times a year. At each move they produce a different honey. In April is rosemary honey, then chestnut and linden – spring honeys! Then in July the bees gather pollen from the lavender, which makes up a big part of my production.” Be aware that the valiant bees fly a distance of 3 kilometers from the hive to go and harvest the precious pollen. They just keep fascinating us!
Gérard Jourdan also leaves some of his hives in the region of the town of Les Adrets-de-l’Estérel, in the Nice hinterland, where it’s hotter than around Auriol. These colonies produce the first honey of the year, a white heather honey, followed by wild blackberry honey. Unique and exceptional products that we’d like to taste immediately! Today, Gérard Jourdan takes care of his hives full time, a delight for this nature lover who divides his time between protecting his hives, harvesting the honey, and transforming it into gingerbread, nougat, honey vinegar, and candies made of 30% honey and mead. Gérard also takes care of recuperating wild swarms at private individuals’ homes: no more calls to the firemen when you have a swarm in one of your windows or on a tree in your garden !
You should call beekeepers, like Gérard, as they come for free to pick up the swarm, produced by a lack of space in the hive. This action does a service to the individual, allows the beekeeper to repopulate his hives, and contributes to the preservation of the species. It can’t be said enough to what degree bees, major actors in the eco-system, are crucial to the environment. Gérard Jourdan reminds us of this with simplicity, offering the honey like a little treasure to enjoy every day: honey has proved its benefits for centuries. Eat honey !
Chez l'Apiculteur, Gérard Jourdan
Quartier du pas de l'Avé
T +33 (0)6 83 50 57 32
Find Gérard Jourdan every week at the Marseille markets
Tuesday mornings, Cours Joseph Thierry (Réformés); Thursday mornings, Les Chartreux (in front of the church); Saturday mornings, Place Sébastopol.