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CHANGE MAKERS “ I am a socially engaged bee-keeper "

You could almost say that he fell into it when he was a child. Fascinated by the work of bees, at the age of 12, he wanted his first hive.

Today, at the age of 19, he manages more than fifty colonies. Mathieu has become more than a committed beekeeper. In addition to the delicious honey he produces in the Tarn region, in Lavaur, he sells bee-keeping equipment in his shop. As well as this, he teaches at his “hive school”, and offers bee-keeping courses for individuals and businesses. He is also an author of a book (The Passion of a Young Bee-Keeper) and writes for the beefeed.com blog. Mathieu radiates passion. He is certain that taking care of the bees can change everything. He can't tell us enough that we should let flowers grow. Among other things. And I think we’d better listen to someone who'd have us adopt a swarm of bees.

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Bees are the catalyst for biodiversity.

Mathieu DomecqHead of Operations at Les Ruchers de Mathieu

When did you meet your first bee?

I started at the young age of 12. I had the desire to set up a hive. It didn’t run in my family or anything, I was just thrilled to discover bees, to observe them in my garden. My first objective was not to make honey, but to be in contact with the bees. It was a child's whim I suppose, which eventually turned into an interest thanks to a solid framework. It grew little by little, and today I have around fifty hives.


Why are bees so important to biodiversity?

We're already dependent on them: 80% of pollination is carried out by bees. And without pollination, there won't be any flowers, fruits or vegetables, we could even loose meat. It affects every sector, every diet. Bees are the catalyst for biodiversity. They are there to join the whole ecosystem together. If you take them out of the picture, everything else will fall apart.

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How are the bees doing today?

Unfortunately, not well. On average, over 30% of colonies are lost every year nationwide. The first thing that impacts them is the lack of flowers. It takes more than 21 million flowers per hive per day! It's a number that we struggle to even imagine...
There's also diseases and parasites, such as the hornet and the varroa. And then, of course, us humans, pesticides and other chemical products...


Tell us about your mission, what are you doing today?

We’re raising a lot of awareness. To make sure people are educated. Starting with children in schools. Then with individuals and company boards who come and take part in courses to discover the life of the hive. They then share their knowledge and interest in bees with those around them. New hives are being created, and we support them. Three years ago, we even launched a sponsorship for hives across the entire country with great success.

Can the bees travel far to get food?

Fortunately, bees can fly up to 3 km to find flowers, that's a decent distance. But we still see a lack of resources in certain places. We are launching flower meadow projects alongside companies that have installed hives, for example, to help our bees and biodiversity in general.


Is there something small that we can all do, every day, to make a change?

Flowers are very important in many ways, especially for insects. One piece of advice I would give would be to avoid mowing your lawn short. This is to let some flowers bloom, even if only clovers, daisies or dandelions grow, it will help biodiversity. And they're just as nice. It’s a simple first step for anyone who is lucky enough to have a garden!

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