There was a time when almost every rural British family who kept bees followed a strange tradition. Whenever there was a death in the family, someone had to go out to the hives and tell the bees of the terrible loss that had befallen the family. Failing to do so often resulted in further loss such as the bees leaving the hive, or not producing enough honey or even dying. Traditionally, the bees were kept abreast of not only deaths but all important family matters including births, marriages, and long absence due to journeys. If the bees were not told, all sorts of calamities were thought to happen. This peculiar custom is known as â€œtelling the beesâ€.
Les 200.000 abeilles des ruches de Notre-Dame ont survÃ©cu Ã lâ€™incendie qui a ravagÃ© le toit de la cathÃ©drale lundi, alors que des rÃ©actions du monde entier affluent pour sâ€™inquiÃ©ter de leur sort.
â€œLes abeilles sont en vie. Jusquâ€™Ã ce matin, vers 11 heures, je nâ€™avais aucune nouvelleâ€, explique Ã lâ€™AFP lâ€™apiculteur Nicolas GÃ©ant qui sâ€™occupe des ruches de Notre-Dame situÃ©es sur la sacristie attenante Ã la cathÃ©drale, ce jeudi 18 avril.
â€œAu dÃ©part, je pensais que les trois ruches avaient brÃ»lÃ©, je nâ€™avais aucune information. Mais jâ€™ai ensuite pu voir sur les images satellites que ce nâ€™Ã©tait pas le cas et le porte-parole de la cathÃ©drale mâ€™a confirmÃ© quâ€™elles entraient et sortaient des ruchesâ€, poursuit-il.
Nicolas GÃ©ant a reÃ§u des messages et des appels du monde entier de personnes se demandant si les abeilles avaient pÃ©ri dans les flammes. â€œCâ€™Ã©tait inattendu. Jâ€™ai reÃ§u des appels dâ€™Europe, bien sÃ»r, mais aussi dâ€™Afrique du Sud, du Japon, des Ã‰tats-Unis et dâ€™AmÃ©rique du Sudâ€, dit-il.
En cas dâ€™incendie et dÃ¨s les premiers signes de fumÃ©e, les abeilles se â€œgorgentâ€ de miel et protÃ¨gent leur reine. â€œCette espÃ¨ce (lâ€™abeille europÃ©enne) nâ€™abandonne pas sa ruche. Elles ne possÃ¨dent pas de poumons, mais le CO2 les endortâ€, explique Nicolas GÃ©ant, qui espÃ¨re revoir ses abeilles la â€œsemaine prochaineâ€. Chaque ruche produit en moyenne chaque annÃ©e 25 kilos de miel, vendu au personnel de Notre-Dame, qui les hÃ©berge depuis 2013.
The 200,000 bees of the hives of Notre Dame survived the fire that ravaged the roof of the cathedral Monday, while reactions from around the world pour in worrying about their fate.
“The bees are alive. Until this morning, around 11 am, I had no news, “the beekeeper Nicolas GÃ©antwho takes care of the hives of Notre-Dame located on the sacristy adjoining the cathedral explained to the AFP this Thursday 18 April.
“At first, I thought the three hives had burned, I had no information. But then I could see on the satellite images that it was not the case and the spokesman of the cathedral confirmed to me that they had entered and removed the hives,” he went on.
Nicolas GÃ©ant has received messages and calls from all over the world asking if the bees had died in the flames. “It was unexpected. I have received calls from Europe, of course, but also from South Africa, Japan, the United States and South America, “he said.
In case of fire and at the first sign of smoke, the bees “gorge on” honey and protect their queen. “This species (the European bee) does not abandon its hive. They do not have lungs, but CO2 puts them to sleep, “says Nicolas Geant, who hopes to see his bees again next week. Each hive produces an average of 25 kilos of honey each year, sold to the staff of Notre-Dame, which has been sheltering them since 2013.