In the Metroplolitan Magazine on the Eurostar, I read an article about bee keeping in Paris. I was most surprised to discover that the best honey making takes place above the city on the roof tops and more specifically, on the roof tops of the Opera theatres!
This location was chosen by Jean Paucton who, having studied bee keeping with a view to growing his business in the countryside, found that the bees on the windowsill of his Paris appartment were thriving. In 1983 a friend of Paucton was rearing trout in the firefighers resevoirs beneath the Palais Garnier Opera and gave him the idea to set up hives on the roof.
The significant difference between city honey and country honey, is pesticide, which is absent from the green spaces of the metropolis. Parisien bees enjoy the luxury of the Luxembourg gardens and the 20 or so varieties of flowers passing through the markets weekly and Paucton’s success has encouraged the government to pursue further city farming.
You can buy “Miel des toits de l’Opéra de Paris” at the Opera House gift shop, or here, if you are incredibly keen.
On a similar note, there I was flicking through the magazine, admiring it’s layout, when I started to take particular interest in the illustrations, wondering who was responsible for the dusty screen prints. I didn’t conclude my search till now, and I find it’s none other than good ol’ bobby telegramme, whose studio I visited last week.