New Keeper in France

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    Hi, I live in Brittany area 22, my Father in Law built me 2 National
    hives, he sent the brood boxes down to Cornwall and they were started off
    with Nuclei, this years queens in both, they are now here and doing
    very well.

    I fitted 5″ entrance blocks, but they look like they are
    struggling to enter, with hundreds queueing, would I be better to
    remove the entrance blocks? until Autumn. Its been extreemly hot for a couple of weeks now.

    Also, Varroa, both hives are brand new with new queens they were inspected by the bee inspector 3 weeks ago prior to transporting home to France, I have mesh floors in the hives, should I wait till autumn to examine for Varroa mite? or,

    Any advice welcomed

    Profile photo of ThePath

    Hi LadyBeekeeper welcome to Honey Beekeeping!

    OK so by entrance blocks do you mean a mouse guard. Basically you have inserted a block to make the usual wide entrance smaller. Well the easy answer is yes if your hive is strong and there is queueing then take out the block. The hive entrance should be completely open in the summer months, this will help them get in and out quicker thus filling out the honey stores quicker.

    To be honest if your hives are doing really well you should be checking them every week incase of swarming. This also gives you the chance to look out for varroa on the bees and in the brood. Try dusting them with icing sugar if any mites are seen. If you have a mesh florr they sometimes allow for a tray to be inserted below, if you are worried about mites then insert the tray for a week and see how many mites are on in after that time.

    Hope that helps and happy beekeeping!Dude

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    I also live in dept. 22 in Brittany. Can you tell me how you got your bees from Cornwall to Brittany. I have seen that there is a breeder in Cornwall taking orders for spring next year. just wondered how they travel on the ferry and what paperwork is involved.

    Many thanks,



    Don’t know about that, but as a new beekeeper in the LOT region of France, I have found out the new registration process which are a legal requirement for ALL beekeepers here. There are two types of registration. The first is for beekeepers with more than 2 hives who wnat to raise queens and sell colonies, honey or other bee products. For this, you must register as an ENTERPRISE AGRICOLE and get a SIRET number. Use the form Cerfa 11922*02.

    If you limit yourself to a maximum of 2 hives, and do not sell ANY bee products, and only give away to your family, register for a NUMAGRIT number using form DEMANDE DE CREATION D’UN NUMAGRIT (This varies by dept, but can be found on the web / local bee school).

    Once you have the SIRET or NUMAGRIT, you can make a declaration of the location and number of hives Cerfa 13995 *1, and demand a Nombre d’apiculter (Bee keepers number) Which should be clearly displayed at the site of your hives.

    Each hive should have some reference number on it (Of your own choise) so that records can be kept for chemicals/ feeds used, disease / treatments and vetenary proceedures etc.

    I believe that if you have a SIRET number and 10 or less hives, you do not pay tax on profit – more than 10 and you are a business and have to show profit and loss etc etc.

    The above is what I have gleaned so far, and I am up for any correction others may make

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    Thanks bob,

    Thats very informative and Im sure it will help a lot of people in similar situations. Atleast the French are sticking up for their bees eh! The French do love to protest anyway. But you have to admire them, if they dont want something they get together and say it. I think the UK should be doing similar. We pretty much take whatever the government dishes out. Time for change

    Help make this the best beekeeping website!

    Just a small attachment to my post.

    You also need a bee keepers registration number (No. d’apiculteur) To get this, register for your SIRET or NUMAGRIT number as per posting, then make a DECLARATION de DETENTION et D’EMPLACEMENT de RUCHER(S) form Cerfa 13995*01 ie declaration of site(s) of hives.

    Write a brief letter demanding a No. d’apiculteur and send with the above form to your chamber of agriculture.

    This is a bit cart before the horse, as you may not have hives / bees to declare yet. In theory, you should declare that you have a particular number of hives within a month of siting them. All hives must have a unique reference number of your choise. Each registered site must display your No. d’apiculteur. This sign will show your apiculteur number in figures 8cm high by 5cm wide. There should be a hyphen between the department number and the remaining digits. I think there are 2 formats for this number Viz NN-NNNNN and NNN-NNNNN.

    You are also advised to place a warning sign – ATTENTION ABEILLES



    hi- ive just picked up your web site, we are due to return to france for good in feb of next year-would you have any idea as to the format

    required to bring my own hives by ferry to france (area29) fromm englanddo i need to contact our customs as well?

    Sorry for just bursting in like this ,i thought you may be able to point me in the right direction.

    many thanks-keith.bannister.

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    BeeHi like Keith I also am to move to France (brittany22) next spring(march). I have one very strong colony at present well prepared for the winter. I would like to move this with me . What are the formalities and regulations. Is it sufficient to bee inspector look at them then carry them with me in the car-well ventilated of course!?

    Regards alan bessant

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