Beekeeper Jérôme Payen, based in the Alpes-Maritimes for 19 years, practices the transhumance of bees, which consists of transporting beehives to the Valensole plateau, renowned for its lavender fields that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Among his 150 beehives, Jérôme selects the lucky ones who will make the long journey to the pollen paradise. Equipped with a smoker full of dry herbs, Jérôme seduces the bees so that he can open each hive without disturbing them, then chooses the hives in which the bees are the most numerous and strongest – this year, 30 were selected.
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Two days later, at nightfall, when the bees have all returned to their hives, transhumance begins. Illuminated only by a red bulb – red being a color that bees cannot see – Jérôme loads the hives onto his truck away from darkness. Now begins a race against the clock to unload the hives 150km away near the village of Puimoisson located on the Valensole plateau before sunrise.
The first rays of sunshine announce the start of a busy day for the bees buzzing between the hives and the lavender flowers.
For Jérôme, this is the mission accomplished. He can now hit the road and come back at the end of summer to harvest lavender honey labeled Flowers of Provence.