MADU bees on hive

Our love for bees runs in the family and started with our Opa, who was a self-taught beekeeper from the age of 17. People say that bees were his first love. Since then, he inspired our uncle and our cousin to continue the tradition - we are now incredibly proud to have three generations of beekeepers in the family!

 

The beeswax contained in our hair oil comes straight from our aunt and uncle’s hives, who have been beekeeping for over 15 years. With fascination, love and respect, they make sure to provide the best care to our little helpers. 

 

They currently hold 24 hives in our family’s village called Rocherath, located in the German-speaking region of Belgium.

Home is where our bees are

4

reasons why we are particularly proud of our family’s beekeeping traditions

We provide a safe and comfortable environment for our little helpers

In commercial beekeeping, it is not unusual to cut the Queen’s wings so that she cannot swarm away from the hive (source: peta). Swarming is a process by which the Queen decides to leave the current hive to create a new one, because it has become too crowded.

 

Cutting the Queen’s wings is a practice that we, as local beekeepers, do not approve of and do not follow. We regularly check the size of our hives to ensure that there is enough room for all bees.

We make sure the honey extraction process is as smooth as possible

 

In large beekeeping farms, the honey extraction process is often done using large machinery, which creates a stressful environment for the bees. In our family, the honey is extracted by hand, which allows us to minimise the stress caused to our bees.

Another controversy is the fact that commercial beekeepers remove all the honey in the hive and replace it with water and sugar, so that the bees can survive during the winter. In our family, we collect honey twice a year, once in spring and once around July/August. The honey produced after the second harvest stays in the hive so that the colony has enough food to feed over the winter. We regularly check on the hives to ensure there is enough food, especially during the winter and will only provide sugar water when absolutely necessary.

We use harmless alternatives to treat the hives against parasites

 

Varroa is an external parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on the honey bees. It is one of the known causes of colony collapse.

 

Our family’s beekeepers make sure to only use the least harmful products such as lactic acid, formic acid and oxalic acid when treating the hive against varroa. All of the substances used are allowed for use in organic beekeeping practices. That way, we limit the chemicals in contact with our bees, and no external chemicals are transmitted to the honey or beeswax they produce. 

We don’t interfere with the beeswax in our bee’s hives

 

A common practice for beekeepers is to provide pre-made wax foundations to bees in order to speed up the honeycomb creation process. However, when these pre-made panels are bought on the market, they can be mixed with other substances such as paraffin.

 

In our family, we do things differently. Henry and Vera, our beekeeper aunt and uncle, use wax panels that are made with beeswax which they have collected from their own hives after the bees built the full honeycomb structure. This way, they are able to keep their own 'wax circle' clean from external impurities. In addition to that, they also let the bees build out the full honeycomb structure in certain areas of the hive. This is where the 100% natural beeswax contained in our product comes from.

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