The hive tray !
Here, we are on the Haute-Loire plateau. After an hour’s drive and many bends, taking in the view of chestnut and pine forests and large fields with cows, we finally arrive in one of the only French villages without a catholic church, the Mazet-St-Voy.
At the village exit, on the Yssingeaux road, we climb to a chalet. We arrive at Jean-Rémi and his family’s home.
After getting out the car, let’s take a moment to go for a walk and stop in front of the allotment behind the house to contemplate the Lizieux peak.
This land of “Righteous” (from World War II) is a place of peace and silence.
We can make the most of this place later, but for now it’s time to go inside the small shop of the Ruchet.
The family guest house
At first, the Ruchet was a little cottage with a grey stone roof. William (the uncle) and his wife Anne-Marie were the only housekeepers. A few years ago, Jean-Rémi joined them to give this activity a whole new dynamic and to build at the same time the new wooden chalet. Mamende, the last member to join the team, welcomes visitors and introduces them to this fantastic place and to the family expertise.
The Ruchet is made up of 500 beehives and 300 swarms to renew the colony. The colony moves to different geographic places depending on the season. Bees are very lucky to have many wonderful places where they gather pollen.
Part of the year, beehives are arranged in the Camargue and Provence area as they follow the flowering in Isère, Ardèche and later in Haute-Loire.
Let’s talk about honey !
We were blown away by the purity and the quality of flavours found in this honey. It is made from pine trees, lavender, mountain flowers, rosemary, acacia and chestnut trees. And remember : it is 100% organic, there are no added ingredients
Several times a week, Jean-Rémi and William take their trucks to pamper the bees. They harvest and move the beehives depending on how they are faring. Today, being a beekeeper isn’t an easy task because of climate change, attacks by other invasive species of insects and use of chemicals in agricultural practices.
But without complaining and with a smile, Jean-Rémi and his family work hard to live out their passion. They always find solutions to preserve their colonies, in order to continue providing honey in sufficient quantity and of high enough quality.
In fact, in the shop, after the harvest and through a bay window, everyone can see the extraction of this famous quintessential nectar.
Why not come and visit us ?
At over 1000 meters above sea level, you can enjoy beautiful walks on the easily accessible mountain peaks of this plateau (the Mezenc, the Lizieux and mount Gerbier de Jonc). The surrounding area is covered by large forests (the Meygal with the Lac Bleu) and meadows with farmers who love sharing their expertise. Fishermen will like the Lignon river to fish beautiful trout. The river crosses the centre of a village, well-known for the people who hid and saved hundreds of Jewish children during the second World War. Finally, within an hour drive from Jean-Rémi’s home, you will find le Puy-en-Velay, one of the starting points of the Santiago de Compostela path. You cannot leave the country without testing the Maôche (a cabbage-based sausage), a fried pan of mushrooms and the really tasty local jam. That was the touristic side of the region.