a french garden

Reflections on nature in a garden in France

A beekeeper’s notes for the year


A beekeepers Notes

My copy of “A beekeeper’s notes for the year” by Emma Sarah Tennant arrived this week.  Emma is a beekeeper who writes the blog Miss Apis Mellifera and the book  has  been based on her blog posts.  She keeps her bees with a hive partner, Emily Scott, who also blogs at Adventures in Beeland and I have followed both their blogs for some years now.

Emma has managed to capture the essence of her 2015  beekeeping year in her apiary in Ealing, London.  Dedicating a page to each month, we can follow her month by month through the pages that are well illustrated to show the changing seasons.  Here in France, we enjoy the convenience of having our hives at the bottom of the garden but I envied the camaraderie and companionship that she enjoys on her visits to the apiary.

The book would not only be a pleasure for an established beekeeper to read but also ideal for anyone just interested or tinkering with the idea of starting to keep bees.

It can be downloaded as a free ebook or a hard copy can be purchased with £2 of the purchase price being donated by Emma to the charity Bees for Development.  For all the details check out Emily’s web site Miss Apis Mellifera.

Author: afrenchgarden

Born in Scotland I have lived in England, Iran, USA and Greece. The house and land was bought twelve years ago in fulfilment of the dream of living in France that my Francophile husband nurtured. We had spent frequent holidays in France touring the more northerly parts and enjoying the food, scenery, architecture and of course gardens. However, we felt that to retire in France and enjoy a more clement climate than we currently had in Aberdeen we would need to find somewhere south of the river Loire but not too south to make returning to visit the UK onerous. The year 2000 saw us buying our house and setting it up to receive us and the family on holidays. The garden was more a field and we were helped by my son to remove the fencing that had separated the previous owners’ goats, sheep and chickens. We did inherit some lovely old trees and decided to plant more fruit trees that would survive and mature with the minimum of care until we took up permanent residence. The move took place in 2006 and the love hate relation with the “garden” started. There was so much to do in the house that there was little energy left for the hard tasks in the garden. It was very much a slow process and a steep learning curve. Expenditures have been kept to a minimum. The majority of the plants have been cuttings and I try to gather seeds wherever I can. The fruit trees have all been bought but we have tender hearts and cannot resist the little unloved shrub at a discount price and take it as a matter of honour to nurse it back to health. This year I have launched my Blog hoping to reach out to other gardeners in other countries. My aim is to make a garden for people to enjoy, providing shady and sunny spots with plants that enjoy living in this area with its limestone based subsoil and low rainfall in a warm summer. Exchanging ideas and exploring mutual problems will enrich my experience trying to form my French garden.

13 thoughts on “A beekeeper’s notes for the year

  1. It is a beautiful book! You have got confused between our names in the 2nd and last paragraphs (everyone does) – should be “Emma has managed to capture the essence” and Emma rather than Emily in the last paragraph? I hope you get the chance to visit us for tea and cake someday!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have just followed your links to both blogs Amelia, they make me want to find somewhere like this to keep bees. The book looks lovely too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Everyone says I should keep bees here as I have lots of flowers that attract them; actually less now that the lavender and Perovskia have mostly gone, but we don’t eat enough honey to make it worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Anything that encourages the keeping of bees is okay with me!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Amelia, thank you for your lovely post about my book. I am so glad you have enjoyed mine and Emily’s bee adventures 🙂 I have just sat down this weekend for tea break with David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef series and to catch up on some blog reading, and I have enjoyed reading your review as much as I enjoyed putting the book together. Thank you ever so much! Emma x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Miss Apis Mellifera is a wonderful site, thanks for the information.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s