The French artist Olivier Darné , tired of the conventional forms of attracting attention, decides one day to examine the common lines between the pairs hive – honey bee and city – person . This reflection takes him to place an experimental hive in the roof of his building in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis . And honey that he gets from his beehive he likes to share with their neighbors, which causes his social network grows . The concept of » Honey concrete » it arises when a kid in his neighborhood, after trying the sweet honey , said: » C’est béton » meaning in colloquial French » !How cool » but literally means «is concrete » .
Following this success, in 2000 , Darné agrees with the City of Saint Denis to place in their court also hives. According to the promoters of this initiative , in this apiary about 200 kg of honey are collected annually , which are packaged as «Concrete honey» or «Mel Béton in French, and are primarily sold through the tourist office .
Again it uses the old cliché that urban honey is healthier than rural honey , given that in the city there´s no pesticides (nobody seems to notice the terrible existing environmental pollution).
Along with other friends, also artists, Darné he founded a collective called Poetry Party, whose objective is twofold : firstly, » pollinate the city» ( metaphor of » improving human relations » ) through artistic and educational activities; and, secondly , to promote research on the behavior of bees in urban environments with scientists from CNRS (National Centre for Scientific Research ) and INRA ( Agricultural Research Institute scientist ).
This Poetry Party is also the founder of the « Bank of honey«, a charitable initiative to help beekeepers with their problems, whose motto is «Time is honey» ( «Time is honey ,» a pun on the English «Time is money ). This bank will only lend money to beekeepers.
Through its activities, the Bank of honey denounces the two current crises : the ecological (with ecosystem degradation , declining bee populations ) and social- economic crisis . Thanks to the contributions of the partners in their savings accounts » Bees » new urban apiaries were launched in several French cities and in 2013 opened his first permanent » bank of queens » in Saint Denis.
Among other projects, it has come to our attention the installation of «Urban Pollinators » ( » Butineurs urbains » ) , whrere some hives were placed in 2004 on the sidewalks of several areas of Paris .
The Béton honey comes from all kinds of flower gardens , balconies or riverbanks. Proof of this urban diversity are over 300 different types of pollen found in their pollen analysis.
French haute cuisine also has echoed this peculiar honey, we do not know whether due to its bouquet or as marketing partner. The prestigious company from duck and goose Rougie introduced in 2013 a new product made from foie gras , apples and honey Béton. The recipe of this attractive proposal is the work of famed French chef Yannick Alléno (3 stars Michelin ). Anyone else is encouraged to try?