Gisou’s Bee-centered Approach
+ Q&A with Negin Mirsalehi
Based on a six-generation beekeeping heritage, each Gisou product is inspired by and made with the finest, sustainably sourced ingredients from our very own Mirsalehi Bee Garden. Here, our founder Negin and her father continue the family tradition of beekeeping. Negin, her father and the generations before them have always taken a bee-centered approach in their Mirsalehi Bee Garden.
At Gisou, the welfare of our Mirsalehi Honey Bees is our priority. We let the bees guide our beekeeping practices to sustainably source our key ingredients, Mirsalehi Honey and Propolis, in a cruelty-free manner.
The Mirsalehi Honey Bees
At Gisou, we are passionate about our Mirsalehi Honey Bees. That is why we let the bees guide our beekeeping practices and derive Mirsalehi Honey and Mirsalehi Propolis, our key ingredients, in a cruelty-free manner. The Mirsalehi Honey Bees are at the core of who we are and what we do at Gisou, and we strive to give to them as much as they give to us.
From the very beginning of Gisou up until today, we:
- Prioritize bee welfare
- Strive to mirror natural life cycle of the bees
- Minimize intrusion to the colony
- Favor natural behavior and interaction amongst the bees
- Only ever take surplus honey, if and when appropriate
- Sync production with the harvesting season of our key ingredients
Altogether, Gisou is committed to a sustainable and cruelty-free production method that puts the Mirsalehi Honey Bees first, not only for the sake of the bees, but the greater ecosystem as well.
Gisou Bees Q&A with Negin Mirsalehi
When was the Mirsalehi Bee Garden set up?
“My father grew up in Iran, where he practiced beekeeping since he was a little boy, just like the generations before him. As a young man in the 70s with a true passion for beekeeping, he wanted to find the best place where he could start his very own bee garden. A place where he could set up hives successfully and keep healthy bees. Discover Gisou’s heritage story here.”
Who takes care of the bees in the Mirsalehi Bee Garden?
“My father oversees our Mirsalehi Bee Garden to this day. As an active practicing beekeeper myself, I help my father in the Mirsalehi Bee Garden as often as I can - going there to spend time in nature amongst the bees is like a meditation session for me. Through Gisou, I want to encourage more young people to explore and experience what beekeeping is all about!”
How far back does beekeeping go in your family?
“The craft of beekeeping is a Mirsalehi family tradition which goes back six generations! I grew up learning about beekeeping from my father in our own family bee garden, and my father learned it from his father, and so on.”
Are the honey & propolis the only key ingredients sourced from the Mirsalehi Bee Garden?
“We are very proud to continue to sustainably source our beauty-enhancing key ingredients, such as Mirsalehi Honey, Mirsalehi Propolis, our proprietary Mirsalehi Oil Blend from my family's bee garden here in the Netherlands!”
With Gisou expanding every year and becoming available at more and more retailers, how can the bees keep up with production?
“We continue to sustainably source all honey in Gisou products from my family’s bee garden in the Netherlands. Even though we’ve expanded the bee garden over the years, we care for the Mirsalehi Honey Bees in the same way my family always has, by putting their wellbeing first in everything we do.
We only take surpluses of honey if and when appropriate. We make sure our production cycles are in sync with the harvesting season of our key ingredients. Simply put, the Mirsalehi Honey Bees are at the core of who we are and what we do at Gisou, and we strive to give them as much as they give us.”
The magic of honey bees:
- Bees are some of the hardest working creatures on the planet, converting honey with a special, almost magical precision.
- A bee produces a teaspoon of honey (about 5 grams) in her lifetime.
- To make one pound of honey would require 768 worker bees their lifetime to fly more than 55,000 miles to collect nectar from 2 million flowers.
- Honey's composition is determined by the flowers from which bees collect nectar.
- No batch is ever the same - the floral sources available to our Mirsalehi Honey bees changes throughout bee season.
A new generation of beekeepers
At Gisou, it is our mission to raise awareness for the importance of bees for the ecosystem, as well as inspiring young people to explore the crucial craft of beekeeping. Driven by our founder and active beekeeper Negin Mirsalehi, we aim to highlight and encourage a new generation of female beekeepers who are largely underrepresented.
Gisou supports female beekeepers just like Negin, who are committed to spreading awareness, knowledge and sharing their inspiring stories as beekeepers. In honor of Women’s History Month, we interviewed four female beekeepers and listened to their stories and experiences in this unique trade.
Gisou Bees Project
The Gisou Bees Project is a unique Gisou initiative in support of urban beekeeping practices to fight the declining bee populations worldwide. With this project, we show our support of urban beekeeping efforts by placing urban Gisou beehives in major cities around the world.
We aim to expand the Gisou Bees Project globally in order to raise awareness for urban beekeeping initiatives, as well as the welfare of bees overall. Read more about the Gisou Bees Project here.
Follow us on Instagram to join our journey, share our passion for bees & beekeeping, and stay informed on how you can support big and small initiatives, from wherever you are in the world.