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Sur six étages

Sur six étages

Photo Michel Terrier

Rucher de terre et de pierre.

Rucher de terre et de pierre.

Photo musée_du_miel / Flickr

Centaines de cases, une en activité.

Centaines de cases, une en activité.

Photo Michel Terrier.

Cases et piliers de bois

Cases et piliers de bois

Photo Michel Terrier

Ruche encore en activité

Ruche encore en activité

Photo Michel Terrier

Inzerki, the largest traditional apiary in the world


Considered the largest collective apiary in the world, and undoubtedly the oldest,the Inzerki apiary, built on six floors, is a treasure of Berber heritage. However, it remained a confidential excursion destination. The current layout dates from the mid-19th century. Built of earth, stone and wood, the Inzerki "taddart" was almost completely destroyed in the 1990s. Rebuilt in 2005, it now houses very few active hives in the hundreds of boxes that surround it. compose. Brahim, the caretaker, will welcome you there.

​ Considered the largest collective apiary in the world, and probably the oldest,Inzerki's apiary, built on six floors, is a treasure of Berber heritage. However, it remained a confidential excursion destination. The current layout dates from the middle of the 19th century. Built of earth, stone and wood, the "taddart" of Inzerki was almost totally destroyed in the 90s. Rebuilt in 2005, it only houses very few hives in activity in the hundreds of compartments that make it up. Brahim, the caretaker, will welcome you there.


According to Google Maps, it takes 2 hours 50 minutes to get from the Jardin aux Etoiles to Inzerki, leaving the national road which leads to Marrakech by Tazarine.


Built on the rock of the same name, from where one enjoys a panoramic view encompassing the lake of the Abdelmoumen dam, Zolado Inn constitutes an ideal base, dominating the national road. You can eat there, either at noon or even in the evening. Notify the day before (phone number and email address below).


A shorter path


There is, however, a shorter path. It is necessary to leave the national road a little further, in Argana, without however a panel which would be useful indicating the direction of Inzerki, then to take the path which passes under the motorway.


The track is quite rolling, but is not recognized by Google Maps, which explains the route by Tazarine. A 4 x 4 is not essential, unless it has rained during the previous days, which makes the land of the Atlas soft, therefore dangerous. Caution is nevertheless recommended. After 10 km, a sign in poor condition indicates the site. 


Whatever your itinerary, the route is superb: dark red earth, lush vegetation, typical douars, impressive djebels. On arrival, park your vehicle below the road. The caretaker's house, Brahim Chtoui, is a few hundred meters away. It is recommended to inform him of your visit before undertaking the trip.


A highly sought-after quality honey


Brahim gladly explains the history, the functioning of the apiary, as well as the plants and flowers of the region. 


Since time immemorial, a large group of Berber beekeepers have practiced nomadic beekeeping. The hives were moved according to flowering, drought and altitude, so that they were conducive to the work of bees. The quantity of the harvest was thus increased. The honey produced reached a very sought-after quality. 


The fact of regrouping each year at the same location encouraged these beekeepers to gather their hives and create a permanent place. A parallel can be drawn between these collective apiaries and the agadirs (igoudar in the plural), which are found in large numbers in the nearby Atlas and Anti-Atlas, such as thoseof Imchguiguiln and Ikounka or even the onefrom Amassa. These fortified collective granaries were intended to protect the existence of the Berber populations, their crops, the small herds and even the bees from the incursions of neighboring tribes and thieves.

Up to 3,000 hives


In Inzerki, some 80 families had huts, each divided into four floors of equal size, with a free space, a little larger, located above. The space below and the one above are used for ventilation and the flow of rainwater.


The swarm of bees is placed in a hive which has the shape of a long cylinder, made of braided reed or bark. The ends are capped with a chiseled palm wood disk bearing identification symbols corresponding to each owner. A small hole is provided for the entry and exit of insects. Only one of these cylinders is placed per floor, staggered, which gives three hives per box.


When the cylinder is filled with honey, the beekeeper unclogs the front and completely seals the cell, giving a new space where the bees can develop the combs. The sealing of the cylinders and the cell is made with mud or dried cow dung.


Each family had several huts. At the time of peak activity, Inzerki had some 3,000 hives. To the main apiary is added, on the right and 400 meters away, a second apiary which houses about fifty compartments where 600 hives could be housed.


If we consider that each hive contained 40,000 to 50,000 bees, we arrive at a total population of 120 to 150 million bees working in this huge apiary, which must have caused a humming audible several kilometers away!


Collapse and abandonment


Unfortunately, in 1990 and again in 1996, strong floods damaged the treasure of Inzerki. Many huts have collapsed. The site was abandoned in favor of modern hives, easy to move if necessary.


The Inzerki apiary was restored in 2006 with the support of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), as part of the development of rural tourism. It had already been renovated in 1980 with the help of a French association and then in 1996 with the support of UNESCO. Despite these attempts at rehabilitation, the apiary has not yet regained its former activity. It needs further repairs, which are planneds.


Be that as it may, the renovated constructions no longer respond to the original model. Cedar was used at the time, renowned for its resistance and its imputrescibility, but expensive. The repairs were made with eucalyptus, which was much less efficient. Rainwater is also difficult to evacuate. The contractor who carried out the work was simply not qualified in traditional beekeeping.  


There are only eight families who still use the apiary today. As soon as the funds are sufficient, the Taddart Inzerki Association intends to launch a campaign to restore the apiary according to the rules of the art. 

The caretaker offers mint tea, tasting of honey andamlou, Berber Nutella. He would prefer more tourists to visit, to sell them honey and make them aware of the survival of this exceptional site. Before leaving, don't forget Hassan and his association!


The land where the honey flows

The region is a beekeeping country par excellence. It produces honey considered to be the best in Morocco. The site of Inzerki combines, for example, many advantages: sunny and quiet southern slope, altitude of 980 meters, relatively stable climate throughout the beautiful season, abundance of melliferous plants and flowers which bloom successively: thyme represented by various kinds, lavender, argan trees, almond trees, palm trees, mountain flowers. 


The sale of honey is often the only source of income for local families. This is why the latter have created a cooperative in order to better manage this vital resource inherited from their ancestors. 


At the beginning of July, the Honey Festival takes place every year in Imouzzer. This friendly meeting between local population and tourists is intended to demonstrate the potential of the region.1h40 from Inzerki.



To eat: Auberge Zolado

such. +212 661 171 906


To visit: Brahim Chtoui, President of the Taddart Inzerki Association for Development and Cooperation

Tel : +212 673 907 964 or +212 640 16 54 71 



A little over 2.5 hours   from the Jardin aux Etoiles, taking one of the two direct paths. But there is a faster route, as explained above.
Anchor 1

At 1:40 p.m. of the Imouzzer waterfalls
Anchor 9
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