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I grew up in Alsace - France in the 70s, on the foothills of the Vosges Mountain and surrounded by vineyards and woodlands. 

I now live in Bournemouth on the South Coast of England with my lovely family and spend my time writing children’s stories, walking on the beach and sea swimming if weather permits!

Being the third child of a humble working-class family of four, I had a simple and happy childhood, never too far from nature and all the treasures it had to offer. With my family, we spent on many occasions picking cherries, berries, plums or foraging for wild blueberries in the Summer. In the Autumn there were grapes, apples, walnuts, mushrooms and chestnuts, only to name a few produce that were carefully persevered into jams, conserves, juices that helped to feed the family throughout the rest of the year.

One of my passions growing up was cartoons & comic books and the love for illustrated stories that transported me into adventures across the world. My favourites characters were Tintin, Asterix, Lucky Luke, Yakari, Spirou… As a teenager, I discovered books from European comics artists such as Cosey, Enki Bilal, Jean Van Hamme, William Vance, Edgar P. Jacobs, François Walthéry and many more. The family house was full of comic books, read and re-read hundreds of times, mainly laying on my bedroom floor, head in my hands.

These days, my favourite artist is Plantu, the famous political satirical cartoonist, who has co-founded “Cartooning for Peace”, a network of press cartoonists who fight with humour for the respect of cultures and freedoms.

During the course of my career, I was fortunate to visit the tea growing regions of Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi where I discovered the lives of tea growers. It is during one of these trips in the South of Malawi – Mulanje region, that I met a tea grower who also happened to be a beekeeper. From that moment, I became fascinated by these beautiful creatures and the key part they play in our lives, including helping tea growers providing extra income for their families!

Just imagine my joy when we discovered a year later that a colony of bees took shelter in our soffits. It was as if the universe was trying to tell me something!

So here it is! After a few years of cogitating, reflecting and procrastinating, “The Bee Chase” was born out of my love of comic books, my interest in honeybees and the importance of saving them.


The next step is of course getting my own colony of bees!

But until I have enough space for a beehive in my garden, I will be looking after solitary bees.


Have a look at my Bee Hotels !


J.R. Grailhe

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