BEST BEEKEEPING EXPERIENCE IN SLOVENIA
Beekeeping occupies a special place in Slovenia's economy as one of its oldest traditional crafts. The Carniolan honeybee (Apis mellifera carnica) or the Carniolan grey bee, is an autochthonous species in Slovenia, which means that no other bee species are allowed to be kept. Honey, their product, is more than just a sweetener: it has healing properties and is used as the basis for many beauty and medicinal products.
According to the statistics, Slovenians are a genuine beekeeping nation, as a relatively significant four out of every thousand of its residents are engaged in this activity. Beekeeping is a traditional agricultural activity in Slovenia and enjoys a status equal to that of other types of agricultural activity. In the past, when sugar was in short supply, almost every farm kept honeybees in addition to other domestic animals. One bee product is beeswax, which was used to make candles. Slovenian honey is a trademark
Slovenia is the only European Union Member State to have protected its native bee, the Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera carnica. The Carniolan bee is famed for its docility, hard work, humility and excellent sense of orientation. So it is this bee that is one of the rare internationally recognised and protected features of our country.
This breed of bee is regarded as the second most widespread bee breed in the world. For this reason special attention is devoted to preserving and cultivating the pure Carniolan bee, which is also regarded as part of the natural and cultural heritage of Slovenia.
Slovenia has been striving to have the United Nations Organisation proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day. With this initiative, Slovenia hopes to raise people’s awareness of how dependent we all are on bees and other pollinators.
It will help us remind people around the world annually that preservation of bees is of great importance. The main message of the initiative is that by strengthening joint concern for bees, we can achieve better results in the protection of bees and the development of beekeeping.
Bees and other pollinators are extremely important for people’s lives; namely, as much as one third of food produced throughout the world depends on pollination. As they carry out pollination, bees positively affect entire ecosystems by contributing to the preservation of the ecological balance and biodiversity in nature.
Another special feature of Slovenian beekeeping that has gained international recognition is in the area of folk art – this being the art of painting beehive panels, something not known anywhere else in the world. The beginnings of this folk art can be traced back to the middle of the 18th century.
The smooth wooden panels on the front of bee houses posed a challenge for numerous folk artists, and this gave rise to fascinating images that turned simple bee houses into veritable open-air art galleries. The pictures on individual bee houses of course also helped the bees in their orientation, and made it easier for the beekeeper to remember individual houses.
Slovenia’s museums have preserved a good number of original paintings from which countless replicas have been made – new beehive panels done in the antique style are among the more original Slovenian tourist souvenirs. Numerous Slovenian beekeepers still like to decorate their bee houses to this day along the old patterns, but using modern motifs.
Slovenia – homeland of famous beekeepers
Historically, the Slovenians have also accounted for a series of famous men who established the professional foundations of beekeeping. In the 18th century, when Austrian Empress Maria Theresa founded a beekeeping school in Vienna, the first teacher of beekeeping at this school was the Slovenian Anton Janša (1734-1773). He was famed as a great theorist and practitioner in beekeeping.
Exceptional credit for developing Slovenian beekeeping also goes to the priest and teacher Peter Pavel Glavar (1721-1784). He was regarded as the best educated beekeeper in the then Slovenian lands. Many of his tips are still heeded by beekeepers today.
One of the most famous Slovenian beekeepers was Anton Žnideršič (1874-1947).
All of them, as well as other distinguished Slovenian beekeepers, contributed to beekeeping becoming a noteworthy sector of the economy with a whole range of characteristic products – apart from honey, the bees were also raised for beeswax, pollen, royal jelly, propolis and for their venom, which was used medicinally.
We should also mention that Slovenian beekeepers publish their own professional magazine, Slovenski čebelar [Slovenian Beekeeper], which boasts a tradition going back more than 130 years!
Slovenia is home to the Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera carnica) and is a place, where many internationally respected pioneers of apiculture were born or worked, a cradle of modern apitherapy and a land of more than 12 500 bee houses."Like every religious person should visit Israel once in their life-time, Slovenia is must for every true beekeeper." (Gilles Ratia, former Apimondia president)
What you can expect?
Presentation of beekeeping and presentation of the life of bees – (visitor can see bees in hive and swarm of bees in a tree trunk).
Presentation of bee panels (traditional and modern) we have on our beehives.
Presentation of relaxation in apiary – inhaling the air from the beehive.
Presentation how we extract honey, beekeeping equipment.
Purchase of bee products.
In the end of tour we have tasting of different types of honey, honey liqueur, homemade gingerbread, pollen,traditional cake potica, water, juice.
Guided tour with degustation takes from 1 h to 1,5 h. In case of bad or very hot day we have a place where we have workshops and tasting.
For easier organization a guided tour is required to pre-booking. Guided tour is possible in Croatian and English.
Relaxation in apiary
Are you under stress? Do you want a little time just for yourself!
Experience relaxation in the apiary. You will be given a api relaxation, where we have two beds placed next to the hives. Through the window you can observe how the bees work. On the hives at both beds there are two openings that we open and you can breathe air from hive. After a half-hour relaxation it is a time for the tasting of all bee produsts (honey, pollen, honey liqueur, homemade gingerbread, propolis, traditional cake Potica…).
Relaxation and degustation last 1 hour. We have two beds ( bunk bed ).
PRICE: 65,00 €
Children from 3 to 12 years old are entitled to a 50% discount
Infants - up to 2 years old - FREE
SPECIAL OFFER: BEEKEEPING EXPERIENCE WITH ONE NIGHT ACCOMODATION IN RADOVLJICA - 115 EUR