Learning about the mysterious lives of honeybees, the uses and healing qualities of bee products and testing beekeeping skills have a universal appeal. The Beekeeping Association of Slovenia (BAS) and Aritours Agency have merged the art of beekeeping with experience tourism to develop a new product called beekeeping tourism. The aptly-named honey experiences offer a wide range of experiences and provide tips for how to stay healthy and lead a healthy life with the help of natural products.
Beekeeping tourism is unique to Slovenia, as is the protected native bee species the Carniolan honeybee (Apis Mellifera Carnica), popularly known as “Sivka” or Grey Bee, which is one of the world’s top three bee species, known for its docility, gentleness and diligence. Sweet-smelling and mouth-watering honey biscuits, honey liqueur, honey wine and the unique honey sparkling wine are a perfect match for delicious Slovenian cuisine!
Slovenia was historically suited to becoming a development, which was further promoted by three key figures: Anton Janša, the first teacher of beekeeping in Vienna, appointed by none other than Empress Maria Theresa, and the first to introduce beekeepers to the world; Peter Pavel Glavar, a priest, dedicated beekeeper and founder of a beekeeping school in Slovenia and Dr. Filip Terč, the founding father of apitherapy from the beginning of the 20th century, whose birthday, March 30, was declared World Apitherapy Day.
Rich in forests and meadows, Slovenia has all the attributes to be a land of outstanding beekeepers who have embraced the idea of tourism and started to actively participate in the project. For now, there are 15 honey routes around Slovenia, where people can learn about the mysterious world of bees and honey gathering, different types of honey and the healing qualities of honey, pollen, propolis and royal jelly and experience apitherapy in a beehive.
Visitors can see the art of painting beehives and front panels, how honey bread and beeswax products are made by experts and try their hand at painting. On the honey routes, tourists can see numerous elaborately painted beehives, a hallmark of Slovenian beekeepers and remarkable open-air “galleries.” The Museum of Apiculture in Radovljica, the Janša Beehive in Breznica, the Beekeeping Centre Brdo pri Lukovici, where the Beekeeping Association of Slovenia is based, Carniolan queen bee breeding stations, a photographic exhibition and the collection of models of Slovenian beehives in Šempas, Komenda, where Peter Pavel Glavar lived and worked, are only some of the places to visit on a honey trip.
Aritours Travel Agency, the official honey tour operator, and the Beekeeping Association of Slovenia have published a journal “Slovenia – A Land of Great Beekeepers” and brochures in four foreign languages, which will contribute to the increased recognition of Slovenia as a land of great beekeepers.