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Beekeeping tourism in Slovenia, the land of good beekeepers

Beekeeping has been an important traditional farming activity in Slovenia, which dates long back into its history. Today it is increasingly becoming a tourist product offering an authentic experience in close harmony with nature and heritage. The beekeeping tradition in Slovenia is very long. Anton Janša was the first beekeeping teacher in imperial Vienna. It has also some particularities such as the unique painted beehive panels and the special traditional architecture of the bee houses.

More than 230 years ago Anton Janša (1734-1773) revealed the knowledge of a small Slovenian farmer - beekeeper to the world. He was the first beekeeping teacher in imperial Vienna. One hundred years later the area became famous for its own bee, the Apis mellifera carnica, which soon became known all over the world and is one of the three most qualitative breeds in the world that is famous for its tameness, calmness and high honey production yields. Slovenians are seen as an outstanding "beekeeping nation" since there are four beekeepers per thousand inhabitants. In Italy, Germany and France, for example, there is only one per thousand inhabitants, while in Austria, our neighbouring country, there are only two beekeepers per thousand inhabitants.

History, tradition, modern beekeeping and the healing effects of honey and honey products are nowadays also becoming interesting for those who are not beekeepers themselves. Slovenia is thus successfully turning its tradition into apicultural tourism.

The Slovenian Beekeepers` Association, in partnership with the Aritours travel agency, offers new ways of exchanging knowledge and experience in the field of apiculture and apitherapy, and new ways of discovering Slovenia for all beekeepers, lovers of bees and nature, and most of all for those who travel because they want to enrich their life: Api excursions and tours, Api training sessions, Api experiences and Api well-being programmes. Traverse as many as fifteen routes, and learn about unique beekeeping practices which yield superior honey, as well as still and sparkling meads. Become familiar with the beneficial healing effects of apitherapy and honey massage, together with a whole range of medicinal preparations and products from the hive. They are located next to Slovenia ´s most popular attractions such as Lake Bled and Europe’s largest underground cave in Postojna, the city of Maribor with the oldest vine tree in the world, the Alps, Adriatic Sea and many more which provide an unforgettable travel experience.

Before this year`s Apimondia Congress, which takes place from 29th September to 4th October 2013 in Kiev, Ukraine, a brochure entitled "Api experiences beyond beekeeping" will be published. It will include an overview of the long-lasting traditions, knowledge and experience of Slovenian beekeeping, information on combining beekeeping and tourism in Api tourism and will show readers how to embrace nature, people, tradition, cultural heritage and a special way of life with all their senses.

For more information about ApiRoutes in Slovenia please visit the ApiRoutes web page.



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