Slovenia – the land of beekeeping
If you love honey, a trip to Slovenia will definitely hit your honey spot. When they speak of a sudden, unexpected stroke of luck, the Slovenes use the expression “the axe falls in the honey”. This will undoubtedly turn out to be true if you attend any of the honey-themed experiences in green Slovenia. The Slovenian beekeeping tradition is rich and deeply anchored in the popular consciousness. Slovenia is the home of the Carniolan honey bee, an indigenous subspecies which is one of the most widespread honeybees in the world. Slovenes have been bee connoisseurs since time immemorial. The most important figure in Slovenian beekeeping is Anton Janša, the first beekeeping teacher at the court in Vienna, whose discoveries in the 18th century turned beekeeping on its head and formed the basis for modern beekeeping. He also enjoyed the favour of the then ruling Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. Therefore it is no surprise that Slovenia is urging the United Nations to proclaim his birthday, 20 May, as World Bee Day.
Bee products for health and well-being
Honey and other bee products are good for your health and well-being. Various apitherapy methods can help you improve your health. At a typical Slovenian apiary, you can discover the beekeeper’s secret of long life by inhaling the wonderful aroma of bee products while listening to the bees’ buzzing. Pamper yourself with a bio massage, honey skin treatment, or a honey bath like Cleopatra. Take care of your looks, health and well-being with honey wellness at the Thermana Laško Spa, and honey-themed programmes at various other Slovenian spas. Relax in a honey sauna and enjoy a honey massage at the Terme Olimia, Terme Topolšica and Terme Banovci spas.
Cooking with honey
In Slovenian cuisine, you will find honey around every corner. In the past it was mainly used as a sweetener, but nowadays it is found in a wide variety of dishes. Try some Slovenian honey, which carries a protected geographical indication, and products with protected designation of origin such as Kočevje forest honey and Karst honey. Express your love with gingerbread hearts, red sweets with various decorations made of honey-sweetened dough, as was the custom of Slovene lovers in the old days. Stop in at the gingerbread museum in Radovljica, or learn about the rich history of gingerbread and other bee products at the Perger 1757 gingerbread and candle-making shop in Slovenj Gradec. Other folk-design specialities using honey dough include Dražgoše and Škofja Loka gingerbread biscuits. Delicious honey biscuits will leave an unforgettable taste in your mouth.
Did you know...
Slovenian beekeepers are striving to educate children in kindergartens and schools about the importance of bees and beekeeping. Thus for many years, every third Friday in November children have received a traditional Slovenian breakfast, which in addition to Slovenian butter, apples, dark bread and milk also includes Slovenian honey. The project has spread beyond Slovenia’s borders, and today several European and even non-European countries participate in the European Honey Breakfast initiative.
Would you like to spend your holidays living like bees in Slovenia? Near the town of Mozirje lies Beeland. You can stay in honeycomb-shaped chalets, where you will feel right at home. For the final touch, treat yourself to a luxurious honey massage or relaxing in the saunas. Try a total beekeeping experience in Bovec, where you can combine learning about the beekeeping tradition, the beautiful surroundings and the local lifestyle with luxuriant apitherapy programmes. Discover the Slovenian beekeeping tradition by tasting honey specialities on guided trips and tours. A unique honey experience also awaits you at certified producers, who are rated with one, two or three bees.
Folk art on beehive panels
Painted beehive panels are a Slovenian beekeeping speciality. The folk art was an expression of the beekeepers’ creativity. The oldest motifs are devotional, and later secular motifs appeared which illustrated everyday life, historical events and occasionally an amusing tale. One of the largest collections of beehive panels can be found at the Beekeeping Museum in Radovljica. The painting of beehive panels has been proposed for entry in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.
Spoil yourself with Slovenian delicacies
Have a taste of Slovenia and take a slice of its traditions home with you! Treat yourself to a culinary indulgence with traditional and modern Slovenian cuisine. Relax at Slovenian health spas and thermal spas and feel the healing effects of special pampering programmes.