Cebelarski muzej/Museum of Apiculture
Thanks to being a volunteer at the community garden in Tayport I have developed an interest in bees and while on holiday in Slovenia recently took the opportunity to go to a fascinating museum on all things connected to bees. The museum is situated in a baroque manor house in the charming mountain village of Radovljica, in the north of the country, where there is a rich tradition of beekeeping. The indigenous honeybee in that area is called, The Grey Bee of Carniola, (Apis mellifera carnia) and you can watch a hive ‘in action’ through glass panels in one of the rooms in the museum. One of the characteristics of this bee is that it is gentle and non-aggressive which makes it ideal for populated areas. As mentioned in a previous blog, Slovenia is ideal bee territory with a rich variety of plants and trees to keep the populations healthy.
The other aspect of the museum that fascinated me was the displays of illustrated beehive front boards which ranged from biblical drawings to local figures and folk tales. These panels were at their height in the 19th century and one of my favourites was the panel showing a fox shaving a hunter! The bee hives themselves, at this period, became very elaborate too. I was reminded of the beehouse at Tayfield estate in Newport and how carefully it has been restored. While in Slovenia we saw many conventional beehives but only one of the old types, like the Tayfield one, all colourfully decorated. The lime honey we tasted in Slovenia was delicious.