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Bee Part of Apitourism

by Debra Bokur

Jun 5, 2020

Photo: Sumeetw | Dreamstime.com

Travel Tips

Bee tourism — called apitourism — is the new way to get your travel buzz. During past travels, you may have already experienced a honey-based massage or sipped a glass of delicate mead crafted from fermented honey. Now you can sweeten your expeditions with a bee-based adventure.


These global expeditions take travelers to corners of the world where beekeeping is not only an art and a science, but also an important component to survival and economic growth.


Home to the Carniolan bee, Slovenia’s apitourism sector is already well developed. In fact, it’s the first country to certify apitourism providers, and currently boasts more than 10,000 beekeepers, 12,500 apiaries and around 170,000 beehive colonies. There’s even an official Beekeeping Route for cyclists in Bohinj, and a countrywide tourism path to help bee enthusiasts plan a trip. In Žirovnica, taste honey wine and discover honey perfumes, and meet beekeeping pioneer Anton Janša. In historic Radovljica, visit the Museum of Apiculture and participate in a traditional honeybread workshop at Lectar restaurant.


Honey tastings and apitherapy treatments at Ambrožič beekeeping can be enjoyed in Bled, along with shopping for honey products at Bled Castle. Walk the Panoramic Beekeeping Route in Gorje, and then dine on the honey menu at Restaurant Pr’Jagru. In the ski resort town of Kranjska Gora, discover the honey garden created by a master beekeeper, and take part in a pollen tasting at Toni Beekeeping.


In Kozjak, you can spend a night in an apiary cabin run by “apitherapeuts” certified by the Slovenian Beekeepers Association. Guests can fall asleep to the music of buzzing bees, enjoy a massage with domestic floral honey or experience inhalation therapy, breathing in apiary air to reduce stress and benefit respiratory ailments.


Apitourism is catching on beyond Slovenia, as well. An 11-day Beekeepers Safari organized by Bees for Development will take participants to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago to experience tropical beekeeping and to learn about the diets of European and Africanized honeybees. There’s also a 12-day safari to Western Uganda, where local beekeepers will share how beekeeping has positively impacted communities. The trip even includes tours to explore the country’s closed canopy forests.


In Northwest Pennsylvania’s Erie County, Erie Beekeeping invites visitors to their bee yards for demonstrations, presentations and to learn how to manage and perform a honey extraction. At Carmel Valley Ranch in California, guests (including kids) can take part in A Bee’s Life experience while donning a beekeeper’s suit, touring the gardens, plants and pollinators, meeting the Italian honeybee residents, learning hive science and tasting the honey produced by the ranch’s resident bees.


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