In May, when we celebrate World Bee Day, we set off on a journey of discovery of Radovljica's beehives. Radovljica is home to the Museum of Apiculture and the Beekeeping Education Centre of Gorenjska, as well as renowned beekeepers and attractive bee-related experiences.
So, let's first mention some bee-related experiences in Radovljica: have you ever heard of the 'Follow a Bee Through Radovljica' adventure? From April to October (depending on the weather) you can set off on this exciting and educational adventure in Radovljica, through which children can encounter the world of bees and, after successfully completing the tasks, a sweet surprise awaits. A booklet with the tasks is available at the Radovljica Tourist Information Centre (Linhart Square 9) and in our webstore.
The ‘Follow a Bee Through Radovljica’ family adventure will lead you through the ‘capital’ of Slovenian beekeeping.
In addition to the above, in Radovljica and the surroundings you can see several apiaries and listen to beekeepers talking passionately about their work. Among them is Erik Luznar, who is always delighted to reel off a whole host of interesting facts about bee families and how closely Radovljica is connected with beekeeping. Beekeeping is Erik's job as well as his mission in life, which he carries out wholeheartedly in his home village of Begunje na Gorenjskem.
In addition to giving tourists a tour of his beehives and telling them many an interesting fact about honey-related stories in Slovenia, he also breeds queens and sells honey, propolis, royal jelly, pollen and beeswax. “Several hundred tourists a year come to see my beehives,” proudly says the young beekeeper Erik Luznar, who is the fourth generation of beekeepers in his family.
Bees have been a part of Erik's life since his childhood. He is president of the Begunje Beekeeping Society and vice-president of the Gorenjska Beekeeping Association. He currently has 250 bee families, which graze in the surroundings of the family home in Begunje na Gorenjskem, as well as in the vicinity of the Draga valley, while he is waiting for the weather to improve before taking the remaining few hives to pasture in other parts of Slovenia.
A visit to the beekeeper Erik Luznar.
Its interesting to note that Erik also has a master's degree in journalism, and after graduating he focused on beekeeping. On numerous occasions he has given his opinion on current beekeeping topics to the Slovenian press. He also likes to welcome foreign journalists; a few years ago, a team from the German channel Arte visited Radovljica, where, in collaboration with Erik, they made a documentary film titled Slovenia - A Land of Honey.
Erik has also become very well known in India lately, as a short while ago the vlogger Dhuv Rathee paid a visit to the most well known Gorenjska beekeeper. The Indian online influencer, who has over fourteen million follows on his social networks, published his interview with Erik on YouTube and after just over two months it has had over two million views!
Tourists and journalists also enjoy visiting Erik and his bees.
And finally, it's worth noting that Erik only sells his honey and other products at home (address: Begunje na Gorenjskem 170). He also works closely with some of Radol'ca's best local chefs, for example Uroš Štefelin from Hiša Linhart and Aleš Tavčar from Gostišče Draga, hence you can also taste Erik's honey in the dishes prepared by the aforementioned chefs.
But this isn't the end of the beekeeping-related stories that can be found in Radovljica, as the town is also home to the Museum of Apiculture, while the Beekeeping Education Centre of Gorenjska is in nearby Lesce. The manageress of the centre, Špela Kalan, explained to us that in May the Centre will run two workshops as part of the celebrations for World Bee Day; the first will be a clay modelling workshop titled 'Flowering meadow', while at the second workshop participants will help make an 'insect hotel' whilst also learning about the benefits of having insects present in every garden.
“In addition, on 21st May the Radovljica Beekeeping Association will celebrate it's 140th anniversary. The association, which is one of the oldest of its kind in Slovenia, has 120 beekeepers who have approximately 1,500 bee families. They will celebrate the anniversary with a 'fame academy' and the presentation of a collection of papers,” added Špela, referring to the goings-on in May at the Centre.
The shop Medena Vila (Honey Villa) is located within the Centre, as well as a coffee shop, which goes under the same name. The coffee shop now has two terraces, as a new terrace has been added at the front of the building in addition to the existing one at the rear. All the hot drinks in the coffee shop are served with Slovenian honey, and other honey products are available, such as honey liqueur, honey wine, honey sparkling wine, honey latte macchiata, fresh lemonade with honey and honey desserts.
The modern exhibition at the Museum of Apiculture reveals the exceptional world of the Carniolan bee and Slovenian beekeeping.
As previously mentioned, many of the chefs who are part of Taste Radol'ca regularly use local honey in their dishes, and numerous households in Radovljica and its surroundings love to include local honey from nearby beehives in their home cooking.
So, to end, here's a simple recipe, which was created by a Gorenjska culinary blogger who goes under the name Špela's Larder. The method for making pohanih snit (eggy bread) can be found HERE. She used milk bread from the Resman bakery (Zgoša 44, Begunje na Gorenjskem), and added honey from one of Radovljica's most well known beekeepers.
Radovjlica’s chefs often include honey from nearby beehives in their culinary creations.
Set off as a family on an adventure accompanied by a cute 'bee' who will explain where she lives, what her chores are, and where she goes to gather nectar. You will see Radovljica's attractions on the way and, as a reward, savour the taste of sweet honeybreads.
With its modern exhibition, the Museum of Apiculture reveals the exceptional world of the Carniolan grey bee and Slovenian beekeeping. The exhibition brings together the legacy of world-famous beekeepers and reminds us of the importance of preserving bees and a healthy environment for them.