BEE PATH

The tradition of beekeeping in Ljubljana and its surroundings dates back to the first prehistoric settlements.

As many as 3% of all Slovenian beekeepers with more than 4,500 hives operate in the City of Ljubljana. There are 4 beekeeping associations (Barje, Ljubljana Moste-Polje, Tacen and Ljubljana Center). Today in Ljubljana, we are also seeing the boom of urban beekeeping with the pioneer in this field being – Cankarjev Dom. The honey produced in the City of Ljubljana is of exceptional quality. In addition to beekeepers, the City of Ljubljana also takes care of bees by planting perennial plants with many honey plants in public areas.

Bee Path

Bee Path was founded because of all of the above reasons. It was founded back in 2015 and it has 35 members to this day including educational and cultural institutions, health-related institutions, commercial institutions and of course beekeepers and beekeeping societies. Its main purpose is to bring together like-minded people who will through various activities take care of the welfare of bees in the city and will help to spread the word about the importance of the bees in our ecosystem. Our hotel is very proud to be a member of the Bee Path in Ljubljana. 

Why Bee Path?

We have outlined the following goals at Bee Path

  • increase and development of beekeeping in the wider area of the City of Ljubljana (training beekeepers, providing assistance for the development of activities, co-financing the operation of five beekeeping societies),
  • development of beekeeping in the city center (security, awareness and education of the citizens, rules of beekeeping in the urban area)
  • new tourism products presenting the natural and cultural heritage associated with beekeeping in the city,
  • development of the new urban beehives, design of educational programs

History of Beekeeping in Ljubljana

The beginnings of beekeeping on the outskirts of the present Municipality of Ljubljana probably date back to the first settlements of this area. The oldest settlements, Bronze Age sites, can be found in the eastern part of the present Municipality of Ljubljana. Based on the residues, it can be said that both livestock and agriculture were well developed, and the remains of equipment found indicate that beekeeping was also developed. Longer hollow trunks hung in the forests, in which the bee swarm settled. It is very interesting that this method of beekeeping was known in the area of ​​Podlipoglav, Brezij and Besnica until II. World War. Beekeeping was of great importance for Ljubljana and is reported by various archival sources. In the February book of the Caves of 1453, we find that the citizen of Ljubljana, Lenart Meminger, in the villages of Vižmarje, Stanežiče, Dvor and Medno, collected tithing in everything from lambs, pigs to beehives. The importance of beekeeping in the area under Smarna gora is also indicated by the name of the village “Medno” ( roughly translated to Honey), which, as evidenced by the medieval notes, bore the former name Medovno – and, more closely, it is a village where honey is produced, or where beekeepers live.

The beekeepers from the eastern part of the Ljubljana sold their honey and wax directly to the Ljubljana medics and candle makers. In the early 19th century, beekeepers began to trade heavily not only honey and wax, but also bees. With the advancement of cheaper industrially produced white sugar and petroleum, which began to displace wax, there was a delay in the development of beekeeping in the first half of the 19th century. A renewed boom was observed in the early 20th century. Of particular importance for the rise of beekeeping was the selection of the right breed of bees. Our Carniolan Bee or “kranjíca”, as they called the bee of the genus Apis mellifica carnica, proved to be the most appropriate. It is distinguished by its adaptation to our climatic conditions, its invulnerability, its good breeding cycle, its calmness and its workmanship, and above all the profitability of the honey crop. At the end of the 19th century, there was a lively wholesale sale of honey on the Congress Square, and until the introduction of the tram line in 1901, the sale of honey took place on the street near Diocese, still known today as Medarska Street.

 

Photo credit: Lukas Dakskobler, VisitLjubljana