Benefits of Bee Tourism – A Fusion of Apiculture & Sustainable Travel

Some people call it Natural. Others call it Green. We call it Api (from the Latin apis which means bee). ApiRoutes provides an opportunity to experience the mystical world of bees. Not only to learn about the medicinal properties of the different bee products, but to get as close to bees as you want.

As a visitor on an api tour, beekeepers will invite you to enter an oversizedbee house, where you can listen to the relaxing buzz of the bees, which has been proven to have a positive effect on a person’s state of mind. In Slovenia, a country of unique apiculture with a long beekeeping tradition, the beekeepers place beds within bee houses, thereby transforming it into an apitherapeutic chamber. Apitherapy is the use of hive products such as propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and pollen. In this chamber, you are invited to inhale the healing warm beehive air.

In the bee house, you can enjoy an organic honey massage or thermotherapy whereupon warm wraps of beeswax are laid on your body, allowing beeswax and propolis to dissolve in your skin, which benefits the musculoskeletal system. Sounds divine! All while enjoying the sweet and soothing fragrance of the hives and listening to their buzz. It is believed that pollen allergies for instance can be cured by regularly inhaling a beehive.

Travel As Inspiration, Education & Enrichment

Apitourism is a new discipline and very fresh approach to sustainability. It aims at raising awareness as to the importance of bees to mankind, enriching knowledge about the use and effects of bee products and apitherapy, and enhancing people’s well-being. Api tours create a new dimension of travel that raises awareness as to the importance of our natural world, together with such fundamental values as health, family, creativity, connection, and harmony. These tours combine country’s distinctive heritage and rich beekeeping tradition and is aimed at travellers who favour healthy and eco-friendly pursuits.

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Api Tours, Excursions, Workshops, Trainings, Camps

ApiRoutes embraces tours and excursions, as well as education and training programs. Highlights include: observations of beekeepers at work; an introduction to biodynamic beekeeping, which respects the colony’s natural integrity; demonstration of various hive systems, education surrounding the production of bee pollen, royal jelly and propolis.

In addition to visiting beekeeping museums and typical Slovenian bee houses, which are architecturally unique and of extraordinary appeal, we provide opportunities to attend professional seminars, round tables, and workshops, addressing topics ranging from the manufacture of beeswax and beehive panel painting, to making and baking delicious honey dough dishes and sampling sparkling meads.

Api tours also provides am insight into the nature, heritage, traditions, foods and hospitality of country’s diverse regions. Visitors to Slovenia are welcome to delight in Lake Bled, one of Europe’s most beautiful Alpine resorts, visit Postojna, the most visited show cave in Europe and search for the olm, enjoy Maribor, which boasts the world’s oldest living vine, and pay homage to the memory of a father of modern apitherapy, Dr. Filip Tertsch. Postojna cave is the underground world (20 kilometers of passages, galleries and chambers) of the largest cave in the Classic Karst and the most visited tourist cave in Europe. The olm, or proteus (Proteus anguinus), a salamander, is the only cave-dwelling chordate species found in Europe. In contrast to most amphibians, it is entirely aquatic; it eats, sleeps, and breeds underwater.

You can also see the white Lipizzaner horses at Lipica, relax on the Adriatic coast, take a swim in the sea or just enjoy a walk along the promenade at Portorož, indulge yourself at one of Slovenia’s famous thermal spas and taste the smoked air-dried prosciutto ham and the terra-rossa Teran wine of Slovenia’s Karst.

Apitourism Certificate of Excellence

Slovenia is the first – and as the only – country to certify its apitourism service providers— all those who creating apitourism experiences. In most cases these providers are beekeepers who are exploring opportunities in eco-apiculture, biodynamic apiculture, as well as beekeeping using various beehive systems such as as Alberti-Žnidaršič type of hives which is the dominant type in Slovenia nowadays, Langstroth type, and “kranjič” type (this one is several centuries old).Beehouse an Open Air Gallery2Beehouse an Open Air Gallery2Beehouse an Open Air Gallery2

In addition, apitourism also embraces artisans , queen bee breeders, beekeeping ethnography collections, open-air museums and beekeeping education routes, apitherapists, beehive front panel painters, honey confectioners, beeswax candle-makers, honey-bread and honey-pastry bakers, honey beverage producers, natural api-cosmetic and care product makers, and specialist gift makers.

In their provision of local produce and innovative wellness packages, some also offer food and accommodation to tourists, as well as the possibility to engage in sport and recreational activities. Individual providers each don one, two, or three bees this badge indicates quality and attraction of their services, their use of nature-friendly materials, specialisation, innovation, efficiency, experience and setting.

Beeconomy: A New Economic Activity On The Rise

Apitourism, as a novel concept in travel and holidaying, has emerged and developed into an important component of the green economy.. In December 2013, ApiRoutes became Co-ordinator of the Apimondia Working Group: Apimondia and Apitourism which is taking a leading role in promoting and encouraging the development of apitourism worldwide.

Apitourism has great potential as an additional opportunity to augment and consolidate the position of beekeepers in a niche tourism market. With its educational role, such tourism transforms all this awareness and knowledge into an important value to take home, share and live by.

Iris Kline Arih, is a Strategic Brand and Marketing Communication Consultant. Her creative energy and expertise is focused on initiatives that inspire, develop, and connect people. Currently she works with apitourism development and promotion. For the past 15 years she has been working as an Account Manager at several marketing and branding agencies in Slovenia and abroad as well as gaining experiences in a hotel/tourism industry. Iris is a strategist, concept developer, copywriter, moderator and speaker, inspired and committed, and as important a loving mother of two children and a wife.

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