Beekeeping is one of Russia’s oldest traditions. In ancient times, honey was a means of payment, tons of it were exported abroad, while the secrets of using honey to cure illnesses were passed down through generations.
And if Russia is the land of honey, the village of Aduevo, more than 100 kilometers south of Moscow, promotes itself as its heart.
Next to this village, the town of Medyn argues that its very name may have come from the word “myod” or “honey”. To make Medyn’s claim to honey fame even bigger, the locals have cast the bee in metal.
Several schools in the area, the one in Aduevo included, have made beekeeping lessons part of their curriculum.
Irina Konyukhova is an apiarist in the village of Aduevo. She also teaches the tricks of her trade at the local school. The apiary is a “classroom”.
“Try not to feel scared! Bees immediately sense if you’re afraid of them and become aggressive. So if you’re scared – don’t go inside!” she tells the children.
“The children are very keen. If they do want to keep bees in the future, they can always study further. But it’s our lessons that have made them interested in the first place. You know, to become a beekeeper it’s not enough to love the honey, you have to love the bees too!” Irina says.
Irina’s 13-year-old son Maksim has taken after his mother.
“My whole family works with bees. It’s scary at first but then you just get used to it. It’s not much fun when they sting you though!” Maksim told RT.
And if you love the honey but fear the sting, there is an easier way to get your hands on some of the finger-licking tastiness. Every year Moscow’s honey fair in Tsaritsyno Park draws hundreds of apiarists from across Russia, who offer everything from dozens of varieties of honey to honey-based beauty products and drinks.
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