Tuesday, 14 August 2012
One of the guests on my Hussite tour was a fan of beehives. As Czech beehives are a common sight on the edges of woods, I promised to point them out to her, whereupon all the beehives in the Czech Republic decided to hide! Once I had left the group at the airport ready for their flight home, of course Czech beehives seemed to be everywhere.
Unlike in the UK, Czech beehives are usually come in groups or should I say in swarms. They are sometimes in a bee equivalent of pigeonloft several hives high. These are often brightly coloured, each hive in the beeloft a different colour creating a rainbow against the background of dark pine trees. Sometimes they sit on old lorries and are presumably driven to good pollen sites.
Czech honey is wonderfully tasteful. You can and should buy it from stalls set outside cottages or on the side of the road, because this artisan honey has the best flavours, full of the flavour of the local pine woods or flower meadows.
At the Wallachian Open Air Museum we came across these wonderful examples of hives. They created in hollow trunks (reproducing where bees might naturally nest) with a convenient access door at the back for the beekeeper. The entrance to the hives are via the mouths of the carvings on the front.