Monday, 21 August 2017

Follow the Bees   
Romanian beekeepers came up with innovative idea to attract adventurous individual travellers – their new initiative is to organize tours along the traditional bee paths in the area of Constanța, near the Romanian Black Sea coast.

Via Pontica, the major route of migrating birds, passing through the same region, is internationally popular, but a few people are aware of the amazing bee routes in the area. One of them, Via Apis, stretches as long as 150 km, although tours are offered also along shorter bee “corridors”.

These are the feeding paths of the bees, says Yonel Togan, chairman of the Regional Beekeepers Association in Constanța, quoted by (the link is in Bulgarian). One can follow them by making small deviations from his tour of cultural heritage sites in the region. The tourists are allowed to approach the beehives, for which they are given special protecting clothing. One the route, which passes through a number of bee yards and through a local honey ‘factory’, they can also purchase honey and other bee products directly from the producers.

There are nearly 600 beekeepers in the area, taking care of about 2000 bee families.

Underdeveloped communist regimes left vast parts of the former Eastern Block with pristine nature – today one of the largest assets of these lands. The area of Dobrudja is shared between Bulgaria and Romania, and even if hosting the large city of Constanța, is famous amongst nature lovers for its flora and fauna diversity.

In Europe, Romania is the sixth largest producer of honey and bee products, with Ukraine and Russia holding the two top positions, far ahead from the others. Six out of the top ten countries on the continent are Eastern European.

In the last decade beekeepers of countries like Romania and Bulgaria, who are now EU members, receive direct funding from Europe. This has doubled their bee colonies. Between 2000 and 2010 the country produced 24, 700 tons of honey. The number of beekeepers, producing organic honey, also grew - from 867 in 2010, to 927 in 2011.

Romania exports roughly 80 percent of its organic honey, chiefly to Germany and the Nordic countries. In 2010, Romania exported some 3,650 tonnes of organic honey as bulk exports.




Balkan Culinary Wars III: Other People’s Meatballs

Ćevapčići from Leskovac, köfte from İzmir or Bulgarian kebapche? Greek keftedes too, please!
Full Story

Curiosity Chest

The Balkans' Street-Renaming Obsession

The battle over renaming streets in Eastern Europe since the fall of communism reflects their importance as symbols of identity, history and power. Full Story

Useful Reads

Through Another Europe (2009) | Edited by Andrew Hammond

When Henry Blount journeyed through Bosnia in the 1630s, two things struck him: the purity of the water and the great height of the Bosnians, which, he noted, “made me suppose them the offspring of those old Germans noted by Tacitus and Caesar for their huge size.”
Full Story


Romania Places Eurovision Hopes on Elena Gheorghe

Elena Gheorghe will represent Romania at the Eurovision semifinal in Moscow in May with the song "The Balkan Girls" after winning the national competition against 11 other acts on January 31. Full Story