Poland is a paradise for honey!
In Poland, honey is considered to be a type of liquid gold. This gold is beyond delicious and has both a fascinating and complex history. Polish honey is unlike any other type of honey we have yet to discover in the entire world! (and yes, that is a very bold statement!)
Honey in Poland
A Brief History of Polish Honey
The history of honey in Poland dates back thousands of years! The oldest archaeological evidence of honey in Poland is that of a man-made hive inside of a hollow tree log that was found at the bottom of the Odra River in Poland. It is estimated that this tree log is around 2000 years old!
Throughout history in Poland, bee colonies were controlled by royal landowners. Stealing honey was considered a criminal offense and those who were caught were faced with strict and harsh punishment.
Honey Traditions and Culture in Poland
Historically, beekeeping in Poland was one of the most successful party of the Polish economy. In 1775, profits from beeswax and honey were more than 30 times that of timber.
Mead is an alcoholic drink that is created by fermenting honey with water. The tradition of making mean in Poland dates back over 1000 years. It was recorded in court texts from the year 966 that mead was enjoyed by the first kings from the Piast Dynasty.
Polish Honey in Europe
The tradition of beekeeping in Poland is so significant and protected that it is part of the UNESCO list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This list serves to protect and promote pieces of cultural heritage around the globe.
Tree forest honey is considered to be the most valuable kind of honey in Poland. This honey is a deep golden in color and has a hint of smokey flavor. Poland is currently the only country in the European Union that produces honey from wild beehives in tree hollows.
As of 2018, there were over 1.63 million honeybee colonies in Poland. In Poland, there are more bee colonies per square kilometer than any other country in Europe.
Apiaries and Beekeeping in Poland
An apiary is a place where bees are kept, especially a collection of hives where bees are kept for their honey. Apiaries are found in some very obscure places around Poland. On the sixth floor of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, there is an active bee apiary. This apiary was established amongst the bushes and shrubbery in the building. Wiktor Jedrzejewski from Warsaw's City Bees Association cares for the bees and ensures everything is kept under control.
There is also an apiary in the lower house of the Sejm (Polish Parliament) in Warsaw. This apiary was established to draw attention to the problem of the extinction of bees.
While we were living in Poland, we had our dear friend Noelle visit us from the United States....
Poland is an apple paradise. I still remember biting into my first Polish apple. It was late...