Old apiculture technology in Belarus' Polesie

Old apiculture technology in Belarus' Polesie

In Polesie, southern Belarus, honey is extracted according to an old technology - from special blocks.

Mikhail Potapchuk is a beekeeper in the third generation. He inherited bee blocks from his father and even his grandfather. This one, for example, is about 200 years. Such wooden blocks were used by our ancestors, who placed them high in a tree, away from bears. It takes over a month of hard labor to create one such block.

He is one of the few who are faithful to this ancient craft. He installed several massive blocks near his family house. Special tools and the very unique technology for collecting honey has been passed through generations.

Mihkail Potapchuk, beekeeper:
We have had this very method in Polesie for over 100 years. This knife was used to collect honey. Then it was squeezed on the strainer.

Mikhail says one needs special etiquette of communication with wild bees.

He studied all its nuances even in childhood and then perfected it. But even now bees can sting him. Special smoke does not always help. In his defense, the beekeeper with half a century of experience and the host of the big apiary says that the taste of honey keeps him in business.

Mikhail Potapchuk, beekeeper: 
This is pure forest honey. The honey of your native land, that's for sure.

The times when bees lived only in hollows or wooden blocks are gradually fading into history. Such massive beekeepers' relics are rare to be seen today. Fortunately, there were people for whom family traditions is not an empty phrase.