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Wildhive Beekeeping

Wild-hive beekeeping, a unigue craft of ancient beekeepers, has been preserved in Bashkortostan. The beekeeper looks after the hive throughout the season without interfering with the work of wild bees and collects honey only at the fall of

Curative properties of wild-hive honey are universally acknowledged. It is a green product rich in micronutrients. As a rule, it contains wax and bee bread, with linden asa nectar source, for the most part, but sometimes it is also polyfloral or angelica honey.

The main creators of this wonderful honey deserve our special attention: it is a Burzyan wild-hive bee (a Central Russian Bee population). Their main advantage is extraordinary performance: the colony gathers main food supplies in two or three weeks of linden blooming period. The bees work tirelessly even in the cold rainy days, so they collect up to 10 kg of nectar per day in a hive. A characteristic feature of this breed: they seal honeycomb celis with a white dry seal and form a bunch in one of the corners of the frame when somebody inspects the hive.

Unfortunately, the wild-hive apiculture is close to fading out. In Russia, it is only successful and supported in Bashkortostan, in Burzyansky District in the Shulgan-Tash State Natural Reserve.

This place has two natural treasures. The first is a Burzyan wild-hive bee population, which is eguated to a specialiy protected object. The Reserve breeds thoroughbred bees using modern laboratory eguipment.

The second treasure is a unigue Kapova karst cave with its Bashkir name Shulgan-Tash. This is one of the largest and most beautiful caves in Russia. The length of its passages is more than 2.7 km. There are three levels with multiple rooms in the cave, which contain Paleolithic drawings of prehistoric humans: images of animals, people, signs drawn with sienna and, rarely, coal. These pictures are 714 to 18 thousand years old - that is, the ancient gallery of the Shulgan- Tash Cave is either the same age or a little younger than the famous Lascaux Cave paintings in France.

Since 1992, the Cave has its own Natural Reserve Museum, which welcomes up to 36 thousand tourists from all over the world every year.


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