28 May Apitherapy: The Time We Slept in a Beehive in Slovenia
I could hear the buzzing as I lay in bed with my eyes closed. Inside the wall just a couple of feet from our bed, there were thousands of bees. We were spending the night in an adorable little cabin in the mountains of Slovenia, and the cabin was also a thriving beehive.
Slovenia is serious about their bees—and with good reason, too. Bees are essential for pollination, and they are necessary for ecosystems to function. In other words, without bees, our food sources and ecosystems would decline, and that would cause massive issues with our survival. This is why Slovenia has named their native bee, the Carniolan Bee, a protected species. Beekeeping is an old tradition in Slovenia, and there are roughly 10,000 beekeepers throughout the country. When exploring Slovenia, you will no doubt come across an array of brightly painted beehive panels, both in towns and in the countryside, as well as plenty of bee-themed adventures.
As I was researching things to do in Slovenia, I kept coming across honey tastings, honey massages, apitherapy, and a range of bee themed activities…none of which I could pass up. I had a honey massage at The Ziva Wellness Center, our hotel spa in Lake Bled, and we tasted local honey on numerous occasions. When I was looking for more details on apitherapy, I learned that it is an alternative therapy using products from honeybees. One of these therapy treatments consists of visiting a beehive and donning a mask to breath in aerosol from the hive. I was intrigued.
Then, I came across an adorable Airbnb that would not only have us staying in a beehive cabin, it also included use of the apitherapy aerosol masks. I was sold, and we immediately booked a night in the cabin near the town of Kobarid. We were both excited and curious about what was to come.
The road to the cabin was intense—we had to drive on tiny, twisting roads up the side of a mountain, and eventually we made it to a small village.
Our cabin was in the backyard of a house and we had lots of room to relax both inside and out. We absolutely loved staying in this Airbnb beehive cabin. In addition to overnight stays, guests can also join guided beekeeping tours, put on a mask for aerosol inhalation from the beehive, get honey (and other) massages, and purchase a variety of bee products.
When we arrived, we checked in with our hosts and were shown the lay of the land. We walked into the cabin and were welcomed with soothing pale blue and yellow colors throughout the space. The cabin had a calming feel to it, and there were subtle hints of bee themed décor such as an adorable honeycomb shaped shelf.
I should mention that the bees are in the wall and not inside of the actual cabin. I don’t think I could have spent the night with bees swarming around us. Just knowing they were buzzing in the walls was enough of a thrill.
The cabin’s downstairs has a couch, two masks for beehive aerosol inhalation, a bathroom, and a kitchen with a table, sink, and fridge. While there is a kitchen, the hosts ask that you refrain from cooking and using perfumes in the cabin as outside scents interfere with the bees and the smell of honey inside the cabin. There was also a glass window that you could look through to see where the beekeeping activity takes place.
The upstairs is simple, with a double bed, a couple of chairs, and two more masks for beehive aerosol inhalation. To reach the upstairs, there is a fairly steep ladder, so if you have mobility issues, you’ll want to sleep on the pull-out couch downstairs.
As far as watching the bees do their thing, there are a couple of interesting options available. There is a wood panel in the wall that could be opened for a peek at the interworking of the beehive in the wall. A clear glass panel separated us from the bees, and it was interesting to watch them up close.
We were also able to watch the bees through a clear panel in the upstairs floor. We had a straight down view of the wall where the bees enter and exit their hive. I was thoroughly entertained watching the action from this angle, and I spent a decent chunk of time sprawled out on the floor observing.
We loved the remote location of the cabin. The mountain views were incredible, and it felt like we were staying in a storybook village. There wasn’t much to do for activity in the immediate area other than bees themed activities or hiking; thankfully we were excited to just relax.
The nearest options for food are essentially at the bottom of the hill in Kobarid. It’s a good idea to grab food before you arrive or pack a picnic that you can eat outside as cooking isn’t allowed in the cabin. If you’d like breakfast, you can contact the hosts to prearrange a homemade breakfast with local food. For dinner, Micah and I had a picnic at the adorable table outside. Then, we spent the rest of the evening soaking up the fresh mountain air, walking around the beautiful grounds, relaxing with the beehive inhalation masks on, and peeking at the bees through the glass windows.
The only thing I regret about our cabin stay was not planning enough time for a guided beekeeping tour. I really wished we had time for it, but due to our white water kayaking the day prior and an early morning waterfall hike the day after, it didn’t work into the schedule. We did buy a small jar of honey but due to unfortunate events, I’m sad we never got to taste it. I left it in my carry-on and even though it was 100 ml and small enough to bring on the plane it didn’t have the size printed anywhere on the jar. The honey ended up getting flagged and confiscated while going through security before our connecting flight. I secretly think the agent just wanted a taste of the delicious goodness, and I wouldn’t blame him if that was the case, ha! Anyways…
Micah and I always love staying in different types of accommodations around the world; this was no exception. We’ve stayed in both a monastery and ice hotel in Quebec, in a college dorm room during the summer in Nova Scotia, in a train car on our way to Churchill, in a Ryokan in Japan, and in yurts in both the USA and Canada, to name a few. Now, we can happily add sleeping in a beehive in Slovenia to that list, too!
Would you ever spend the night sleeping in a beehive cabin?
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