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Beekeeping workshop - log hives cutting

6 August 2021, 10:00 - 16:00

ASTRA Open air museum, the homestead from Sebeșu de Jos

The beekeeping workshop will bring forth archaic tools and methods of extracting honey by cutting old types of beehives. In the homestead from Sebeșu de Jos, you will learn how beekeepers used the residual matter left after the honey extraction.

Log hives cutting is an archaic method of extracting honey by smoking them. This method is to be replaced by the modern means of extraction using the honey extractors (centrifuges). This practice used to be linked to the great religious feasts of the summer and autumn (20 July, 6 and 19 August, 14 September).

"In the morning chosen for cutting the log hives, which is a real celebration in the family of those who have beehives, everybody needs to be clean and well-dressed. The woman cooks more food than usual, as during this day they will be visited by neighbors and family members, invited to treat themselves with beverages sweetened with honey and various dishes. The house is cleaned and adorned as for a feast day. The man gets up as early as possible, washes himself, gets dressed and, taking the tools and vessels he needs, he goes to the garden and starts working as the tradition requires it: he first smokes the log hive, using a clean cloth, which makes the bees dizzy and determines them to go to the bottom of the hive. Then, using a knife, he starts cutting about three quarters of the honeycombs. (...)

After the guests taste the honey, food is served, together with plum brandy sweetened with honey. This gathering lasts until late at night or even until the next day for those who are wealthy. The vessels and tools that were used during the extraction are washed with clean water, the resulting water, called mursa or honey milk being given to the children as beverage." (Simion Florea Marian, "Insects in the Romanian language, faith and customs", 1903)

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