Honey spots of Central Istria
Thanks first of all to them, the relentless workers and gatherers, honey bees which, following their ancient instinct, take the best of nature - virgin nectar - and store it into the regular hexagons of their comb. Day after day. For centuries. Such order! Such devotion!
Thanks to diligent beekeepers, who watch with love this eternal game and find order in the busy hives, for transferring their knowledge and love to younger generations. Thanks to the young for using this knowledge to get the best of nature: honey, propolis, beeswax, comb…
Just as bees return their love to nature by carrying around fruitful pollen, beekeepers give everybody who want to recognize the primeval values a true love for nature.
Visit them on their estates in central Istria, taste what best nature offers and share with them your love for nature.
Guido Gržetić is one of the first registered beekeepers in Istria. He started keeping bees in 1967, first as a hobby and then as an additional source of income. He uses stationary beehives in various locations between Zarečje and as far as the valley of the Butoniga. A specific feature of his work is the use of the Langstroth beehives with comb nests consisting of semi-extensions. Since the very beginning of organised honey evaluation in Istria and Croatia, honey coming from the Gržetić family business has been one of the most prized, not only the acacia honey but also the other varieties.
Acacia honey, chestnut honey, meadow honey, forest honey, propolis, beeswax, decorative candles, walnuts in honey, hazelnuts in honey, comb honey - are just some of the products in the wide range offered by the Gržetić family on their estate at Zarečje near Pazin.
Family Beekeeping Gržetić,
Address: Zarečje 32, Pazin
Phone number: +385 (0)52 622 537
Contact languages: Italian
Boris belongs to the younger generation of Istrian beekeepers. He inherited the beekeeping tradition from his father. He mostly produces acacia, chestnut and meadow honey. His hives are located near a village, surrounded by virgin nature, which gives the products a distinctive worthiness. Apart from honey, one can try propolis, honey in honeycomb and walnuts in honey. Today, Boris and his family use modern beekeeping techniques but without forgetting tradition: a small rustic tasting cellar houses a little exhibition of ethnographic items belonging to the rural life of central Istria: various saws, drills, chisels, a corn mortar, stone vessel for keeping oil, wooden vice. When the host offers you wine - do not hesitate - even the wine carries the taste of tradition! The secret lies in a very rare sort of grapes called duranija which, blended with malvasia, gives the wine a particular taste. Apart from the already common Istrian medenica (grappa with honey), we recommend višnjica - a happy combination of grappa, honey and cherries.
Address: Bankovci 96, Pazin
Phone number: +385 (0)52 622 572, GSM: +385 (0)91 538 82 73
Contact languages: Italian, English
Vinko started beekeeping some forty years ago to become one of the largest Istrian honey producers. He proudly says that there is no contest from which he has not brought home a medal. Vinko's long experience of beekeeping is reflected in numerous technological innovations aimed at improving the standard procedures of beekeeping in Langstroth hives. On his family estate at Lazi, a small village situated within a rich fruit-growing area near Kaldir, visitors can learn about his beekeeping methods and taste various varieties of honey, honeycomb and propolis. Apart from acacia honey, Vinko produces chestnut, ivy, meadow and honeydew honey - all varieties that are produced in Istria. At the moment he is working on perfecting the production of pollen that is brought into the hives on bees' legs and that is becoming popular due to its medical properties. Pollen is one more gift of nature to man.
Address:Laze 70, Motovun
Phone number: +385 (0)52 621 264 GSM: +385 (0)91 734 50 79
Contact languages:Italian, German
Travellers who come to Motovun from Pazin often stop in front of the breathtaking view of the town of Veli Jože (a famous legendary giant who lived there) in search of the best position to record this sight in their cameras. But they can do more - in the yard of the Pilaj family house every photographer will have his or her expectations satisfied along another luxurious Motovun palette - that of honey products coming from the family beehives scattered around the Motovun area. Just ring the bell! “Api Pilaj” is, in the true sense of the word, family beekeeping. When it comes to bees, the main expert is the young Sanjin Pilaj who has inherited the beekeeping tradition from his father. Beautiful decoration of the presentation room and attractive design of the products belong to Sanjin's mother, and you can often see the whole extended family on the estate. Taste the acacia, meadow, mixed, chestnut, honeydew honey, also as comb honey, followed by a combination of honey and walnuts, hazelnuts or almond, then propolis, or pollen, and medomix (honey mix) - a particular blend of various bee products prepared against a medieval recipe.
Api Pilaj`Family Beekeeping Pilaj
Address: Divjaki 1, Motovun-Montona
Phone number: + 385 (0)52 681 730
Contact languages:Italian, English
Svetozar Janković started beekeeping ten years ago learning from his experienced father-in-law Petar Basaneže. He adopts exclusively the migratory method of beekeeping in Langstroth beehives which are spread in the Mirna valley and in other locations in Istria. He has received many awards, but his favourite award is a thank-you- note received from His Holiness the Pope who, during his visit to Croatia in 2003, was given Svetozar's acacia honey on behalf of the Croatian Beekeepers Association. In Svetozar's newly refurbished shop in the centre of Livade guests can taste various varieties of honey and honey products, and learn about the history of beekeeping and various types of hives that were used in the past. Svetozar's wish is to see Istrian beekeepers receive the licence for the geographic origin of the acacia honey which is, in his opinion, second to none in Europe due to the favourable climate of Istria. Its superiority is also confirmed by excellent results achieved in a number of exhibitions.
Family estate Janković
Phone number: + 385 (0)52 664 143, GSM:+ 385 (0)95 812 98 70
Ferdinand inherited his father`s hives down in 1952. Currently he maintains 140 hives keeping them in well chosen places in the garden and on the neighbouring meadow close to the village of Čipri in Beramska vala. In the past he used to place bee products to the big companies of former Yugoslavia, but today he sales most of his products himself. By his activities, as he says, thogether with other bee keepers he strives to the improvement of honey production and bee keeping in central Istria
Address: Čipri 45 Pazin
Phone number:+ 385 (0)52 682 201
Contact languages:Italian, German, English
Having hands in honey for the past six years, Mirian continued his father`s bussines started about 20 years ago. Abundantly usig numerous surrounding chestnut trees, he created a wide range of products exploiting his 80 to 100 hives. He makes hives himself in his carpenter`s workshop and his active thinking on product improvement created an impressive creamy light honey enriched with aromatic oils. He places his products by presenting them to agrotourism guests and he also cooperates with tasting shop in Oprtalj-Portole.
Address: Sv. Ivan 10, Oprtalj-Portole
Phone number:+385 (0)52 644 136, GSM: 095 902 6441
Contact languages:Italian, English
The Kramar brothers are the followers of more than a hundred years long beekeeping tradition in the village of Rakotule. Although their household had always been dedicated to wine growing, and beekeeping was cosidered a break for body and soul, numerous medals for honey quality (locust, chestnut, honeydew and meadow honey) stimulated the Kramars (or Pinici, as called by their villagers) to seriously dedicate themselves to beekeeping. The result of it were new rewards of which their favourite is the Title of the Exhibition Champion in Zagreb in 2006
Address:Rakotule 32b, Karojba
Phone number:+385 (052) 683 140
Contact languages:Italian, English, German
Benazić, Sv. Katarina
Biserka inherited her love of apiculture from her father Guido Gržetić, who lives in Zarečje. In her work she has greatly benefitted from her father’s rich experience and has been using his style of beekeeping with Langstroth semi-expandable bee hives. She has been beekeeping on her own since 2004 in multiple apiaries located in the areas of Gračišće, Kršan and Pićan, helped by her husband Neven. She produces several types of honey (acacia, meadow, forest, ivy, heather) along with a vast range of bee products. The greatest achievement of her beekeeping career is the First Prize for her acacia honey at the 2012 Pazin Honey Days.
OPG Benazić Biserka
Adress: Benazići 101, Pićan
Phone number: +385 (0)52 850 703, +385 (0)98 928 39 18
Visits to the tasting room at Benazići (Sv. Katarina) ought to be announced in advance.
Velanov brijeg 42, Pazin
Phone number: +385 (0)98 254 426
Fax: +385 (0)52 622 599
Wine, honey and olive oil tastings for groups (10 to 50 people) by appointment only.