Pčelarstvo Tatarević – Tatarevic Beekeepers
(pronounced in English P-tch-ell-ahr-stv-oh Ta-ta-reh-vits)
Jajce, Central Bosnia Canton, Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The work of honeybees is amazing. With the low constant hum of their buzzing, and our fear and respect for their collective painful stings, they tirelessly work together in ways we can barely understand. They produce some of the tastiest and healthiest delights in nature. Golden honey, with the subtle flavors of local flowers.
The jars of honey and products you might see at a local farmer’s market is an endpoint of the bees’ journey. Visiting a honey farm – called an apiary – opens up the fascinating world of the honeybees.
In a visit with Pčelarstvo Tatarević, a family-run farm, you can learn to appreciate honey-making and their natural products and benefits in the relaxed countryside. In the hills of the Vrbas Canyon, the Tatarevic family can share a craft they have mastered over the past 18 years. They started humbly with two honey-bee boxes and have grown to have more than one hundred.
The honey from each farm has a unique taste based on the local flora and pollen. The Tatarević family also raises bees and honey in other areas to add different flavor and health palettes to their honey. One of the prized products from the honeybees is royal jelly. Alone, the royal jelly has a sharp taste and contains special benefits to reduce local allergies – and is often mixed into honey.
The family added a new attraction, the first in the region – an Api Inhalation Room. In a small wood-crafted cabin, a visitor can expect to sit in a comfortable chair in front of a window and look out on the farm and valley – and, breath through a tube connected to a box filled with active honeybees! It is apitherapy, something that started by the ancient Egyptians! The air you breather is infused with the elements of the honeycomb – the flora pollens, nectars, propolis, royal jelly and honey. They generously offer the experience for free to encourage visitors.
The Tatarevic family is community oriented. During the recent coronavirus outbreak, they organized with other producers to distribute their honey to medical staff, and to the younger and older generations. This humble approach, whether slowly growing their farm or helping their community, demonstrates the genuine experience you have when you visit.
WHAT MAKES THIS SPECIAL: The Tatarevics’ offer sincere and warm hospitality and are willing to share their handicraft. It is a chance to escape to a natural getaway with natural scenery and the calming sounds of rushing water and birds. The Api Inhalation Room is a natural therapy that enlivens your senses.
IF YOU VISIT: Enjoy the scenic drive through the Vrbas Canyon. To set up the best experience, call ahead or email to set up your visit. Prepare to set aside time to learn about the bees and enjoy the hospitality. Ask to sample some fresh golden honeycomb and, for a jolt, try the Royal Jelly.
Ask if other fruits or vegetables are in season. When we visited in June, there were fresh hamsheh cherries, which have a reputation for their taste.
Enjoy the Api Inhalation Room – it is free! It is an experience you can only have on a honeybee farm. See for yourself if there are health benefits. The aroma itself is a delightful experience.
The farm is family friendly and has a clean bathroom and a small hut for hospitality to enjoy the outdoors and conversation along with some Bosnian coffee and light beverages and natural treats.
THINGS TO BUY: Start with honey and raw honeycombs. But, the Tatarevic family and their bees produce a lot more! Look for Royal Jelly, propolis, crunchy pellets of hardened pollen, honeys mixtures, honey-based balms and creams, bees wax, honey-based drinks and candied fruits with honey. As a bonus, they also produce regional fruit varieties such as grapes and cherries and have syrups and other specialties.
GETTING THERE: The farm is part of the Vrbas Canyon, in the hamlet of Barevo, looking down on the Vrbas River at https://goo.gl/maps/NavmDeCe1S8GjKyMA (Google Maps).
Driving from Jajce: Follow the smooth road North/Northwest along M16/E661 and along the Vrbas River. After 14.1 kilometers, turn left and drive up the hillside (well-paved road) for approximately 850 meters until you see their small sign on the right side. There is one snug parking spot .
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Pick up homemade pasta-maker Naturgeist at Donja Katina 23, open 8 am to 4 pm. https://www.facebook.com/pg/naturgeist.tjestenina/about/?ref=page_internal
Enjoy outdoor covered dining at the delightful Eko Centar Konoba Slapovi, alongside the Plivsko Lake with a view of the waterfalls, for local Bosnian specialties, including fresh trout. They are open from 8 am to 11 pm. https://www.facebook.com/Eko-Centar-Konoba-Slapovi-780227618802575
THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY: A visit here can complement a tour of the nearby historic city of Jajce., including the 27 meter Pliva Waterfall on the Pliva River (with a zipline!), Third Century Roman Temple of Mithras, 13th century Jajce Fortress – a Royal Bosnian residence in the early 15th century, medieval St. Luke’s Catholic Church with catacombs, Avnoj Museum from the 1943 declaration establishing Yugoslavia. Check out the Pliva Watermills, restored and functioning along the water, a national monument 5 kilometers away.