Beekeeping in Međimurje goes back many years and has a rich tradition. Today there are about 12 thousand colonies in Međimurje from which up to 200 tons of honey can be produced. Međimurje has some 400 beekeepers most of whom are members of the local associations.
With their hard work and good beekeeping practices these beekeepers produce first class honey, pollen, propolis and other bee products. We have visited one of these, the Honey Garden, in village of Črečan, run by Tanja Šardi.
Beautiful old village garden has stepped back in time of our grandmothers, caring for the traditions and nature. Behind the wooden doors lies a mix of natural and old preserved village items, with shabby chic furniture, and of course, the bees. To sit and relax here, listening to the heartbreaking melodies of Međimurje songs, is a holiday by itself.
We were greeted with honey brandy and gingerbread, before we ventured off to see the beehives. The major bee pasture in Međimurje is acacia. Its honey is of exceptional quality and high percentage of fructose and a bit of pollen grains. This honey is almost translucent and does not crystallize over a year, mild flavour and easily acceptable, recommended for children.
One of stranger honey is of pumpkin. It emerged recently because of large areas in Međimurje that are used for growing pumpkins. Such honey is of golden-yellow colour, pleasant taste and contains significantly more pollen than other varieties. Also popular is chestnut honey.
Another healthy product is pollen honey, pollen, and propolis, all of which can be easily obtained in this old homestead, which is such a fresh addition to the gastronomy offer and rural tourism in Međimurje.