Did you know that it is possible to breathe air directly from a beehive? And at the same time enjoy the view of Grič, Tisov vrh and other slopes bordering the Gacka valley. All this is possible in OPG Bronzi Bee, which, in addition to the production of honey and cosmetics, also has a unique apitherapy on its property. Along with sips of excellent honey brandy, we also swallow information about this beneficial therapy, which is based on one of the most beautiful gifts of nature - bees.
Marinko and Nataša Bronzović found their honey corner in Prozor. Although this is not the main occupation of the married couple, they are still primarily called beekeepers, which is the family tradition of the Bronzović family. Around 130 bee colonies produce here flower honey, meadow honey, honey (honeycomb, forest honey), heather, acacia and sage. Meadow honey has the Lika Quality label, and OPG has also received the Sunflower Award of Croatian Rural Tourism.
In the farm building, which was decorated with the help of European funds, we watch the honey flow. It's time to prepare meadow honey, and Marinko shows us the whole process. Soon we try ourselves in simpler jobs, and after a few bee stings we realize that we are not allergic and that our future is in beekeeping! Of course, after a few more stings, we readily reject that future and dedicate ourselves to tasting honey and honey products.
And besides honey, Bronzović family also offers other types of bee products such as flower powder, perga, propolis drops, propolis spray, honeycombs in honey, honey with honeycomb, gingerbread, a large selection of beeswax candles, and a special place is occupied by the line of products that are based on honey, i.e. honey mixture, namely creamy honey, honey spread with hazelnuts, immuno honey, medolada, mixture of honey with nuts and dried fruits, creamy honey with hazelnuts and chocolate, and lip balms made on the basis of bee products. Some of these products, such as medolada, creamy honey with hazelnuts and chocolate, and a mixture of honey with nuts and dried fruit, which Marinko and Nataša designed themselves, and we are sure that they will be great for the little ones!
It is the middle of summer and they are busy preparing for grazing the forest. There are no days without work: "In beekeeping, there is most work in the spring, when the hives are monitored for development and prepared for grazing. With the awakening of nature, there is daily work in the beehives, until the end of the ninth month. By the middle of May, when the sage and acacia graze, the beehive is prepared. After driving the beehives to pasture, we also work every day. While the plant honeys, we are present on the pasture. It all depends on the plant that is currently meditating", Marinko tells us, who is soon preparing for heather, a plant that knows how to meditate well.
The job of a beekeeper is uncertain. Therefore, many beekeepers, including the Bronzović family, leave part of the honey in the hive, because they do not know if it will be a good pasture in the forest, heather or some other honey-bearing plants. The meadow is in full bloom right now, and it is essential for the survival of communities, especially during the Lika winters, which are not even a shadow of what they used to be. "Bees should rest during the winter, and without snow, things change. And this uncertainty requires enough honey in the hive so that the bees do not have to be fed. It is mostly meadow honey. The temperatures are relatively high, the bees are not resting, they are coming out of the hives. They are lively and active, which means that food is also wasted", says Marinko as we slowly climb the slope towards the wooden house for apitherapy.
Bees dance around us while the Bronzović couple proudly explains to us how the log cabin was built without a single nail. Apitherapy is carried out in it, and six beehives are installed in the house, and this is where the whole magic happens, which Nataša explains to us: "The beehives are placed in the room itself. When the user arrives, he sits on a chair and connects to the hive through the inhaler and inhales air from it. The treatment lasts at least half an hour for ten days, in order to show a positive effect. It is useful for patients who have problems with the respiratory system, asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and it is also good for strengthening immunity. Microparticles of all bee products are found in the hive. Bees make honey from nectar, but they also bring pollen into the hive and produce propolis, royal jelly and wax. These particles are in the air, which directly provides healing properties."
Inhalers are professional, with filters that stop particles from entering the respiratory system. Only clean air is inhaled, which also has a honey smell. We tried to inhale, and at the same time admired the beautiful view towards the Gacka valley. "I finished the apitherapy course in 2019, organised by the Croatian Apitherapy Society. I was always very attracted to this, because you can get a lot from bees without harming them", says Nataša while demonstrating how to use the inhalers.
Legend has it that the physician Hippocrates lived to be a hundred years old at a time when people had already one foot in the grave after forty. Reason? He was constantly eating honey. It is said that God also gave Adam and Eve honey as the only food that the devil cannot spoil. Therefore, every product from the Bronzi Bee household is extremely tasty, healthy, and medicinal, and the pride of the Gacka valley and the whole of Lika!
OPG Bronze Bee
Prozor 58, Otočac
+385 91 5610 295