''Medkopis'' event in Musteika
“Medkopis” event in Musteika
As Einstein said, “if bees disappear from the surface of the Earth, human being’s life would not last more than 4 years”. The necessary action undertaken by pollinating bees ensures the production and quality of fruits which provide with essential goods to human societies.
Last 22nd of September, Dzūkija National Park organized “Medkopis” (english: honey harvest) event. It was about traditional beekeeping with the intention of showing and diffusing the ancient local methods of producing and harvesting honey and the art of raising bees. About 150 people gathered in the beekeeping museum in the village of Musteika to see the last collection of honey this year before the cold season.
These days loss of livestock activities such as beekeeping threats seriously the local techniques which certainly are part of the ethnography rooted in the region. This fact, in turn, gives current beekeepers the task of preserving and strengthening the culture of honey. Romas Norkūnas, beekeeper from the region of Dzūkija, practices ancient techniques of harvesting honey from wild hives and his work has constantly had a wide diffusion.
Visitors of the event became participants when they had to prove their knowledge by taking part of a quiz game consisting of responding several questions related to beekeeping practice in the region. The contest took part through the forests of Musteika and participants had to find different marks which led them to a beehive in the hollow of a pine. Once there, Romas Norkūnas demonstrated how honey was taken from the trees in the ancient times: helping himself with a rope climbed up a tree until reaching the hollow where he picked honey from a hive. When the exhibition was finished everyone could taste a bit of natural honey just taken from the hive.
Honey not only provides us with products of quality, but also is respectful and beneficial for the environment, ensuring the fertility of fields and woods.
Dzūkija National Park and Čepkeliai State Nature Reserve Administration try to rescue, preserve and promote not only its wild nature and exuberant forests but also all kinds of Lithuanian cultural heritage.
Text by Emilis Tamošiūnas