Dzūkija National Park
Location: N54° 3` 39.99", E24° 24` 2.99"
Although the bees hum in almost every farmstead and beekeeping is a quite popular activity in our villages, primitive wild beekeeping traditions, which existed for many centuries, are now cherished only in forested Dzūkija region. About 50 hollow pine trees reminding old bee-keeping survived in Dzūkija National Park and 16 of them have been declared as natural monuments. In order to save this once very popular forest business traditions for the future generations, beekeeping Museum of Musteika was founded on the outskirts of the village seven years ago, as well as wild beekeeping educational path was built on the edge of Čepkeliai swamp. Vytautas Tamulevičius, who lives in Ethnographic village of Varėna district, is one of the enthusiasts of wild beekeeping recovery. Three decades ago he started to chop old hollows and restore new ones.
The path is in the neighborhood of Musteika village, 5 kilometers far from the village. A walk along this path is a great opportunity to get acquainted with hollow pines which remind one of the oldest businesses in this region, to see Musteika sand hills and mosaic of small swamps typical only of Musteika village. Travelling along the path you will get some valuable information about the history of beekeeping and evaluate the hard work of beekeepers of this region.
Musteika village is situated 12 km south of Marcinkonys village. Musteika stream flows into Grūda affluent. Musteika village is one of the remote forests in southeastern Lithuania. In written sources it was first mentioned in 1785. This is a local architectural monument of 59 homesteads and it also has 10 monumental farmsteads. The exposition of wild beekeeping is installed in this village. In 2006 ancient hive apiary was founded in the village, and bees settled in the surrounding forest hollows. Nowadays one can see how bees in hives are taken care of and the handling of honey and wax. You can also see how hives are made and also small hives called vabikai to attract swarms. At the beginning of early summer new swarms are allowed into hives. Different crafts can be tested in the apiary. A weaving week takes place there and you can also get acquainted with the ancient Musteika village and its neighborhoods.