Ancient Beekeeping Museum – Musteika, Lithuania - Atlas Obscura

Ancient Beekeeping Museum

Musteika, Lithuania

A tiny traditional village keeps an ancient method of beekeeping alive. 


This picturesque wooden village is a delightful place to stop and explore. It’s nestled in the depths of a fairytale-esque forest peppered with wild mushrooms, berries, and plenty of happy bees. 

Musteika is an ethnographic village, which, in Lithuania, is defined as rural settlement that maintains its region’s traditional culture and customs. One of the many traditions its residents preserve is its ancient beekeeping method. 

The villagers in Musteika raise bees that are native to the region in a more natural way than most modern beekeepers. They hollow out pine trees—which are in plentiful supply within the forest—so the bees can construct their hives as they would normally. The bees are also able to roam and take advantage of all the nearby heather and black alder groves.

The tiny village even has its own beekeeping museum. It’s full of traditional beekeeping equipment and examples of the hollowed-out trees the bees call home. It’s run by beekeeper Romas Norkūkas, who has a lot of stories and fascinating beekeeping information to tell.

For centuries, beekeeping has been a traditional part of Lithuanian culture. In fact, in Lithuanian mythology, the insects are referred to as “God’s holy bugs.”

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