The bee-keeper’s farm designed at the museum-reserve intends to shown in a few sketches the character of Russian bee-keeping and a bee-keeper’s every-day life.
Beekeeping is one of the most ancient trades in Russia: it ascends to the early history of mankind. A Russian bee-keeper’s farm traditionally comprised the dwelling house for the host and his family, household premises and lands with fruit trees and melliferous herbs. In the vicinity there is an apiary and a space hives used to locate the bees for the summer. The exposition is divided into two parts, one hall for each part: The History of Beekeeping and The Peasant’s Hut.
Hall 1: The History of Beekeeping
Exposition total area: 33 sq.m.
This hall is devoted to the work of Russian bee-keeper at the end of the XIX and the beginning of the XX century. Here you can see the first fixed-combs and movable-frame hives: a log hive, a top-bar hollow-log hive, Prokopovich and Dadant hives as well as Mochalkin movable hive.
Bee-keeper’s equipment is shown on the podium and on the benches. Here you can see a honey extractor, a wax melter, a bee-keeper’s knife, fumigators, frames with honeycomb, a veil and bee-keeper’s protective clothes. If you wish you may hear an exciting story about the bees’ life told by a professional bee-keeper working at the museum.
The visitors can learn about the Second Beekeeping Travelling Exhibition organized in 1894 and arranged on a river barque travelling along the Moskva and Oka Rivers with long stops at Kolomenskoye.
Hall 2: The Peasant’s Hut
Exposition total area: 23.7 sq.m.
This hall is designed as a dwelling house typical for a peasant family living in the Moscow gubernia (province) at the turn of the XX century. According to the tradition, a Russian stove is built to the left of the entrance. Along the walls there stand benches, among them the chest-bench for the host, benches for women’s work and for receiving guests. To the left of the stove, in the traditional “women’s corner”, one can see shelves with cookware such as milk jugs, birch-bark boxes, a sieve, pots, and towels. In the “beautiful corner” there is an icon depicting St Zosimus and St Savvatius, bee-keepers’ patron saints who, according to a legend, were the first to bring a honeybee to the Solovki Islands in a cane head.
At the backyard, near the hives, one can see melliferous trees, bushes, herbs and flowers providing necessary nutrition for the bees.
The Apiary consists of 10 hives and functions from May to August. A glass hive permits to watch the bees’ life. At the Apiary the visitors receive protective clothes.
At the Apothecary Garden known since the XVII century is restored on its historical site. In the garden one can find officinal and melliferous plants.
At the Tasting Hall you can taste various kinds of honey and other bee-keeping products with hot tea. Additionally, there are different cultural programs for children, e.g. “The Bees Family”.