History of the apiary

It all started just like it usually does – from the complete scratch. When I attended to the primary school, my mother bought one beehive with a bee family to provide honey for our personal domestic use. The truth is that I was always fascinated with nature and that was the reason why I spent so much time observing bees and bumblebees flying around the neighbourhood meadows. Ultimately, the desire to have my own bee family and produce my own honey made me spend all my free time tending for my beehive whether it was or it wasn't necessary.

I can still remember my first honey harvest – the only equipment I had was a goose wing, broken knife for the chisel and a flour sieve to protect my face. And the taste of the first honey from my apiary!

I didn't even imagine that this ordinary past time would eventually influence whole my adult life. Bees simply bewitched me.

I started to subscribe 'The Beekeeping” periodical and read everything about bees. At that time it was extremely difficult to get hands on specialized literature. It was then when I finally decided with full awareness unusual for such a young man that I was going to become a beekeeper not only by avocation but also by profession.

As a student of the firs class of the secondary school in Grybow I wrote on the quiet a letter to the State Vocational School of Beekeeping in Pszczela Wola requesting information about the recruitment procedures. To my surprise and joy I received the response with an invitation for the entrance exam.

After being thoroughly questioned by the headmaster Tadeusz Wawryna, I received the permission to start my education in second class on condition that I would round out my knowledge of botany and zoology.

Those were the most pleasant years of my life. Learning, working, developing photographic passion under the tutelage of Mieczyslaw Wojtacki - the Pszczela Wola legend – it all confirmed my conviction that I made the right choice. At school I also made new friends, who remained to be them and who also devoted their lives to beekeeping.

I continued my education in Poznan at the Academy of Agriculture. There my passion flourished under the influence of Dr. Jozef Kalinowski.

When I graduated from the academy, receiving the agriculturist diploma, I was running an apiary of 60 bee families, half of which I brought from Wielkopolska.

After returning to my home town, I took up the position of beekeeping inspector in the Cooperative of Beekeeping and Gardening in Nowy Sacz. At the same time, I was engaged in the establishment of The District Beekeeping Association in Nowy Sacz (currently the Carpathian Beekeeping Association) in which for 26 years I was chosen to hold the position of chairman.

But....a leopard cannot change its spots. At the end of 1970s , along with my friend Jan Rzaca we have made a reckless and even risky for some choice to resign from our regular jobs ans we started a commercial apiary named “Nowosadecki Bartnik”. We implemented new beekeeping technologies and propagated acquiring new honey products such as pollen, propolis, bee milk and herbal honey.

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After 12 years of our cooperation, we have drifted apart. Jan Rzaca became employed in “Apipol” and I remained tending for the ever-developing apiary.

Years of arduous work were passing. The income from honey retail sales increased. Sleepless nights, numerous trips with honey jars were finally rewarded as I celebrated my first successes as the one from the Healthy Food Fair in Tarnow. The quality of my product started to pay off and it turned out that there was not enough honey from own apiary. The number of orders grew so quickly that I had look for honey at other beekeepers. Poland also has changed – not only politically but also economically.

In 1991, I and my wife Anna registered a family firm the Beekeeping Farm 'Sadecki Bartnik' that sells, processes and packages honey and other honey products. It was the time when the name, the logo and the seat of the company, up till now located in Stroze, was established.

A lot has changed since then. There are more employees, orders, delivery vans. A new honey bottling plant along with an innovative was built. Our sons are already grownup and to our joy they too share our passion.

Our circle of friends has also expanded and though most of them are not into bees they like to spend their free time in our beekeeping farm. After all, they are to some extent, the reason why we have founded the Beekeeping Museum, started the 'Bartna Chata' restaurant and established the 'Honey Larder' shop. On the top of that, soon we will finish building the 'Bee Inn', where any fatigued traveler will be able to rest in peaceful atmosphere.

Only bees have not changed....And I spend almost all my free time with chisel and bee smoker in my hands....

Janusz Kasztelewicz

Copyright © 1997-2024 Gospodarstwo Pasieczne "Sądecki Bartnik" sp. z o.o. (dawniej Gospodarstwo Pasieczne "Sądecki Bartnik" Janusz Kasztelewicz)
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