The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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“Apiary” Exhibition in Krapivna

PasekaAugust 14 - September 27, 2015
Krapivna Local History Museum

August 14, 2015 at 14:00 the “Apiary” exhibition will open in the Krapivna Regional Museum.

The exhibition’s opening date is not accidental, because since olden times August 14 has been celebrated as a holiday, associated in people’s consciousness with the beginning of the collection and blessing of honey.

There will be photographs and documents at the exhibition telling about beekeepers and beekeeping in Krapivna and the region from the second half of the 19th century up to the present, and also bee products, historical and contemporary beekeeping equipment, such as the swarm box, honey extractor, smoker, and frames.


An apiary is a remarkable place where a special kind of peace and quiet reigns, bees buzz, and there is an odor of flowers, herbs, and honey; you have to go through an apiary unhurriedly and speak quietly. Having been here for a while, you begin to feel the placidity, and forget about the troubles and bustle of the world outside. The apiary is a whole world, complex and surprising, with its rules and laws, which are not difficult to learn, and pleasant to obey. Don’t fuss, don’t have malice in your soul, work—and then the bees not only won’t bother you, they will share the tastiest of honey with you.


The central figure of the exhibition is the Krapivna beekeeper Anatoly Butkevich. Beginning in 1894 in his apiary near Krapivna he conducted scientific experiments, and tried to improve the honey productivity of bees and to create a new breed of them. Visitors will be able to see a number of issues of the “Experimental Apiary” magazine, which Butkevich published at the beginning of the 20th century, and the magazine “Beekeeping,” which published his works.

The items for the exhibition were taken from the collection of the museum and personal archives and belongings of Krapivna residents.

The exhibition will be open every day from 9:00 to 5:00. The cost of a tour is 30 rubles for discounted categories of visitors, and 50 rubles for full-priced tickets.

Background information:

Anatoly Butkevich was born November 15, 1859 in Yaroslavl Province, and his family soon moved and settled on the Rusanovo farmstead near Krapivna. In 1880 Anatoly entered the Petrine Agrarian and Forestry Academy (now the K.A. Timiryazev  Moscow Agriculture Academy), and in 1894 began his beekeeping activities. Butkevich made significant contributions in furthering developments related to honey, working on such important issues as the selection and handling of honey, its sale and promotion, and the production of section honey. His works were popular among beekeepers, and even Leo Tolstoy, who had been interested in bees for a long time, visited Butkevich and his apiary.


Leo Tolstoy himself did beekeeping in 1863, and sometimes spent entire days at his apiary. In his works, he described bees and often compared social life with the life of bees. He especially liked the swarming time and sent home to his wife Sofia notes, such as:  “Sonya! . . . Two hives have swarmed. When you finish your housework, send me a smoking pan and wax and send a horse for me and a towel before dinner.” Right up to the present, there is an active apiary, which each year yields a small harvest of delicious honey.

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