CATCH THE BUZZ – The Ancient Art Of Honey Hunting Based On Keeping Bees In Artificially-Made Caverns Placed High In The Trees.

Belarus, Poland preparing file on forest beekeeping for UNESCO Heritage List

 Belarusian and Polish experts are preparing a file on forest beekeeping for the inscription onto the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, BelTA learned from Natalia Khvir, the head of the historical and cultural heritage protection department at the Culture Ministry. 

The work on the file was launched in 2017. A group of experts was set up following the negotiations. A Belarusian private company on traditional forest beekeeping is also working on the nomination file. Belarusian and Polish experts are expected to meet in mid January. The parties are working on a film about forest beekeeping, which is a necessary element in the package of nomination documents.

The file will be ready before 31 March 2018. The decision to inscribe Forest Beekeeping of Belarus and Poland onto the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List will be taken in 2019.

The forest beekeeping of Polesie has the status of a historical and cultural value in Belarus. It is an ancient art of honey hunting based on keeping bees in artificially-made caverns placed high in the trees. Forest beekeeping was widespread in the times of the Common Slavic language unity which disintegrated in the 5th-6th centuries. Over time, classical beekeeping has declined as a result of the negative anthropogenic impact on the nature and the development of box hive beekeeping. In Poland the tradition was interrupted and is now being restored back. In Belarus forest beekeeping has survived in some areas till the present day.

Natalia Khvir also informed that a decision on the Belarusian file “Budslau Fest” will be taken by the UNESCO Secretariat in November this year. In addition, work has been completed on the nomination portfolio on the Belarusian ancient rite Yurievsky Khorovod (Yuriev Round Dance). The materials have been sent for the further transmittal to the UNESCO Secretariat of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Culture Ministry has also prepared and sent to the UNESCO Secretariat of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage its report on the status of the element ‘The Kalyady Tsars (Christmas Tsars)’, inscribed in 2009 on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding and also the report on the implementation of the convention by the Republic of Belarus, as required by the UNESCO.