Tatjana Šolar, lect-maker

To me, living in Laško is synonymous to living with bees! Thinking about it, the bees occupied our current address at Strmca 10 before the whole Šolar family. Me and my husband first bought the plot and then waited 8 years for planning permission before building our home. In the meantime, the plot already housed a beehive, where we already kept our bees. Since we suffered and occasional sting or two we must have been coming for apitherapy as well! At that time we did not yet fully understand and name the health and wellbeing benefits of the beehive microclimate as well as honey bee venom. Nonetheless, it was already a custom for the beekeeper to keep a table or a day bed in the room behind the hives. In the rain, the sound of bees and rain drops combined even provided for a romantic listening experience.

 

 

My lects are the ones with multicoloured flowers 

This is the sort of thing I get reminded of around this year’s World Bee Day. During the day I have a bit more work with presentations at beekeepers’ events and at the home store with the honeyed products. At night through, when I take a couple of hours for lect decorating, it’s back to business as usual. The radio is on, time flies, I’m sometimes accompanied by a glass of mead, doing what I know best and truly love. The doug bases with high proportion of honey, that have been prepared over a number of days, are being decorated with numerous motifs. Flowers are my favourite. Mine are multicoloured, mottled, and can be thus set apart from all the other Slovenian lect makers. That’s at least my opinion, since I’m able to recognise the characteristics of other lect makers’ products.

 

Slovenian carnation headed for Africa 

Sometimes imaginary and sometimes realistic flowers are linked to the character of Laško and Slovenia as a whole. Our bees have a great life because of their green surroundings! Laško has almost no industry but rather eco-farms, blossoming meadows and trees. Our bees can collect a sizeable amount of honey even just from the nearest linden tree. All the important ingredients for our honeyed products are fully local. All of our honey varieties come from the Laško area and its surroundings, for the rest, we make sure it’s of top Slovenian quality. The writings on our lects are generally in Slovenian and even when I received an order for a big lect’s heart dedicated to an African lady I made sure to decorate it with Slovenian carnations. The lects from my workshop have travelled to all four sides of the globe. They are cherished by tourists, but also students that come to Ljubljana university’s philosophical faculty in order to learn Slovenian as well as other traditional crafts, including lect-making.

 

At home we indulge ourselves with honey 

Honey from our bees is in the scheme of Slovenian honey with the protected geographical trademark. It also serves as the basis for our lects, gingerbread, honeyed drinks and  special honey produce with additions, such as pollen, royal jelly, purple coneflower, beetroot or spruce tips. We of course also use it in our home kitchen! We bake honeyed pies, our grandchildren’s favourite, and small honeyed potica cakes. The chicken is glazed in honey before baking while pieces of cheese are flavoured by spruce tips infused honey. It’s great when something healthy tastes amazing as well.

 

 

Sometimes we also take time to rest

All that we offer to our visitors is, of course, thoroughly tested by ourselves first. When it’s time to rest, I listen to the buzzing of the bees. Now I can do it in our honeyed fairytale – a beehive in front of our store where I can relax in a massage chair and you can treat yourself to a proper massage. What makes us truly happy are all the guests who are fully satisfied with what we have on offer.

 

For World Bee Day, that is being celebrated at the initiative of Slovenian beekeepers, I’m sending special greetings to everyone that visited us already or will do so in the future!