Matija arrived to Australia in 1960 with the ship Flaminia to Melbourne, and then by train to Migrant Camp Bonegilla for 6 weeks.

He became iinterested in bees already in Slovenia in 1980, when a friend gave him some bees, which ke kept for 5 years. Both, his Father and his brother are enthusiastic beekeepers.

Matija participated at the Beekeeping Festival at Slovenian Club Jadran.

He has/had 2 beehives – the idea for the decoration – motif, is of wife Pavla, beautifully decorated: a traditional Slovenian motif with red carnations, red hearts, people painted wearing the Gorenjska national costumes.

On the painting are as well two houses: the biggest house – Trbovlje vicinity, and the smaller house at Žigrski vrh.

Matija often records the Slovenian Festivals on videos, including Beekeepers’ exhibitions.

Matija kept Italian bees.

They feed in gis garden and neighbouring trees, including elm trees.

The honey his bees produce is floral, elm and oak.

The bees were well cared for in winter with styrofoam panels.

For extracting the honey he used honey extractor. He does not sell honey but always wished to have at home a good quality real honey.

Matija and wife Pavla are very proud of their beautifully decorated beehives and consider it to be their prize, as a recognition of their dedication to Bees and the Slovenian traditions.

The enthusiasm Matija kept for all the years, since this childhood, and has grown up with bees in the family. His Father received may recognitions.

Matija says”  I inherit the love for the bees. I read all the material on bees – everything that I can find.”

Recorded by Draga Gelt

His favourite bee is the Slovenian Carniolian Grey – kranjska sivka.



Photo Gallery

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Photo by Matija Cestnik