Dzūkija National Park
Whilst staying in southern Lithuania, visit the largest protected area in the country – Dzūkija National Park. This is a region which contains a great many national treasures: water springs and bodies of water, rare plants and animals, and items of cultural heritage. Ten kilometres from Druskininkai in a north-eastern direction you will find the Liškiava mound and architectural ensemble, whilst when travelling by the Vilnius road you can observe the Žiogeliai ethnographic village, and when travelling towards Latežeris you can take a look not only at villages such as Margioniai and Marcinkonys, all of which are rich in cultural heritage, but also the Čepkeliai nature reserve. Canoeing, cycling, and walking will make it possible to discover the life of old Dzūkija’s residents and natural treasures.
Hollow tree beekeeping in Dzūkija
In ancient times the life of Dzūkija’s residents depended on the fertility of the land: the better the harvest, the richer the house. Residents who were living in sandy areas could not survive on agriculture so, therefore, they preferred to collect forest produce and manage beekeeping.
In Musteika, Margioniai, Mančiagirė, and other villages in Dzūkija National Park you can still see the hollow pines which are considered both a natural and cultural monument. These are the relics of the old forms of beekeeping, unique in that more than a century ago the trunks of trees were cut out to form elongated hollows for bees.
In Musteika Village there is a demonstration apiary which will allow you to watch the bees living in the stump hives maintain those hives, how the honey and wax are handled, and how the hives are made.