Landscape and mountain beekeeping
As partners of AGA (Asociación Galega de Apicultura – Galician Beekeeping Association) and as apiarists in Seceda, located in the municipality of Folgoso do Courel, we offer guided visits aimed at discovering the beekeeping practices in this mountain range.
Coumel has two restored alvarizas or alvares (names given here to drystone-walled traditional apiaries), whose purpose is to promote dissemination activities and offer a sampling of the honey-related products we make.
Coumel’s alvares are found in the Ruta dos Alvares – Route of Apiaries, an itinerary belonging to the O Courel Bear and Honey Routes in the village of Seceda.
The alvar da Costa, restored and populated with modern beehives, can be visited in groups to enjoy the experience of discovering the world of bees up close. It is located in the middle of a chestnut grove in the route and it is only accessible on foot. The alvar de Escontrela is an apiary that can also be visited. It is accessible by road and features a sample of Galician traditional beehives (made of cork, logs and wood) without bees. Beekeeping dissemination activities and bee product showing and sampling are offered there to be enjoyed by everybody.
The activities are adapted to the needs and characteristics of the groups; therefore, it is necessary to contact AGA’s apitourism office beforehand to organise a visit.
O Courel mountain range, declared as a Biosphere Reserve and the first Geopark in Galicia, is a paradise for bees. It is a mountainous landscape in which we find soutos (ancient chestnut groves) surrounding the villages and devesas, the typical meadows in O Courel and unique in Galicia, such as the Devesa da Rogueira, one of the oldest forests in Galicia with over eight hundred botanical species and grooved by plenty of water sources. O Courel is speckled by hidden slate villages which preserve an immense ethnographic value. One of these heritage treasures is the village of Seceda, declared a «site of cultural interest».
The parish of Seceda is one of the areas with a higher concentration of alvarizas in Galicia and, actually, plenty of them are still in use to make beekeeping compatible with the presence of bears. There the O Courel Bear and Honey Routes are found. These are three different routes perfect to discover the Seceda landscape. Among them, we have the Ruta dos Alvares (circular, 7 km), where the Coumel alvares are located and where the apitourism activities of this project are carried out.
Vídeo of the "Ruta dos Alvares"
Seceda (O Courel)
17 and 18 August 2021
Brown Bear Foundation – Bear and Honey Routes: https://fundacionosopardo.org/life-oso-courel-rutas-do-oso-e-o-mel-do-courel/
O Courel Mountains Geopark: https://www.courelmountains.es/