In the Natural Park of Baixo Limia
BEEKEEPING WITH THATCHED ROOFS
Apiaries enclosed with stone walls
No Parque Natural Baixa Limia – Serra do Xurés encontramos apiarios cercados con muros de pedra de media altura, para a protección fronte ó gando groso ou os animais salvaxes, como a alvariza de Alvite, accesible por estrada, no concello de Muíños, ou a de Vilameá, na Ruta dos Muíños (3 km), no concello de Lobios. Estas alvarizas acollían as colmeas tradicionais, feitas de cortiza e cubertas de carapuchos de palla centea, denominadas «colmos», que servían para goreceren as abellas tanto do frío coma da calor.
In 1993, O Xurés became Galicia’s largest natural park. The granite rocky walls and the presence of large amounts of water are the most remarkable values. In 2009, the Gerês National Park, in Portugal, and O Xurés National Park, in Galicia, joined as a Cross-border Reserve, therefore increasing the value of this territory.
In the O Xurés mountain range, we find an interesting beekeeping heritage, mainly made up of traditional apiaries with specific characteristics of the territory, adapted to the environment in which they are found. These are enclosed alvarizas with medium-height stonewalls purposed for the protection mainly against livestock or wild animals. There also exists a specific type of traditional beekeeping unique from this area, consisting of cork hives covered by rye straw hoods, which sheltered bees from both heat and cold.
In the route along O Xurés it is possible to visit several ancient apiaries, such as the alvariza de Alvite, in the council of Muíños, with hives populated by bees and accessible by road and, in the nearby council of Lobios, we can visit the alvariza de Manín, located in a spot with spectacular views over the River Limia. The alvariza de Vilameá, also in Lobios —which can be accessed from the Ruta dos Muíños (3 km)—, still preserves some examples of O Xurés traditional beehives.
In the surroundings of this route, it is also possible to visit more fascinating ethnographic heritage examples: the chivanas, referring to the shepherd huts in the area, the wolf pits or the interesting ethnographic ensembles in the villages of A Cela and Puxedo.