Visiting Honey Eco Routes In Sardinia, Italy

In collaboration with ENI CBC MED & MedBEESinessHubs
European Union Funded MedBEESinessHubs Project Created Honey Eco Routes

Home to some of the world’s most ancient civilizations, a hub for trade and transport, unique hotspot for biodiversity, the Mediterranean faces a multitude of common challenges, including climate change, pollution, youth unemployment, and social inequality.

Acting together to address these challenges and improve the lives of the people across the region has been the impetus for the 2014-2020 ENI CBC “Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme”, the largest Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC) initiative implemented and funded by the EU under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI).

The Programme has brought together the coastal territories of 14 countries in view of fostering fair, equitable development on all sides of the Mediterranean. Through calls for proposals, ENI CBC Med finances cooperation projects for a more competitive, innovative, inclusive, and sustainable Mediterranean area.

One of these projects, MedBEESinessHubs project, has contributed (as the name indicates) to the development of an actual Mediterranean BEE economy by connecting clusters in five countries, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, and Italy. Under this European Union funded project, Honey Eco Routes were developped. These routes include visiting bee farms, learning about beekeeping practices, undergoing an apitherapy session, and of course indulging in local honey tastings.

We received an invitation to see the results of the currently ending MedBEESinessHubs project first-hand and learn what beautiful natural experiences the breathtaking Sardinia has to offer.

The MedBEESinessHubs project has been supporting traditional beekeeping practices as well as rural, sustainable tourism. Needless to say, bees are crucial for the environment and their number has been sharply decreasing. Their contribution to the economy cannot be underestimated either. This applies to the whole Mediterranean area, let alone to the most deprived rural regions where beekeeping is often one of the few profitable sectors.

A vast range of bee and tourism products, from honey-producing to cosmetics courses and “bee-tourism” has been developed by the passionate beekeepers over the course of the project.


Sardinia, the enchanting Mediterranean island, is not just a paradise for sun-seekers but also a haven for honey and other bee products’ enthusiasts. Sardinia’s rich beekeeping heritage and its unique honey culture are something truly special to explore.


Nature of Sardegna


The story of honey intertwines with human history, spanning over 40,000 years. Honey, the oldest natural sweetener, found its place in religious rituals, medicine, and even mummification in ancient civilizations. In the 1600s, intrepid pilgrims introduced bees to North America, marking the beginning of a sweet revolution.


Sardinia boasts a honey-making tradition steeped in history. The island’s diverse flora, influenced by soil, climate, and human activity, creates a tapestry of honey varieties. The Sardinian beekeepers, deeply connected to their land, nurture over 50 hives on average, surpassing national standards. This dedication ensures the production of high-quality, organic honey, including rare varieties like asphodel, strawberry tree, and sulla honey.


Embracing the concept of slow tourism, Sardinia offers immersive experiences for eco-conscious travellers with plenty of stops on different Honey Eco Routes. The first route; the island’s Sulcis Iglesiente region, with its ancient origins and mining history, now hosts captivating bee-related attractions. Visitors can explore the Windmill Museum in Fluminimaggiore, showcasing the island’s beekeeping heritage, and delve into the Entomological Exhibition in Ingurtosu, illuminating the intricate life of bees.

Azienda Apicola Miele Manias, a beekeeping company whose origins date back to the 17th century, is a great stop on the route. Luigi Manias is the heir and continuer of the world’s oldest family tradition in beekeeping. This tradition was started by his ancestor Antioco Manias in 1631 and, on his mother’s side, by his grandfather Luigi Olla in 1917. Luigi Manias learned the art of beekeeping from his maternal aunt Vera Olla, born in 1923, who today is the oldest beekeeper in Sardinia.


Cagliari, one of the oldest Neolithic human settlements and the second Honey Eco Route, has its doors open to bee enthusiasts as well. The Ethnographic Museum, housing the Luigi Cocco collection, unravels Sardinia’s folk art treasures, including the intriguing statuette of Aristaeus, a key figure in beekeeping mythology. Meanwhile, ‘Miele Monte Arcosu,’ a family-run business near Uta, produces honey sourced from the diverse vegetation around Monte Arcosu, a true haven for bees.

Cagliari Sardegna

Cagliari, Sardegna


Along the third Honey Eco Route, in Monti, the spirit of beekeeping is celebrated annually at the ‘Honey Fair and Bitter Honey Fair’. This event, set against the backdrop of the ‘Honey House,’ offers a glimpse into the future of beekeeping. With innovative plans, including a honey extraction laboratory, Monti epitomizes the island’s commitment to nurturing its beekeeping legacy.

Monti Sardegna

Monti, Sardegna


Sardinia stands as a beacon of sustainable beekeeping and eco-friendly tourism. By bridging the past with the present, Sardinia invites slow travellers to embark on a journey of sweetness, discovering the island’s profound connection with bees and their golden nectar. On the Mediterranean isle of Sardinia, nature’s wonders and human ingenuity blend harmoniously, creating a truly buzz-worthy experience. Next, let’s see what we learned about the life inside the beehive, while visiting the passionate beneficiary beekeepers of the MedBEESinessHubs project.


As we visited the farms supported by MedBEESinessHubs project, each beekeeper shared an immense amount of knowledge about what happens inside the beehive. We learned how inside each hive lies a bustling factory, where diligent workers toil tirelessly to create some of nature’s most precious and versatile treasures. Bees produce an array of products that not only benefit their own colony but also have immense value for humans. Let’s explore the fascinating process through which bees create honey, beeswax, propolis, and other powerful food and cosmetic substances, also produced by the beneficiary beekeepers.


The journey of honey begins with foraging worker bees collecting nectar from flowers. Enzymes in the bees’ stomachs begin to break down the complex sugars in the nectar into simpler sugars. Upon returning to the hive, the foragers pass the partially digested nectar to house bees, who further process it. House bees add enzymes to the nectar and fan their wings to evaporate excess moisture, transforming the nectar into thick, sweet honey. This golden elixir not only serves as the bees’ primary food source but also delights human taste buds and in skincare.

Honey Silvia Muscas Villacidro Sardinia

Honey as beekeepers know it / Silvia Muscas


Beeswax is another valuable substance produced by bees. Worker bees secrete wax from glands on the underside of their abdomen. They use this wax to build the hexagonal cells of the hive, providing a structured home for the colony. Beeswax also has numerous human applications, from candles and art materials to cosmetics.

via dell'ape tata

Candles made out of beeswax / Via dell’Ape Tata


Propolis, often referred to as “bee glue,” is a resinous substance bees create by mixing tree sap, beeswax, and their saliva. They use propolis to seal cracks and gaps in the hive, reinforcing its structural integrity and protecting the colony from intruders and diseases. Remarkably, propolis has potent antimicrobial properties, making it a valuable ingredient in natural remedies and health products for humans.


Royal jelly is a special secretion produced by worker bees and fed exclusively to queen bees. It is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to the queen’s exceptional growth and longevity. Humans have also recognized the potential benefits of royal jelly, using it as a dietary supplement and in cosmetics.

Bee pollen is another nutrient-rich product collected by bees. As they visit flowers, bees gather pollen on their bodies. This pollen is mixed with nectar and bee saliva, forming small pellets that are stored in the hive. Bee pollen is considered a superfood due to its high protein content, vitamins, and antioxidants. People consume it for its potential health benefits, ranging from boosting the immune system to aiding digestion.

royal jelly pappa reale silvia muscas

Royal Jelly / Silvia Muscas


The MedBEESinessHubs project supported the beneficiary beekeepers – individual entrepreneurs in the rural areas of Sardinia, Italy. It had been an especially tough period for local entrepreneurs during Covid, so the funding of the project had come to a perfect situation. It was an incredible experience to get to know all the passionate beekeepers and visit beautiful sites across Sardinia.


Silvia Muscas’ passion is to teach visitors that there is no need to be scared of bees, and that not all bees sting. She shared with patience that to best protect ourselves from bees it’s essential to remain calm and avoid sudden movements if we encounter them. Bees are not naturally aggressive and will generally only sting if they feel threatened. That said, Silvia made sure we had great protection, to avoid any contact with bees to the maximum.

Silvia Muscas and Satu Makinen preaparing before to visit bees

Getting the protection right / Silvia Muscas

During the visit, we learned to appreciate the work and way of being of bees which is so important for our ecosystem – doing all so with meditative calmness. Silvia showed us how life goes on inside the beehive, and made us feel very comfortable around the bees.

Silvia Muscas and Satu Makinen with bees

Awards founder Satu’s day as a beekeeper / Silvia Muscas

The ENI CBC MED funding that Silvia Muscas received helped her develop a course to diversify the bee tourism at her farm. In the courses, she shares knowledge about the bee products, their benefits to health and skin, and how to utilize them in DIY cosmetics. We behind the awards know that sustainability is still not the cheapest choice when it comes to material, and with the funding received, Silvia developed sustainable aspects within the products prepared at her courses, such as solid cosmetics, and started to teach their making in her courses.

We visited Silvia’s showroom where she shared information about all the bee products that she produces as well as all about the courses she organizes. She showed cosmetics that had been done in the previous course, beautifully shaped solid cosmetics.

Silvia Muscas

Learning about Silvia’s courses and products made / Silvia Muscas

Silvia offered us a tasting as well – what a difference there is in taste in the various products that bees produce! We tasted all types of honey, propolis, royal jelly, and even pollen. Meanwhile immersing ourselves in the tasting world, Silvia shared a lot of knowledge about the products’ health and other benefits.

Overall, our visit to Silvia Muscas was eyeopening, informative, and caring – it truly awakened an interest in bees. Also a fun fact; the queen bee we met, got named after the awards founder, Satu.

TO VISIT: Silvia Muscas’ bee farm is located in southern Sardinia, near the town of Villacidro. Contact and further instructions can be found and asked on Silvia’s Instagram >


EjaBio combines beekeeping with biodynamic farming. There are plenty of different local species growing on the farm, everything from olives, wine, and fruit to the traditional bees of course.

EjaBio Nicola Cossu

Awards founder Satu with Nicola on their way to discover bees

During our visit, we witnessed the beekeeper Nicola Cossu working with his bees. It was truly fascinating to learn about all stages of this specific work.

Afterward, we had a stroll in the fields, packed with fruit and other trees and plants. There is something special about being able to pick fruit directly from the trees. And the tastes! The Sardinian sun definitely works its’ magic on these. Nicola knows his greens and shared an immense amount of knowledge about them with us.

EjaBio Portrait Nicola Cossu

Nicola Cossu enjoying the greens in the garden / EjaBio

Inside the laboratory, Nicola offered us a honey tasting, how many different types of honey there are! Lavender, eucalyptus, thistle, strawberry tree, bramble, asphodel, and many more.

Miel EjaBio Nicola Cossu

Honey tasting / EjaBio

The ENI CBC MED funding that Nicola Cossu received had helped him create a website and online presence to be able to communicate the farm’s offerings and remote location better.

Nicola wants to keep developing EjaBio to offer a variety of experience tourism activities to share about the farming and beekeeping lifestyle, and to be able to share his knowledge with as many visitors as possible and offer farm-full experiences to tourists, online presence is crucial.

We definitely experienced a great experiential afternoon at EjaBio – a revitalizing natural break from city life while learning about beekeeping and other cultivation.

TO VISIT: EjaBio bee farm is located in the north-east of Sardinia, near the town of Siniscola. Read more about EjaBio and find instructions on how to visit the site on EjaBio’s website HERE >


At La Via dell’Ape Tata, the creator Nunzia shares knowledge of the beekeeping culture of the past, present, and future. She organizes workshops for all ages, as well as for children, such as school groups.

via dell'ape tata

Educating about traditional beekeeping / Via dell’Ape Tata

The ENI CBC MED funding La via dell’Ape Tata had received was a lifesaver for the La Via dell’Ape Tata site according to Nunzia. Inspired by her mother, Nunzia created accessibility of the site so that anyone can come and join the nature and learn about bees. The site is built to flourish!

At La Via dell’Ape Tata, other special situations, such as allergies and special diets, have also been taken into consideration. Nunzia has taken all measures to build the site so that visitors don’t get too close to bees unprotected. She had created a window for the visitors to be able to see the bees without getting into too close of contact. When organizing a workshop for a group of children, no risk can be taken.

via dell'ape tata

Cosmetics by Ape Tata

Also, the environment gets well taken care of. The food and cosmetic products that Nunzia creates are sustainably packaged in glass and metal packaging. The sweets offered during our visit were vegan, and packed also in biodegradable material.

Overall, Nunzia breathes the core message of the site – we need to learn to take better care of our Earth better. Next, Nunzia wants to build a laboratory on the site and continue to grow the project further.

via dell'ape tata

Via dell’Ape Tata

TO VISIT: La via dell’Ape Tata bee farm is located in southern Sardinia, near the town of Monastir, not far from the city of Cagliari. Contact Nunzia for further instructions and visits: +393408637062.


Our visit at Bellosi’s started by greeting the whole family, followed by greeting the backyard extension of the family – the entertaining, Sardinian-breed donkeys. These donkeys are free to roam the land bordering the site. With their curious ears and sweet sparkling eyes, they are our most faithful companions, always ready to share their funny expressions and transmit a contagious calm to anyone who needs it. Visitors, especially children are huge fans of these creatures, they really are quite a perfect way to set the tone for the farm visit.

Apicoltura Bellosi team picture with Satu makinen

Bellosi Family / Apicoltura Bellosi

Visitors may also be able to see the bees though as the weather was not ideal for the visit, we did not want to disturb the bees. When interacting with animals at Bellosi, all observations happen always without disturbing the natural flow of the animals.

In the laboratory, we learned about how the beehive works. Jenis explained much in detail about the world of bees: how a beehive is made, how bees live and how honey is created together with other honey products. Much of the honey, pollen, and royal jelly are sold in the small shop next to the laboratory where we were able to taste the Bellosi honey – truly tasty!

We also learned how bee products, such as honey and beeswax are then processed with modern machines as well as how they were traditionally done before. The Bellosis think it’s important that all phases are demonstrated for visitors, to get the best understanding about beekeeping.

miel process

How is honey made? / Apicoltura Bellosi

The ENI CBC MED funding that the Bellosi family received helped them create a website and online presence to be able to communicate better the farm’s offerings and the location that is not far from known touristic beach locations Villasimius and Costa Rei.

Bellosi family is actively looking into diversifying the business, such as continuing the development of bee tourism.

TO VISIT: Apicoltura Bellosi is located in southern Sardinia, near Costa Rei. Read more about Apicoltura Bellosi and find instructions on how to visit the site on Apicoltura Bellosi’s website >

Apicoltura Bellosi’s journey can also be followed on Instagram here >


As an awards project, we are striving towards a more natural world when it comes to the cosmetics industry, though we are extremely happy to collaborate with projects that likewise have goals about changing our lives greener. We are happy to see European Union funding reach projects that have goals of a more sustainable and natural way of living.

It was amazing to see, how after receiving the funding, these passionate makers have such a drive to keep creating more sustainable business. Sustainability is an especially important point in today’s and tomorrow’s travel industry.

We also learned a lot about the life of bees during the visits – each of these entrepreneurs has such passion towards bees and nature, and they were extremely keen on sharing all their knowledge acquired over the years.

Vising these beautiful sites was an experience, and we could definitely recommend visiting Sardinia and these bee farm as a part of educating oneself about nature and the state of the world. Bees are very sensible to the changes in the environment, so through them, we humans can learn a lot. And all this, while enjoying the breathtaking Sardinian nature.

It was also a surprise to us how meditative beekeeping is. You need to stay calm with bees, as they sense your state of mind. For example, they can sense if you are stressed or sad. Bees also have a calming effect on you – we witnessed their constant work in awe, and following their life truly gave us a break from the hectic life with constant news stream. Visiting a bee farm can be the exact break from hectic life that you need!

High-quality products are made by beekeepers who follow sustainable and ethical beekeeping practices. This includes providing bees with healthy habitats, using natural methods to control diseases and pests, and not over-harvesting honey. Our advice for choosing high-quality bee products made by bees; buy directly from trusted producers!

Would you be interested in visiting Sardinia and bee farms full of life? Join the conversation on our Instagram >

Videos from our visits can also be seen on our Instagram.

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