bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Beekeeping behind the Iron Curtain

I've heard that beekeeping thrived under the Soviets because it was the one occupation that the state couldn't control. But in this article, there's a suggestion that Lenin quite liked beekeeping and wouldn't restrict it:
“It was the only legal private business permitted in the Soviet Union. Lenin himself forbade any restrictions on beekeeping. Beekeepers even were paying no taxes.” said Andrey Pchelka.

Their family came to America from Kazakhstan in 1993 and was among a wave of Russian-speaking refugees from the former Soviet republics seeking freedom of religion here (USA). In Kazakhstan, they all were beekeepers, said Andrey Pchelka, whose last name means Little Bee in Russian.

“All of us were engaged in the rearing of bees and selling honey. In fact, I think, about 80 percent of people in our church were beekeepers. And we used to get on with each other pretty well.”


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