The Art of Apiculture: São Lourenço do Barrocal, Portugal, introduces new beekeeping experience

This summer, restored 19th century farmstead hotel, winery and spa São Lourenço do Barrocal introduces a new beekeeping experience, offering a bee’s eye view of the intricate connection between bees and environmental renewal.

Located on a pastoral 780-hectare estate in a wild and unspoilt corner of Portugal’s Alentejo, São Lourenço do Barrocal began life over two hundred years ago as a fully working farm estate and has a long-term goal of becoming completely self-sustaining with its own micro ecosystem. Welcoming a new beekeeping experience, São Lourenço do Barrocal pays homage to its bucolic landscape and storied history as resident winemaker and beekeeper, José Rogel takes you on a fascinating journey through the art of apiculture. With an early start at dawn, you are invited to learn about the symbiotic relationship between bees and global subsistence, before suiting up to join José at the apiary for a closer look at the hives. Emphasising the importance of bee protection with these pollinators responsible for over a third of global food production, you will observe how bees communicate through a series of special dances, working together to produce a healthy honey harvest from flower to hive. Season dependent, you will receive a unique insight into the honey extraction process and delight in tasting this sweet, golden nectar.  

Beyond beekeeping, São Lourenço do Barrocal offers a host of countryside experiences, from guided explorations of the estate by horseback or bicycle, soaring hot air balloon rides and birdwatching safaris, to exclusive wine and organic olive oil tastings, picnics, ancient pottery classes and skygazing under the Dark Sky Alqueva Reserve.