The healing power of bees

This 56-year-old organic beekeeper and pitherapist, from the Renon plateau high above Bolzano, is a passionate exponent of "health from the beehive".
The Api-Wellness-Oasis is located in the village of Costalovara, Soprabolzano. It’s also where we come to talk to Paul, a third-generation beekeeper. He focuses on sustainable beekeeping and makes his long experience in apitherapy available at his family’s hotel ( Since 2014, he has offered residential and day guests a number of bee-based therapies, including Api-Wellness beehive air inhalation.

Can you explain the benefits of beehive air inhalation?
We treat people with breathing problems, especially allergy sufferers, by having them inhale beehive air for half an hour at a time. This beehive air is full of essential oils, flavonoids and aromatic substances. It also has a delicate beeswax scent and is antibacterial, which is beneficial for the respiratory tract. I always advise at least six treatments. I am certainly the only apitherapist in the Alpine region who provides this therapy – and I’m pretty sure far beyond that.

So, what is it that fascinates you about bees?
The harmony in the hive is still a mystery to us, even today. A colony of bees is like a city of 100,000 souls (bees plus larvae), making it like a well-functioning city such as our own Bolzano.
We benefit immensely from the bees' way of life and we never stop learning.
And where did your passion for bees begin?
I quite literally grew up with bees – my ancestors were migratory beekeepers, who kept hundreds of bee colonies. I got my first colonies of bees when I was nine years old, after my grandfather died, so I learned to take responsibility for these creatures when I was a child. At the age of 12, I was already a migratory beekeeper and by the time I was 18, I had 100 colonies. In 2000, I began organic beekeeping and then apitherapy. Today I work with 200 bee colonies, taking them to different places throughout South Tyrol at the time of their flowering, or up to the high mountains when the Alpine rose blossoms.

The healing power of honey and bee air.
The Renon Tourist Office organizes visits to Paul Rinner's organic apiary every Monday in May and June. Afterwards, you can go to the nearby 600 years old Plattner Bienenhof, which is today a beekeeping museum with a large outdoor area and an educational trail ( Returning, you can either go by foot, via the Freud Promenade (approx. 1 hour), or take the Renon Railway back to Collalbo.

​If you’d like to learn more about honey and bee products, you can talk to South Tyrolean beekeepers at the Bolzano flower market where you’ll also be able to purchase directly from them.

Text by Anita Rossi | Picture rights Manuela Tessaro and Helmuth Rier/

This is an article from the Bolzano Magazine | Spring Edition 2020, where also Eppan is represented. Further information about the South Tyrolean capital and Eppan's neighbouring city can be found here >>> Bolzano Bozen

Published on 05.06.2020
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