The Good Life in Aggtelek National Park Part 99: Beekeeper János Ambrus and Galvács Manor
The Ministry of Agriculture charges the national parks to visit all of their certified producers once a year. Honey maker János Ambrus was the last on our list for 2016. János picked us up from the bus stop and took us to Galvács, a pretty, well-kept village between Szendrő and Irota. We have passed through many times by car and by bicycle, but have never stopped to look around. János' base for his beehives is in Galvács, though he moves them all around the area following the schedule of what is in flower. But first, he took us to see a former manor house of champagne maker Imre Törley. The building is in very bad repair, but it is evident that someone has been working on it. New internal walls have been put up, wiring and plumbing put in, and the roof strengthened. The one-time estate used to include an English garden, a swimming pool and a cellar to age champagne. Someone in the 1980's used the wine cellar to house both a lion and a bear, but it is now being used to grow oyster mushrooms in sacks. Backing out of the driveway one of the Wartburg's back wheels went off the road and into a ditch. János, calm as ever ventured to a neighbour to see if they could pull us out with a tractor. In the meantime, another neighbour came to take a look and simply lifted the car up and literally threw it back onto the road. I have seen this sport on TV, but never thought to see it in Galvács.
The hives are located at the edge of town, surrounded by about 50 plum trees, several walnut trees, 3 apple trees and a babbling brook. Back at his mother's house in Szendrő we enjoyed coffee and pogácsa and chatted for several hours. János must make a good 50 kinds of honey; however, because of regulations that state national park certified products must come from national park or Natura 2000 areas, only 2 of his honeys are currently certified by us. It could have been 3, but for some reason while honey from black locust trees qualify as a Hungarikum, black locust tress are considered an invasive species so cannot qualify for national park certified products. The ANP certified honeys are linden tree/lime tree, and mixed flower.
Contact: János Ambrus, Tel: 20-431-5134