Our wool in Bumblebee houses
ON THE ORIGINS OF OUR FLEECE
An important element of a bumblebee box is its warm filling. We use clean fleece for our bumblebee boxes, which comes from endangered sheep called "Valaška". It comes exclusively from a flock of the Stránské association in Jeseníky, whose goal is their preservation.
The flock at this farm is primarily kept in outdoor pastures where they can seek shelter in a shed. The flock is under the close and regular supervision of a vet. Sheep are regularly wormed or, if required by a regulation, they are vaccinated, and their hoofs regularly corrected. Sheep shearing is performed 2x a year in order to ensure the best quality.
Fleece is then processed by hand and traditional methods. No chemical products are used for washing. The consequent combing (carding) is performed by hand using a drum carder.
All the fleece comes from happy and healthy animals farmed in suitable conditions.
Thanks to this care, the Wallachian sheep of this breed have been given several best awards at local and international exhibitions.
Other information (in Czech) about this beautiful farm can be found at www.stranske.websnadno.cz
A photo from the Stránské farm... fleece is inserted into the bumblebee boxes by the third person on the left;-).
HISTORY OF VALAŠKA BREED
According to extant records, Wallachians moved to the Moravian land together with their flocks of “Valaška” sheep from east-lying Carpathian areas by the end of 14th century. In the first half of 16th century, "Valaška" flocks were found all across eastern Moravia. In addition to the sheep grazing at stately chalets, there were five thousand Wallachian sheep during those times.
METHOD OF FARMING
A typical feature of the shelter-free chalet system was that, in the summer (from 15/5 to 30/9), sheep were taken to steep and remote pastures (called “hole”) that were situated up to 1500 m above the sea level. Overnight, they were placed into "košáry" (a mobile enclosure for sheep).
WAYS OF USING FLEECE
Fleece from “Valaška” sheep is processed primarily for home blankets, carpets, costumes, socks, gloves, felt mats, etc. The fur from a 1- to 1.5-year-old lamb fur is slightly curly and shiny and thus ideal for coat linings, fur hats, and various decorations.
WALLACHIAN SHEEP IN COUNTRY
Wallachian sheep can be used to maintain and restore mountain pastures that are important in terms of botany, landscape, and tourism (scenic views). They may be used as a part of folk events, historical, and arts and crafts events while presenting traditional products from chalets. The breed’s potential for dairy production remains untapped even today. Wallachian sheep may be a source of specific genes useful for farming other breeds.