He is smeared with honey in Russia. How a Swiss became a beekeeper and found a wife

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 52. What to prepare for the New Year's table? 29/12/2021

He is & nbsp; an Old Believer and & nbsp; wears a beard. He & nbsp; is in the & nbsp; Cossack club & nbsp; and, putting on a Kubanka, flanks with a saber. He & nbsp; breeds bees and & nbsp; sells honey …

He & nbsp; & mdash; two meters tall Swiss Benjamin Forster , who left the picturesque Alps for the sake of tiny Pereslavl-Zalessky on & nbsp; Pleshcheevoe Lake. The cities of Alexander Nevsky , vendace and & nbsp; private museums. On & nbsp; days Benjamin turned 47 & nbsp; years old. A quarter of a century ago, in winter, after listening to the conversations of Russian friends (their & nbsp; father Anatoly Koryagin once was a dissident, and & nbsp; returning to & nbsp; home, settled in & nbsp; Pereslavl and & nbsp; engaged in charity work, delivering to & nbsp; uazike-“ loaf '' products), Forster first flew to & nbsp; Russia. To finally see what kind of & nbsp; Pereslavl is between Moscow and & nbsp; Yaroslavl. Founded, like & nbsp; white stone, Yuri Dolgoruky . And & nbsp; only & nbsp; 5 & nbsp; years younger.

In & nbsp; XXI & nbsp; century. patriarchal Pereslavl was hardly & nbsp; was not & nbsp; the first of & nbsp; small towns began to develop in a new way. Small museums have grown like mushrooms after a rain, fashionable restaurants and & nbsp; hotels have opened their doors. Muscovites have long chosen these picturesque places. And & nbsp; here are the Swiss before & nbsp; Benjamin here, it seems, was not & nbsp;.

& mdash; & nbsp; Yes, Switzerland is beautiful, nature, roads & nbsp; & mdash; all is well, but & nbsp; too … standardized. Here I & nbsp; can at least build a boat, even have a pig. There is little freedom, and everything needs permissions. The housing is very expensive. People work, not having time to … live. For example, I was a painter. Here, when you say: “ Painter '', & nbsp; & mdash; many frown, and & nbsp; is a good profession there. & nbsp;

Forster has no hired workers yet. Everything & ndash; myself! Photo: AiF/Tatiana Ulanova.

Their & nbsp; circle is narrow

For several years and & nbsp; in Pereslavl Benjamin was engaged in construction. Soon he got married, bought three plots of & nbsp; 15 & nbsp; ares. Three children were born in the & nbsp; family. And & nbsp; my house was not & nbsp; was. The Forsters left for & nbsp; Switzerland. Benjamin worked in two places. And & nbsp; at & nbsp; this time a house was being built in & nbsp; Russia.

& mdash; & nbsp; I dreamed of returning to & nbsp; Russia as soon as possible. But & nbsp; the spouse after Europe no longer wanted to live in & nbsp; Pereslavl. Now I'm & nbsp; in & nbsp; her & nbsp; hometown, she & nbsp; & mdash; in & nbsp; mine, in & nbsp; Switzerland. Do you & nbsp; her & nbsp; understand? I & nbsp; & mdash; no. There was already a house, a plot, a workshop. He dreamed of doing beekeeping. People thought: “ Oh, the foreigner came with & nbsp; capital! It's easy for him here. '' And & nbsp; I & nbsp; first got a couple of beehives. And & nbsp; left himself a coven (despite & nbsp; difficulties with & nbsp; language, Benjamin easily mastered words important for Russian realities) & nbsp; & mdash; painted houses, laid tiles.

After 12 & nbsp; years of marriage, Forster lived in & nbsp; Pereslavl alone, “ like a Swiss gypsy '', and & nbsp; was still not & nbsp; ready to give up the coven and & nbsp; Russian freedom. Now, once a & nbsp; week, he has a communication session with & nbsp; children on & nbsp; Skype, once a & nbsp; year & nbsp; & mdash; trip to & nbsp; home. “ I am a very family man. But & nbsp; finding your man is not easy. '' find each other on the & nbsp; orthodox dating site. Katya & nbsp; & mdash; from the & nbsp; family of Old Believers, besides & nbsp; the daughter of the late Metropolitan RPSTs Andriana ( Chetvergova ). And & nbsp; the circle of acquaintances in & nbsp; this environment is narrow.

Photo: @forster_swisshoney.

& mdash; & nbsp; I & nbsp; was on the & nbsp; site once and & nbsp; saw a photo of Benjamin (a German-speaking Swiss was baptized under this name). I went to & nbsp; his page and & nbsp; not & nbsp; noticed that he was & nbsp; a foreigner. She only noted that she was an interesting living person. And & nbsp; he & nbsp; wrote. And & nbsp; plunged me into & nbsp; shock. There was a mistake in the & nbsp; text on the & nbsp; error, even in the & nbsp; writing, there was an accent, & nbsp; & mdash; says Katya.

& mdash; & nbsp; I & nbsp; thought, & nbsp; on such sites everything is frivolous, and & nbsp; such an acquaintance is possible only in & nbsp; cinema, & nbsp; & mdash; notices & nbsp; he.

The novel of the Swiss painter and the & nbsp; daughter of the Old Believer Metropolitan began to spin rapidly. Soon they met at the & nbsp; airport: Benjamin flew from & nbsp; Moscow to & nbsp; Switzerland, Katya arrived in the & nbsp; capital on & nbsp; business. They only had an hour. They drank coffee, found out that both are fond of snowboarding. And & nbsp; agreed to meet … at & nbsp; Dombay. “ I wanted to get to know each other more, but & nbsp; actually, I & nbsp; immediately understood: my woman. Yes, I'm & nbsp; shustrik! & Raquo; After Dombai, Benjamin invited Katya to & nbsp; Pereslavl and & nbsp; made an offer. “ We & nbsp; met in & nbsp; December, and & nbsp; at & nbsp; end of April at & nbsp; my homeland in & nbsp; Kazan got married & raquo;, & nbsp; & mdash; explains Katya.

'This is my way'

How Benjamin became Orthodox in the & nbsp; country of Catholics and & nbsp; Protestants & nbsp; & mdash; a separate story. Once a priest tried to lure a teenager into a temple with gifts. “ I & nbsp; was not & nbsp; against gifts. But & nbsp; in the & nbsp; Protestant Church there are neither & nbsp; icons, nor & nbsp; cross. She's so cold! Once I went and & nbsp; understood: not & nbsp; mine. Then I read a lot about different religions. And & nbsp; thanks to Anatoly Koryagin I got acquainted with & nbsp; Orthodoxy. & bdquo; All the answers can be found on & nbsp; Athos & ldquo;, & nbsp; & mdash; one father told me. He advised me to contact a German monk there. And & nbsp; I & nbsp; went to the & nbsp; Holy Mountain.

During the & nbsp; second visit to & nbsp; Athos Benjamin was baptized in a & nbsp; Serbian monastery. But & nbsp; about & nbsp; Old Believers did not & nbsp; thought. He & nbsp; heard about Agafya Lykova , but & nbsp; Old Believers seemed to him a little & nbsp; not & nbsp; sectarians. Everything was changed by a meeting with & nbsp; Katya.

& mdash; & nbsp; I & nbsp; did not & nbsp; followed & nbsp; my wife, and & nbsp; began to read more about & nbsp; Old Believers. And & nbsp; then I realized: this is my way.

& mdash; & nbsp; And & nbsp; I & nbsp; and & nbsp; I can't & nbsp; how we would & nbsp; live if & nbsp; used to go to & nbsp; different churches.

In & nbsp; temple Forsters go to & nbsp; Moscow or Yaroslavl. At one time they even thought to move closer to the & nbsp; church. But & nbsp; Benjamin was already seriously carried away by bees. And & nbsp; what kind of honey in the & nbsp; metropolis ?! If he & nbsp; even in & nbsp; Pereslavl is “ wrong ''. Now, when & nbsp; Benjamin has not & nbsp; 2, but & nbsp; 30 & nbsp; beehives, he & nbsp; takes them out & nbsp; away from the & nbsp; city, to & nbsp; fields, where no one sows anything for a long time and & nbsp; grass above 12 Forster & nbsp; ; plants). This is where the bee paradise is! But & nbsp; beekeeping is not & nbsp; as easy as it seems to the layman. Forster didn't figure it out right away either. How many cones have filled! “ I & nbsp; love Russia very much, but & nbsp; beekeeping (in & nbsp; unlike & nbsp; apitherapy) here in & nbsp; basically at & nbsp; level of the last century. In & nbsp; Switzerland, no one will & nbsp; keep bees without & nbsp; learning. Today Benjamin talks at & nbsp; exhibitions what organic honey is. Free of pesticides and & nbsp; antibiotics. Beekeepers with & nbsp; such a product in & nbsp; Russia is a minority. But & nbsp; and & nbsp; will not be able to & nbsp; understand this without analysis. And & nbsp; nor & nbsp; one seller does not & nbsp; admit … '' I think most in & nbsp; stores and & nbsp; in & nbsp; markets & nbsp; & mdash; falsification: either not & nbsp; honey, or honey with & nbsp; sugar. This is a big problem here. In & nbsp; Switzerland it & nbsp; not. Pesticides & nbsp; & mdash; environmental issues. Antibiotics & nbsp; & mdash; on the & nbsp; conscience of beekeepers. And & nbsp; all this needs to be addressed at the & nbsp; state level.

Competitors-colleagues for & nbsp; do not like such statements of Forster. But & nbsp; in & nbsp; open does not hurt. Is that in & nbsp; social networks hiss. He & nbsp; does not & nbsp; hold. Grows vegetables from & nbsp; Swiss seeds. In & nbsp; last year kept two rams, a pig, rabbits, he milked goats. In & nbsp; the current completely switched to & nbsp; bees. Even the sabbat was not & nbsp; needed. Conducts training for beginners, master classes and & nbsp; excursions to the & nbsp; apiary, makes special hives for others. In early December, he brings bees to the winter house, and sells honey himself. In & nbsp; social networks, buyers & nbsp; & mdash; from & nbsp; Peter to & nbsp; Vladivostok. Even in & nbsp; Israel, the jars are leaving. Yes & nbsp; and & nbsp; word of mouth nobody canceled & nbsp; How happy Forster was when, before the New Year, the Swiss Embassy in Moscow ordered a decent batch of a useful product from him! “ Now there are fewer honey than orders. I think my bonus, & nbsp; & mdash; that I am a foreigner. There would & nbsp; would a Russian beekeeper, would you come & nbsp; to & nbsp; me? That's it! But the & nbsp; bonus must be used correctly. And & nbsp; I & nbsp; try. My honey is not & nbsp; only clean, but & nbsp; and & nbsp; very tasty, creamy. You & nbsp; tried it, did you like it? “

The Forsters have a lot of plans for & nbsp; development (culinary parties & nbsp; & mdash; is one of & nbsp; future projects). Although from the & nbsp; assistants so far only Katya. Savva in & nbsp; January will be two years old. But & nbsp; Venya , as his friends call him, is already taking his son “ to & nbsp; work '', and & nbsp; writes in & nbsp; social networks: & quot; deputy director of the apiary & quot; … Himself & nbsp; and & nbsp; Cossack songs & nbsp; the club sings, and & nbsp; flanks with a saber, and goes to & nbsp; festivals. “ I & nbsp; Orthodox and & nbsp; have not & nbsp; feel like a foreigner. Here are my roots. Maybe some Cossack at & nbsp; Suvorov fell in love with a girl in & nbsp; Switzerland? Crossing the Alps was difficult … & raquo;

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