Home » A Journey Into Plant and Beekeeping Knowledge: A Trip To The National Botanic Garden Meise in Belgium

A Journey Into Plant and Beekeeping Knowledge: A Trip To The National Botanic Garden Meise in Belgium

by Stargirl
Beekeeping Meise Botanic Garden

The Meise Botanic Garden houses over 18,000 botanical specimens and hundreds of research materials from around the world. If you’re interested in learning about it let’s go for a walk through the garden!

The History Of The Meise Botanic Garden

The gardens were once part of a huge 92-hectare estate around the Château de Bouchot, a castle built in the 12th century whose only tower is still standing today. Between the 14th and 17th centuries, the castle was enlarged and modified.

A Jardin des Plantes was inaugurated in Brussels in 1795, along with its first enclosure. It was then moved into the brand new Botanical Garden of Brussels in 1826. After buying the Château de Bouchot, the Belgian State established the National Botanical Garden of Belgium, and plants were moved from the botanical garden of Brussels to the new facility.

In 1854, Alfonse Balat, a Belgian architect responsible for the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken and the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels, designed a greenhouse of Balat for King Léopold II. King Leopold II bought the castle and the park for his sister Charlotte, the widow of Maximilian, the former Emperor of Mexico. This facility was originally known as the Victoria greenhouse.

The greenhouse was dismantled and moved to the Botanical Garden of Brussels, then to the Botanical Garden of Meise.

The garden as it is today was created in 1958. All the greenhouses, which occupy an area of ​​one hectare, have since been home to tropical plants and species that fear frost.

Saving the past, present and future of plants is their mission.

The National Botanic Garden of Belgium (Meise) is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world with 60 glasshouses and 18,000 types of plants, including Japanese cherry blossoms in the spring.
A few kilometers north of Brussels, the National Botanic Garden of Belgium (Meise) is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world with 60 glasshouses and 18,000 species of plants, including Japanese cherry blossoms in the spring.

A Botanical Pearl In The Heart of Europe

Meise Garden Belgium is the 15th largest herbarium in the world, with 4 million preserved specimens, a botanical library, a seed bank and a living plant collection with over 25,000 different specimens.

Now that’s a lot of plants!

If you take part in their plant-based heritage tours and herbarium workshops, you’ll also have access to all these treasures.

Its collections include species and plants from all over the world with an emphasis on Central Africa, Belgium and Southwestern Europe, as well as marine plants from the Indo-Pacific and Antarctic regions, with significant historic collections from Latin America. The plant specimens are divided between 13 interconnecting glasshouses, 11 of which simulate the climates of different regions.

As a member of the European Native Seed Conservation Network, the garden also collects and preserves wild plant seeds in banks for at least a century, sometimes in conditions as cold as -20°F. It also houses plants confiscated by customs during border control – endangered plants that are worldwide banned from export.

When you visit the garden, you can explore the historic collection of 19th-century botanists: Henri Van Heurck (diatoms), Carl Von Martius (Flora brasiliensis), Heinrich Gustav von Reichenbach (orchids) and Crépin (wild roses). Discover the world’s best-preserved specimens of plants, including vascular plants, lichens, mosses, liverworts, fungi, myxomycetes, macroalgae, and diatoms.

You can take an educational journey and get a feel of the earth 450 million years ago; learn how plants evolved from simple algae to our most complex flowering plants. 

Why Visit The Meise Botanic Garden?

Some people may assume that the botanic gardens are places solely for botanists and others who study plants, but the Meise Botanic Garden is a place where everyone can discover fascinating plants from around the world while enjoying a quiet walk amongst century-old trees,  spiny cactuses and many exotic flowers.

The Meise Botanic Garden Herbarium is an amazing place for learning about the importance of plants and bees in our environment. You’ll find works on botany dating back to the 15th century in the garden facilities, as well as a herbarium housing 4 million specimens. This 92-hectare historic domain offers a paradise for nature and plant lovers. The garden is a center of excellence for plant biodiversity research with a rich collection.

In the beautiful Orangery with a sunny terrace and beautiful view, you can enjoy some simple but proper food and beverages while the kids are having fun in the warm sunshine.

The park hosts a variety of events and workshops throughout the year, as well as weddings, photoshoots, and private parties.

We also recommend visiting the gift shop where you can buy honey made by bees living in the botanical garden.

The Meise Garden Bee House

At the Meise Botanic Garden, you can see the amazing world of bees and learn how they work hard to keep our food and the garden alive. You are invited to take a tour of the bee house and see what happens when bees are treated well. You will discover that there are over 300 species of bees and bumblebees living in the area.

The Bee House is an ode to the fascinating world of bees, and their integral place in the magnificent Meise Botanic garden.

Take a closer look and learn more about these little creatures that do so much for us, every day! Learn how natural beekeeping is so much better than conventional methods because it’s cruelty-free and good for the environment.

Bees are invaluable for pollination, which is crucial not only for plant survival but also for our food. They’re hard at work in the Bee House where they make the delicious Botanic Garden honey.

The Bee House is open all year long and offers a variety of educational programs for kids and adults alike. Spend your afternoon learning more about bees, their importance to our food, or our stylish new ‘Beehive’ product line.

You’ll find a Bumblebee Hall, an educational area for children to discover the wonders of nature and pollination, and a Honey Hall where you can learn about our Botanic Garden honey-making process.

The Garden offers a unique opportunity to visit wild bee nests and learn about the lives of bees. You can see how they develop from eggs to mature bees, from the moment they start scurrying in the flower fields to when they take off to find new homes.

How To Visit The Meise Botanic Garden?

The Meise Botanic Garden is open to the public.

It is located in the city of Meise, Belgium. It’s about 40 minutes from Antwerp and 30 minutes from Brussels. The entrance fee is € 9 per adult and  € 3 per child (6-17 years old); they also offer discounts if you are a student or a pensioner.

Students in this area can also utilize their resources for research projects. You can also read more about the Meise Botanic Garden on their website. They have a comprehensive list of services they provide, including how to get there, hours, and how to find their way around. The garden is worth the visit in any season.

On display are temporary and permanent exhibitions, depending on the season.

Opening Hours

Monday – Sunday 09:30-17:00 (from 15.10 to 14.03)

Monday – Sunday 09:30-18:30 (from 15.03 to 15.10)


  • Nieuwelaan 38
  • 02 260 09 70
  • info@plantentuinmeise.be

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