Beekeeping in Poland has a long tradition dating back to the days of Slavic tribes, i.e. the 13th century. Back then first settlements of forest bee-keepers were formed; their dwellers breeding bees in hollows in tree trunks.
Forest beekeepers enjoyed enormous recognition and enjoyed special rights and privileges. Until the 18th century, Poland was famous throughout Europe for mead and wax production.
In the 19th century, forest beekeeping gradually evolved into beekeeping of the form we know today - bee rearing in the vicinity of the residence. Although it was a time in the history of the Polish nation of no independent state, the many outstanding achievements in beekeeping science were the work of Poles.
When Poland regained independence in 1918, activities aiming at the development and dissemination of the beekeeping knowledge undertaken by the national beekeeping associations and unions as well as educational institutions were even more intense. Unfortunately, years of successive wars and occupation stopped much of the works started.
The first independent scientific beekeeping body in Poland - the Institute of Apiculure - was set up as late as on February 1, 1946 in Lublin. Only after two years, it was incorporated as a Division of Agriculture into the National Institute for Agricultural Sciences in Puławy. Then, as a result of a transformation of the NIAS into three separate institutes, the Division of Apiculture was transferred in 1950 to one of them, namely to the National Research Institute of Animal Production in Cracow.
In 1951, on the initiative of Professor S. A. Pieniążek the Research Institute of Pomology was established in Skierniewice and in the same year the Division of Apiculture was incorporated into the structure of this institution. The rapid development of the Institute of Pomology made it necessary to enlarge the scientific infrastructure, including experimental field base. Therefore, in 1965, the Division of Apiculture while remaining in the structures of the institute was transferred back to Puławy.
In this way history has come full circle. Since 1967 a research on ornamental plants was included in the framework of the Institute of Pomology and, therefore, in 1978 it was renamed the Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture.
After the death of Professor Pieniążek, commemorating the founder and its first director, in 2009 the institution name was changed once again - this time to the Szczepan Pieniążek Research Institute of Pomology and Floriculture.