Beyond the Hive – Beekeeping and Global Challenges was the title of this year`s 43rd Apimondia International Apicultural Conference, which took place from 29 September to 3 October 2013 in Kiev. Slovenia was also among the conference and fair participants. Among the 130 participating countries, Slovenia stood out by presenting a new travelling experience and industry of tourism called apitourism.
ApiRoutes is a trademark that is being developed through a partnership between the Slovenian Beekeeping Association and Aritours travel agency. It was created for lovers of bees and nature and for everyone who respects the diversity of people, the natural and cultural environment and everyone who travels with the purpose of enriching their lives. The trademark offers the experience to become familiar with the natural and cultural attractions of Slovenia, its unique beekeeping practice and the rich Slovenian beekeeping tradition.
ApiRoutes has prepared four products: Api tours, Api excursions, Api training and Api well-being programs. In this way, they hope to bring the visitors and participants closer to the breeding of queen bees, observing beekeepers during work, production of pollen, royal jelly and propolis, offer of specialized beekeeping equipment as well as technical education, conferences, workshops and training for experienced beekeepers and beginners.
The offer includes sightseeing at beekeeping museums and the rich palette of architecturally-typical beehives that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. It includes experiences, such as massages, honey baths, tasting of sparkling mead, production of products from honey dough and beeswax, painting of beehive panels and numerous other adventures. On the other hand, Api well-being programs have been prepared with the purpose of rejuvenation of health, strengthening of activities and maintenance of a proper life balance.
Slovenia is also the first and currently only country that has introduced the certification of api tourism and api-therapy providers. The assessment of specialisation of various providers (such as farms, museums and stores) is currently in progress.
Apitourism represents a key segment of the green economy and a tourist product that is based on innovation, distinctive advantage and high added value.
The presentation of ApiRoutes on Apimondia was supported at the national level by SPIRIT Slovenia – the Slovenian Tourist Board and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Embassy of the RS in Ukraine).