It's World Bee Day tomorrow
It's World Bee Day tomorrow
On 20 May, Slovenia and the whole world will mark the World Bee Day for the fifth time. Since 2022 is the European year of youth, the main theme is youth and beekeeping. On this occasion, Slovenian Tourist Board also launched a special episode of Feel Slovenia the Podcast, dedicated to celebrating the wonders of the bee.
By observing World Bee Day each year, we can raise awareness on the essential role of bees and other pollinators that play an important role in keeping people and the planet healthy, and on the many challenges they face today. For the future of beekeeping, transferring knowledge to younger generations and raising awareness of the importance of bees are extremely important.
For many years, Slovenia has put much effort into raising young people's awareness on the importance of bees and beekeeping. The most well-known project is Traditional Slovenian Breakfast or European Honey Breakfast, which is implemented in some EU countries. Individual beekeepers and local associations are also very active, traditionally present in schools and kindergartens, where younger generations learn about the importance of beekeeping.
Interest in beekeeping in Slovenia is growing, there were as many as 11,459 beekeepers registered in Slovenia in 2021. With a special day dedicated to bees and wild pollinators, Slovenia is making an important global contribution to raising awareness of the importance of bees and wild pollinators. Simultaneously, World Bee Day strengthens Slovenia's reputation as a green, healthy, proactive and innovative country, promotes Slovenian beekeeping and apitourism, helps finding solution to global problems – the transition to sustainable agriculture and the eradication of poverty and hunger in developing countries – and offers an opportunity to transfer knowledge and experiences in the field of beekeeping.
Youth and Beekeeping: the main theme of this year's World Bee Day
The main theme of this year's World Bee Day, which is already fifth in the row, is youth and beekeeping. On this occasion, numerous events will have taken place, including an online roundtable entitled Bee engaged: Celebrating the Diversity of Bees and Beekeeping Systems, held by The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 20 May. Experts from all regions of the world will take part, presenting different ways of beekeeping and the diversity of bees and wild pollinators. World Bee Day is also marked by the Golden Bee Award, which will be presented for the second time this year. The first Golden Bee Award was received last year by Prof. Dr. Lucas Alejandro Garibaldi from Argentina. With Golden Bee Award of the Republic of Slovenia promotes World Bee Day and the transfer of knowledge, technology and the consolidation of the Slovenia as a green, healthy, proactive and innovative country.
In Slovenia, the national celebration of World Bee Day 2022 organized by the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association will take place on Saturday, May 21, in Dolenjske Toplice.
A Bee's Eye View of Slovenia – a special episode of Feel Slovenia the Podcast
Feel Slovenia the Podcast is the official podcast of the Slovenian Tourist Board hosted by Dr Noah Charney. This special episode is celebrating World Bee Day. Among the guests are Lucie Grace, a British journalist who visited Slovenia to write a feature on its apiculture traditions, Mateja Reš, who runs the Garden of Tastes, a homestead garden near idyllic Lake Bled, Dr Peter Kozmus, one of Slovenia’s leading beekeepers that leads the breeding program for the Carniolan Gray Honey Bee as part of the Slovenian Beekeeper’s Association, and Gorazd Trušnovec, who was the first urban beekeeper in Slovenia, and now oversees hives at 12 locations on the roofs of buildings in Ljubljana.
A number of intriguing projects connected with the celebration of the World Bee Day
A number of intriguing projects that mark the importance of bees and beekeeping is currently taking place, virtually and live, among them The 3D Carniolan Bee – A Giant Honeybee exhibition at Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana, an online HELP A BEE. PLANT A TREE. campaign and Slovenian Stories on Google Arts and Culture, which include a number of exciting stories connected with bees and the beekeeping tradition in Slovenia.
The 3D Carniolan Bee – A Giant Honeybee exhibition at Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana has been set up in cooperation with the beekeeping Association of Slovenia. The scale model of Carniolan honeybee was created to celebrate Slovenia's EU Council Presidency and was also presented at the Slovenian pavilion at Expo Dubai, where it was seen by almost a million visitors. A scale model of the worker bee Apis mellifera carnica, the Slovenian indigenous Carniolan bee, is a 3D-printed model, which has more than 90% morphological similarity to a real worker bee. The model is made in the ratio 1:100 and measures 170 cm in length.
An online HELP A BEE. PLANT A TREE. campaign launched by Slovenian companies Treecelet and Medex, is an invitation to all of us to plant a virtual tree. For 1 million virtual trees planted, a total of 10,000 honey trees will be planted in the wild in Tanzania. In gratitude for the virtually planted tree, Medex will give each planter a certificate signed by the supporter of the campaign and a friend of bees, our top cyclist Tadej Pogačar, who is also the ambassador of Slovenian tourism.
Slovenian Stories on Google Arts and Culture is a partnership project between Google Arts & Culture and the Slovenian Tourist Board that offers an online insight into Slovenia's rich natural and cultural heritage. Stories that are connected with the beekeeping traditions are Beeing Generous, showcasing all the gifts that bees bring, Bee Galleries on unique form of folk painting, The Oldest From the Oldests, which includes the oldest known painted beehive frontal panel, the story of Adam and Eve on beehive frontal panel, and the story on Bees' Remedy for High Blood Pressure.
Why World Bee Day is celebrated on 20 May
The initiative to declare World Bee Day came from Slovenia, and the date that was selected was the birthday of the great bee expert from the 18th century, Anton Janša. Janša was the first beekeeping teacher in the court of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa. By introducing beekeeping methods that were successfully used by Carniolan beekeepers, he caused a real revolution in beekeeping of the time. Among other things, he introduced honey flow, redefined the role of drones, and wrote all of his findings in two books, which are still in use by many beekeepers.
It's all about the bee buzz in Slovenia
Slovenia is a land of exceptional natural resources. An important part of this represent autochthonous and endemic species. Of particular importance is the Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica), an autochthonous Slovenian bee, which beekeepers around the world like a lot thanks to its peaceful character. In addition to the honey it collects, it provides pollination of various beneficial species and helps maintain biodiversity.
Slovenia is one of the cradles of beekeeping in Europe, where visitors can taste honey and other bee products and related honey dishes, traditional honey drinks. You can experience honey massages and other pampering in the spa and wellness centers. Here, you can try your hand at creativity with beeswax and other ingredients. Honey gardens or themed beekeeping trails are also worth visiting. In museums, visitors can get to know the exceptional heritage of beekeeping in Slovenia. Slovenia is also one of the first countries in the world to offer innovative and certified forms of apitourism.
Did you know?
- With five beekeepers per 1,000 inhabitants, Slovenia is at the top of the European Union in terms of the number of beekeepers. The number of beekeepers has been growing in recent years;
- Slovenian beekeepers take care of almost 200,000 bee families. More than 90 families of Carniolan honey bee live in typical Slovenian beehives;
- Slovenia produces about 2,500 tons of honey a year in Slovenia. The production does not boast of large quantities, but high quality. Beehives are registered, the quality of honey is carefully controlled.