Image Above: This bee truck is not Slovenia's mobile apiary.
Slovenia is all about bees. Even World Bee Day on May 20 every year is a nod to the Slovenian beekeeper who set the high standards that his country men and women still live up to today when it comes to apiaries and bees.
Slovenia is the only European Union member state that has officially protected its native bee species.
They teach their youngest citizens to love bees and know the value that bees represent to their culture and to society. Even many schools have apiaries.
Slovenia is one nation that will never allow bees to die out due to pesticides, climate change and global warming, or any other intertwined causes. The global bee populations may be plummeting, but Slovenians will never allow them to go extinct.
Slovenians claim ownership of the popular saying in that part of the world: Beekeeping is the poetry of agriculture.
According to the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, four of every 1,000 Slovenians are beekeepers. That’s a world record. Slovenia has over 10,000 beekeepers, 12,500 apiaries and nearly 17,000 hive colonies.
The Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, which is 140 years old and based in Lukovica, has been busy brainstorming ways to raise awareness about its unique brand of apitourism (bee tourism) as they seek to stop bee population decline.
This unrelated 7:19-minute video by Huw Richards shows the central role bees play for so many people in Slovenia:
There are so many projects, it is an endless activity. Educating and training beekeepers, publishing technical books as well as the Slovenian Beekeeper monthly, school clubs, beekeeping camps and workshops, organization of exhibitions, symposiums, public awareness campaigns, promotion of bee products in healthy nutrition, and so much more.
They have launched a Mobile Apiary that is equipped with interactive content that showcases all aspects of apiculture, and hope to use the interactive bee house locally and abroad as a bee promotional tool.
Slovenian beekeepers rely on centuries-old beekeeping wisdom and traditions. This is the only EU country to have given its native bee species, the Carniolan honeybee, official protection.
The Slovenian Tourism Board and the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association collaborated on several incredible initiatives. One of them is World Bee Day, celebrated on May 20th, the birthday of Anton Jansa, who was an 18th Century Slovenian beekeeper and apiculture pioneer. Another joint effort birthed the European Honey Breakfast which is a promotional campaign that is educational and aimed at pre-school and primary school children, featuring beekeepers donating honey for breakfast. Beehives can be seen everywhere, even in school yards.
In many countries depressed people use pills or potions to try to feel better. In Slovenia, instead, where residents are so emotionally attached to their bees, they seek out bees for an emotional lift.
Slovenian bees do much more than make honey. These incredible insects participate in a unique relaxation therapy where stressed people lie down in a room of cages filled with buzzing bees. The bee sounds are soothing, and it has been proven that this is a real Mental Health Booster. Even in a more normal world without such things as a coronavirus pandemic.