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Slovenia Weekly

To Bee or not to Bee

17.03.2017

Photo: Mostphotos
Every third spoonful of food eaten around the world is dependent on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that if bees disappeared from the face of the planet, humankind would only have four years left to live. Although the warnings of the great physicist should not be taken literally, we should nevertheless be aware that the little winged charges of the legendary Anton Janša, the founder of modern Slovenian beekeeping, play a very important role (alongside other species) in preventing hunger and conserving the environment and biodiversity.

This is something of which Slovenia is well aware and the reason why in 2014 we began working in various ways to persuade the United Nations to proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day. The proposed date is no coincidence. In the northern hemisphere, high spring is, in fact, the period of the most intensive growth of new bee generations. It also coincides with the birthday of Anton Janša, whom we are probably justified in calling the first teacher of modern beekeeping anywhere in the world.

The project, which began as an initiative of the Slovenian Beekeeping Association (ČZS), has met with a positive reception around the world and the support of increasing number of countries and other non-governmental organisations. A new website has been launched to provide information about the initiative to people all around the world – a development which Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan has described as a turning point taking place "in a parallel world".

Prime Minister Miro Cerar believes that the successes of Slovenian apiculture indicate that spirits are lifting in Slovenia. In his address at the recent Beekeeping Days event he underlined the enormous importance of Slovenian beekeeping and described it as among the best in the world.

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