Three-Day Celebration of First World Bee Day Starts in Slovenia (Background)

By , 18 May 2018, 15:48 PM Lifestyle
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STA, 18 May 2018 - Slovenia will be all about honey and bees this weekend as it marks the first World Bee Day, a celebration of pollinators that it initiated in memory of the 18th-century Slovenian beekeeping pioneer Anton Janša. 

Although preparations for the big day have been under way for over a month with various events held across the country, the peak of the celebration will be in Janša's birthplace Žirovica and in Brdo Pri Kranju this weekend.

On Friday, the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association and the Slovenian beekeeping congress Apimondia will host an international beekeeping conference in Žirovnica dubbed Global Challenges in Beekeeping.

The participants will draw up and adopt a declaration on the measures needed to protect the bees, which will be handed to politicians.

As part of the conference, a monument to Slovenia's native Carniolan honey bee will be unveiled in Višnja Gora near Ljubljana, where the first bee house featuring Carniolan honey bees for sale was set up in the mid-19th century by the Rošic (Rotschütz) family.

On Saturday, an international ministerial conference will be held in Brdo pri Kranju, where officials from 40 countries will discuss the importance and protection of honey bees.

So far, 21 delegations of agriculture ministries from all regional Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) groups confirmed attendance along with FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva, according to Agriculture Ministry State Secretary Tanja Strniša.

EU members as well as Western Balkan countries, Russia and Turkey will also be present alongside senior representatives of the EU, UN and other institutions.

The conference will be co-hosted with the FAO, the coordinator of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators under the UN convention on biodiversity.

The senior officials attending the conference will take part in the main ceremony marking the first World Bee Day, which will be held in Žirovnica on Sunday under the honorary sponsorship of President Borut Pahor.

The Slovenian Beekeepers' Association president, Boštjan Noč, came up with the idea to have the UN declare World Bee Day in mid-September 2014. He received support almost immediately from Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan and later from President Pahor.

The initiative formally received the government support in April 2015 and in May the same year it was presented to the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council.

In the three years before the UN General Assembly declared World Bee Day last December, Slovenia's initiative was endorsed by 115 countries, including major players such as the US, Canada, China, Russia, India, Brazil, Argentina and Australia.

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