Slovenia, the Cradle of Beekeeping

What makes Slovenia, for a long time now, the country of beekeeping are lush mixed forests, colourful meadows of flowers, a clean environment, hard-working people and, of course, bees. The old records testify that beekeeping was already known by the immigrant Slavs in the 6th century. At the time of Maria Theresa, Slovenian beekeepers were highly renowned, and as the first teacher of beekeeping, the Slovenian Anton Janša, who is considered the founder of modern apiculture, established himself in Vienna.

The beekeepers in Slovenia produce excellent honey of diverse types, from flower and lime honey to more bitter chestnut and pine honey. Honey is an ideal nutrient, an excellent stimulant and medicine; the sugars make it sweet, while the other ingredients give it the nobility of the elixir of life, which is why it is also called food for the gods. The tradition of Slovenian beekeeping is also shown in a variety of honey products, such as honey brandy and beer, honey chocolate and traditional honey pastry.

Honey Wellness
The role of honey for beauty purposes is generally known, while in Slovenian spas, it is an indispensable part of wellness. You can sink into honey baths, treat yourself to a honey massage or apitherapy treatment. This is a medical method that uses the bee products of propolis, royal jelly and honey for disease prevention and recovery.

How Do Bees Communicate?
Marked by beekeeping and honey, you can spend holidays in Slovenia slightly differently. For example, by visiting one of quite a few Slovenian apicultural museums or going on a beekeeping education trail where you will also learn why a bee stings and how bees communicate with each other.

– The Museum of Apiculture in Radovljica is unique in Europe. Learn about the history of beekeeping in Slovenia, painted beehive panels and the autochthonous Slovenian Carniolan honey bee that is the second most widespread species of bee in the world. From spring to autumn, the museum features an observation beehive with live bees.
– A Beekeeping Education Trail on Cerknica Lake runs on Goričica island in the middle of Cerknica Lake and is furnished with educational plaques. You can get homemade honey and honey products at the bee house on the education trail.
The Bela Krajina Beekeeping Education Trail is located in the village of Žuniči in the area of the Kolpa Regional Park. Let a guide take you into the mysterious world of bees.
– In Žirovnica, you will be able to taste diverse types of honey drinks and honey at the house where Matija Čop was born or in front of Janša’s Beehive, visit the Noč family with the fourth generation of beekeepers and head to Završnica Valley to see the Carniola bee breeding station.

The BeBee Campaign
The Slovenian meeting community has assumed responsibility for the negative environmental impacts generated by the meeting industry and taken action. In 2011, the Slovenian Convention Bureau started to run the “BeBee Campaign” as one of the projects to take practical steps towards a greener future.

The BeBee Campaign focused on protecting bees that symbolise the diversity of natural resources and unspoiled nature in Slovenia. Bees reveal the level of environmental protection and symbolize the Slovenian vision of preserving nature. Furthermore, bees relate to the Slovenian uniqueness seeing that Slovenia is the only European country that has protected its indigenous species, the Carniolan bee.

The BeBee campaign therefore aimed to increase the number of bee colonies, slowing down the negative trend reflected in the loss of bee colonies. In cooperation with the Beekeeping Association of Slovenia, the campaign enabled the Beekeepers Club of Dobrna to set up a school beehouse to learn bee breeding. Based on practical presentations and active participation, the pupils could learn how to think and behave in the company of their winged friends. Children learned about beekeeping and therefore become aware of the importance of natural and cultural heritage.

The Slovenian meeting community invited meeting professionals, eager to make a positive impact on society and environment, to join the BeBee campaign. By signing the BeBee Petition, meeting professionals supported the aspirations of the Slovenian meeting community in preserving the green character of Slovenia.

The IMEX 2012 Challenge
Slovenia with its capital Ljubljana hosted a CSR project the IMEX Challenge in summer 2012. Three official partners – the Slovenian Convention Bureau, Ljubljana Tourism / Convention Bureau and Go.Mice Congress & Marketing Agency, sided by the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association and Draga Centre, have created a meaningful project that continued long after June 2012. The idea was to build beehives within the grounds of an institute for mentally and physically disabled children and adults. They were be involved in the bees’ upkeep as well as potentially creating revenue from harvesting and selling honey.

See more at: The IMEX 2012 Challenge Welcome to Slovenia

Part source and photo credit: www.slovenia.info, Jure Kravanja

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