ljubljana_bee_path
Photo credit: Ljubljana Tourism / Aleš Fevžer

Ljubljana is not just the Open City, but also the Innovative CItry offering inventive approaches to learn about the world around us. The Bee Path provides another example par excellence of the capital’s innovativeness.

INNOVATIVE CITY

Slovenia’s capital is a home to a special path, a special trail that is very innovative not only in the European but also in the world’s sense. The Bee Path (Čebelja pot) that innovatively promotes and explains the importance of bee-keeping is organised by the Municipality of Ljubljana and its Department for Environmental Protection, Section for Rural Development.

The original purpose of the path was to follow the guidelines of Beekeepers Association of Slovenia for establishment of a ‘bee-friendly’ urban environment and active development of urban bee-keeping in Ljubljana; however, the Bee Path has overgrown its initial purpose and it has in only a few years become a physical path, a network, an educational programme, a think-tank, an incubator, and even a movement.

ljubljana_bee_path_botanical_garden
Photo credit: Ljubljana Tourism / Dunja Wedam

bees

Bees, as pollinators, play an important role for humankind in terms of providing food, food security and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity, climate change mitigation, and a healthy environment. Everyone knows and talks about this today. However, the care for bees is for Slovenian not a novelty, but it is rather a part of Slovenian character and history.

BEEKEEPING IN SLOVENIA

ljubljana_bee_path
Photo credit: Ljubljana Tourism / Jošt Gantar

Slovenia has a rich beekeeping heritage and associated values that have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries. Slovenia is a proud owner of the autochtonous Carniolan bee, hives, painted honey extensions, and apiaries that mark the Slovenian cultural landscape, together with excellent bee products which are Slovenian specialty and pride. Beekeeping in Slovenia is a signal of concern for the environment and nature preservation.

WORLD BEE DAY

maribor-pohorje-world-bee-day
Photo credit: Verus

Furthermore, in 2014, the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association launched the proposal that World Bee Day be celebrated and so the world got its first World Bee Day on 20 May 2018. Every year from now on, on this day the attention of the global public will be drawn to the importance of preserving bees and other pollinators. People will be reminded of the importance of bees for the entire humanity and invited to take concrete action to preserve and protect them and their habitats.

BEE PATH IN LJUBLJANA

DID YOU KNOW?

  • There are as many as 4500 beehives in the area of the City of Ljubljana what makes for as many as 3% of all Slovenian beekeepers.
  • Within the scope of the Beekeeping Tourism Day, Ljubljana received the recognition Most Bee-Friendly Municipality 2017.
ljubljana_bee_path
Photo credit: Ljubljana Tourism / Nea Culpa

Thus, no surprise that Slovenia’s capital offers a special guided tour where guests learn about the tradition of bee-keeping in Ljubljana, and where they can taste Slovenian honey and honey desserts while listening to stories on bee-keeping and honey.

ljubljana_bee_path
Photo credit: Doris Kordic

The primary task of the BEE PATH group members today is to promote different activities regarding urban beekeeping and co-existence with bees in Ljubljana – delivering messages of the importance of environmental protection, food self-sufficiency, and preservation of biodiversity. Due to their joint efforts (the group counts today 34 members from educational and cultural institutions, from health-care centres to economic entities and, of course, beekeepers and beekeeping societies) and achievements, bees are slowly becoming an increasingly important part of Ljubljana’s everyday life.

ljubljana_bee_path
Photo credit: Irena Woelle

The Bee Path Guided Tour takes to Ljubljana Central Market, to the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum with a visit to Plečnik’s Lectarija museum shops, to the Castle, through the Fleischmann tree-lined lane to the Botanical Garden and a visit to the Carniolan apiary.

ljubljana_bee_path_lectarija_shop
Photo credit: Ljubljana Tourism / Tjaša Janovljak
ljubljana_bee_path
Photo credit: Žiga Koritnik

The path takes also to many other places and spots where a congress guest to Ljubljana interested in the importance of bees and our future can taste many products and gets indulged into newly opened horizons into the importance of beekeeping not just for Slovenia, but for the world.

ljubljana_bee_path
Photo credit: N.Rovan

A truly innovative approach that the Bee Path provides for the tomorrow of our world is well aligned with Ljubljana’s values as the modern Open City for the BeePathNetProject (URBACT III Transfer Network) aims to become a European Story and is, thus, a work in progress – growing and evolving on a daily basis.

ljubljana_bee_path
Photo credit: Municipality of Ljubljana

Overgrowing its original idea, today BEE PATH represents the following:

IT IS A PHYSICAL PATH, which was designed to connect urban and rural parts of Ljubljana into one strongly connected unit. It connects beekeepers producing honey and other bee-products with a network of different institutions and organizations related to bees and beekeeping in Ljubljana. In this way, visitors can experience Ljubljana from a different perspective – they are introduced to cultural and natural heritage linked to beekeeping in Ljubljana, witness active beekeeping processes, as well as taste and buy honey and other types of bee-products.

IT IS A NETWORK of beekeepers and their associations, cultural, educational and health organizations, enterprises, NGO’s, as well as individuals interested in beekeeping and its development in urban areas.

IT IS AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM devoted to rising awareness about the importance of bees amongst key target groups, as well as promotion of holistic and sustainable management of urban and rural areas.

IT IS A “THINK-TANK” AND AN “INCUBATOR” for development of new entrepreneurship ideas in the fields of beekeeping and new bee-products and services.

IT IS A MOVEMENT that connects all stakeholders and citizens interested to maintain high environmental awareness, preservation of bees in urban areas and further development of urban beekeeping in Ljubljana, as well as a strong advocate of the international World Bee Day initiative.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here