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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.