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The third World Bee Day

It has been two years since the UN General Assembly proclaimed 20 May as World Bee Day on the initiative brought forward by Slovenia.
Beekiper and kids

Beekiper and kids | Author Jošt Gantar, STO

The most important thing is that the world became aware of the great importance of bees and started to respect beekeepers’ work. In the last two years, people’s awareness of the importance of bees has increased, which is very important since agriculture now uses less chemical fertilisers, which reduces mass bee deaths. Furthermore, significantly more honey plants are being planted. Slovenian and foreign politicians are becoming more and more aware of the significance of bees, as evidenced by the adoption of important international documents to protect bees and pollinators.

The territory of present-day Slovenia is the indigenous land of the globally-recognised and highly-appreciated subspecies of bee – the Carniolan Honey Bee (Apis mellifera carnica).

In addition to being the original home area of the Carniolan honey bee, Slovenia can also pride itself on having Slovenski med– or Slovenian honey – with protected geographical indication, which guarantees customers the purchase of natural, genuine honey produced in Slovenia.

The number of beekeepers and bee hives in Slovenia is rising, standing at 11,350 and 205,000, respectively, while the amount of honey produced is fluctuating, depending on the weather, the latest figures released by the Statistics Office show.

Figures for 2018 show that beekeepers produced 1746 tonnes of honey, of which 44 tonnes of organic honey. Self-sufficiency rate for honey was 80% and an average Slovenian consumed 1.1 kilo of honey.

Slovenia exports both honey and bees. In 2019, it exported almost 332 tonnes of honey, while honey exports increased eight times over the past ten years. In the EU, there are some 650,000 beekeepers and 17.5 million beehives, which makes the bloc the worlds's second largest honey producer after China.