Beekeeping to be nominated for UNESCO heritage status
The Ministry of Culture leads the project of drafting the nomination of intangible heritage unit of beekeeping in Slovenia for inscription on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The nomination demonstrates the richness of apicultural heritage, its long history and traditional expressions, as well as the prevalence of skills, knowledge and good practice passed down from generation to generation. The immovable and movable heritage of beekeeping is strongly embedded in Slovenia; in modern times it is also marked by beekeeping in urban environments and progress has been made in focuses on apitherapy and apitourism. Beekeeping testifies to social functions and cultural significance for its communities, which places it in the domain of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and more broadly in the context of the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda, which traverse other areas (including education, agriculture, economy and tourism).
The nomination adopted by the Government at yesterday's session is based on the following intangible heritage units entered in the Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage between 2018 and 2020: beekeeping, painting beehive panels, mobile beekeeping, building beehives and apiaries, breeding queen bees of the Carniolan bee, apitherapy, making small breads and wooden models, gingerbread making.
The idea of entering Slovenian beekeeping in the national register was formed in 2015; based on the initiative of field specialists and representatives of local communities, it developed over time and led to a common belief in the importance of beekeeping heritage in Slovenia. The Beekeepers' Association of Slovenia as a representative organisation of individual beekeepers and beekeeping groups joined the initiative with its professional services, thus maturing the idea of drafting a nomination for the entry of beekeeping heritage on the Representative List. Preparations for the nomination project continued with the support of the Ministry, the Slovenian Ethnographic Museum (Coordinator for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage) and the Beekeeping Museum in Radovljica. Community representatives were completely independent in their decisions, while the Ministry and Coordinator provided professional and formal support.
The nomination is based on the Operational Directives for the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which specify the format of the nomination form. It is drafted in English as UNESCO’s official language, its title being “Beekeeping in Slovenia, A Way of Life”, or “Čebelarstvo v Sloveniji, način življenja”’ in Slovenian.