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Fulfilling our promises: The all-Slovenian EU supported project House of the Carniolan Bee – Centre for Innovative Technologies ApiLab is being completed

In the month that celebrates World Bee Day, an important EU supported project that transcends municipal and state borders is being completed “House of the Carniolan Bee – Centre for Innovative Technologies (ApiLab)”

A year ago, at the invitation of Mayor Dušan Strnad, Minister Zvone Černač visited the municipality of Ivančna Gorica. He visited the construction site of the old town of Višnja Gora where the old primary school will be turned into the House of the Carniolan Bee.

The project House of the Carniolan Bee is an all-Slovenian beekeeping project distinguished by the interesting content and its diversity. Most importantly, the project will attract young people who will learn about the importance of beekeeping in interesting and innovative ways. During last year’s visit, Minister Černač promised to do everything in his power to ensure that the project was successfully completed also with the help of EU funds.

It took a year for the project to be realised. This administrative and bureaucratic procedure revealed that there is too much red tape and that the system, i.e. one of the European cohesion policy implementation mechanisms is rigid which hinders efficient EU funds absorption.

The project will be supported by the EU, with the contribution from the European Regional Development Fund standing at almost EUR 2 million. As part of the project, the municipality Ivančna Gorica plans to renovate the old primary school in Višnja Gora and turn it into a modern centre for innovative technologies that will serve as a place where historic and cultural heritage of the Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) meet and interact with high-tech innovative solutions. The upper floor of the House of the Carniolan Bee will offer overnight stay for the young thus attracting numerous young tourists from Europe and all over the world.

Today, Minister Černač visited the municipality of Ivančna Gorica again and looked at the completion of the work on the project. He emphasized that ‘it is very important that EU funds are earmarked for concrete projects, projects that represent added value for people, the economy and the whole community’. According to the Minister, the House of the Carniolan Bee is a project that combines various contents, from preserving historical value, education, innovative technologies and promoting entrepreneurship, to socializing of young people who will preserve and appreciate this tradition through learning about the Carniolan bee and beekeeping with the latter being a tradition and a very important economic activity in the Republic of Slovenia. He said he was pleased with what had been done over the past year in the municipality of Ivančna Gorica and many municipalities across the country. In the last year, a number of projects in the field of economic, municipal and social infrastructure have been launched which will continue and be strengthened in the coming years. According to Minister Černač, Slovenia will realise such projects with the funds available by 2030 to overcome the crisis after the pandemic, and with a clear ‘vision that in the future, as far as European regulations allow, EU funds will be used for concrete projects, which, unfortunately, we have not always witnessed in recent years.’

On this occasion, the Mayor Dušan Strnad thanked Minister Černač for recognising the opportunities and dimensions of the all-Slovenian and European project and thus contributing to Slovenia’s consolidation of its place as the world beekeeping capital. He expressed great satisfaction that the investment will also contribute to the development of entrepreneurship.

The opening of the House of the Carniolan Bee with the centre for innovative technologies ApiLab is scheduled for September 2021.