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Prime Minister Janez Janša in Višnja Gora: Beekeeping is a life-sustaining activity

Today, Prime Minister Janša attended the opening ceremony of APILAB – HOUSE OF THE CARNIOLAN BEE Centre for Innovative Technologies in Višnja Gora. The ceremony was also attended by the Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek and the Minister competent for Development and European Cohesion Policy Zvone Černač. At the ceremony, which was enriched with a short cultural programme, Prime Minister Janez Janša also delivered an address.

He began by pointing out that but a few short years ago the UN General Assembly proclaimed 20 May as World Bee Day on the initiative brought forward by Slovenia.  “It is no coincidence that the initiative came from Slovenia, because over 10,000 people in our country are engaged in beekeeping. Beekeeping is more than a hobby and more than an economic activity,” the Prime Minister said, adding that Albert Einstein had said that if bees became extinct there would be no more plants, animals or people left after four years. “It is a life-sustaining activity and it is only right that the United Nations recognised its importance and made Bee Day a world day,” the Prime Minister stressed. According to him, this recognition is especially important at a time when nature and natural life are threatened by many things, including those produced by human civilisation itself.

“After a few short years since this great event, when World Bee Day was declared – and congratulations to the President of the Beekeepers' Association, because I know how big a part he played in making this happen – we now stand before this learning establishment. It used to be a school, and I think I set foot inside it more than 50 years ago, when I was attending a chess match. I am glad that after all this time, this building has been given a purpose connecting the past and the future,” said the Prime Minister. He added that the content, which is very well arranged in these facilities, looks back both at the history of this life-sustaining activity and forwards to the training for new technologies, “which, successfully combined, promises a good future”.

“This project has been a demanding one. Mayor Dušan Strnad has already listed a number of deserving people before me, and he is among the first, so thank you, Dušan, and congratulations, because without your drive this project would not have come to life. Thanks also to Boštjan Noč, President of the Beekeepers’ Association. I am grateful that you joined forces in this project,” said the Prime Minister.

According to him, the Centre for Innovative Technologies APILAB – HOUSE OF THE CARNIOLAN BEE is something that Slovenia can showcase both nationally and internationally well into the future. “It was not an easy task in terms of finance, either. It was made with municipal, national and European funds, which amount to the largest share. But European funds are also our funds. These are the funds that we all create together. Sometimes we forget this. It is only right that these funds go to projects such as the one that will be opened today," said the Prime Minister. In closing, he expressed his wish that this great project would benefit many people and that the House of the Carniolan Bee would attract many hard-working, curious and joyful visitors. "May the honey flow," the Prime Minister concluded with a beekeepers' greeting.

The Major of the Municipality of Ivančna Gorica, Dušan Strnad, said in his address that Višnja Gora is a town with a bright tradition and rich history. The local community and Municipality of Ivančna Gorica have worked for many years to ensure the city's revival. "During the preparations for World Bee Day, we found out that Višnja Gora is the birthplace of the Carniolan honey bee, the second most widespread bee species in the world," said the Mayor, stressing that this is why the House of the Carniolan Bee is situated in Višnja Gora. The house, which opened today, brings together support for entrepreneurship and beekeeping under one roof. "We want the House of the Carniolan Bee to become an important part of the Beekeeping Academy, the place where gold prizes are awarded in the field of beekeeping and to be a meeting point for beekeepers," said the Mayor.

In his address, the President of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, Boštjan Noč, said he was proud and honoured to see the House of the Carniolan Bee opening today. "We live in the homeland of the best beekeepers in the world, and we are the only country in the EU that has protected its bees," he said.  "This house will complete our beekeeping story.  Beekeeping is not only a hobby but also an economic opportunity," said the President of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association and thanked the Government, ministries and the Municipality of Ivančna Gorica for making this project a reality. He also expressed his belief that activities that will take place in the house will bring people closer together as the Carniolan honey bee brought together all players in this project. 

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opening, Prime Minister Janez Janša, the two ministers present, the mayor of the municipality and the President of the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association visited the experiential exhibition, as well as real glass hives and innovative wooden honeycombs, which also provide overnight accommodation for visitors.

The Prime Minister also visited the Centre for Innovative Technologies APILAB, where small and medium-sized enterprises can use modern technologies and approaches to develop new knowledge and ideas and design advanced solutions for their business.