Results of the monitoring of wild bees in Slovenia
Minister Irena Šinko participated in the presentation of the results of the targeted research programme entitled The Design of the Methodology for the monitoring of wild pollinators in Slovenia. The event came ahead of World Bee Day, which will be celebrated on Saturday, 20 May, bringing bees and other pollinators into the global spotlight at the initiative of Slovenia.
The value of insect pollination in agriculture is estimated at €153 billion per year with €22 billion in Europe and as much as €130 million in Slovenia each year. However, the growing population requires even greater pollination. Pollinators are important indicators of biodiversity. Apart from honey bees, wild pollinators also play an important role and are often even more efficient. Due to their efficiency, they make a greater contribution to pollination than it would appear from the size of their populations. It is vital to preserve the pollinator diversity to ensure a reliable pollination leading to a stable production and biodiversity conservation.
Wild bees, namely bumblebees and solitary bees (574 species were found in Slovenia), are the most important wild pollinators. Flies and butterflies are also important pollinators and, to a lesser extent, other insects such as some species of beetles. The research project focused on the monitoring of wild bees as most important wild pollinators. The research is the first comprehensive and systematic monitoring of wild bees in Slovenia. It provided invaluable information on the state of bees in five areas. The data will be used as the baseline for future monitoring. A single methodology of wild bee monitoring in Europe has started to develop during the lifetime of the project.
In her speech, Minister Irena Šinko highlighted the importance of pollinators, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food will continue to support such research and use the findings in seeking systemic solutions within the line ministry. "Bees and wild pollinators have been somewhat neglected in the past decade and now we have to take a step forward. The Ministry will continue to support research on the preservation of bees and wild pollinators and transfer this knowledge into practice."
Doc. dr. Danilo Bevk presented the project, which was carried out under the umbrella of the National Institute of Biology. The project was financed by the Slovenian Research Agency, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.