Things are buzzing in Slovenia, which recently celebrated the first anniversary of World Bee Day (on May 20).
Apitourism throughout Slovenia – a proud beekeeping nation whose love of bees dates back centuries – provides travellers an opportunity to support the preservation of bees while exploring the country’s lush landscape.
Visitors and locals alike can discover the country’s rich beekeeping history on countless apitourism adventures, from overnight stays in a honeycomb-shaped cabin to apitherapy tours, where visitors experience the health benefits associated with bees and honey.
Bees and other pollinators play an essential role in the global ecosystem, with 87% of all wild flowering plants depending on some form of animal pollination.
Between an increase in invasive insects, the use of pesticides and human activity, bee populations have declined dramatically, resulting in the loss of plant life and an imbalance in the global ecosystem.
With World Bee Day, Slovenian beekeepers hope to remind the world about the importance of bees. It was with this goal in mind that the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, along with the support of the Republic of Slovenia, successfully petitioned the United Nations General Assembly in 2018 to establish this international day of recognition to help raise global awareness about the conservation of bees and other pollinators.
Slovenia is home to more than 10,000 beekeepers and nearly 170,000 beehive colonies. The country is also home to the Carniolan honey bee, the only protected native bee species in the EU.
With an estimated 12,500 apiaries, the Carniolan bee can be found all over the country, even in cities.
The rise of urban apiaries – found anywhere from luxury hotel rooftops to grammar school terraces – has played a significant role in sustainable development in Slovenia, encouraging the preservation and planting of nectar plants while enhancing the quality of city life.