In two weeks, we will be celebrating World Bee Day for the first time. In fact, on 20 December last year, the UN General Assembly in New York unanimously adopted a resolution declaring 20 May as the World Bee Day.
Having a day dedicated to the bees is the result of cooperation between the Beekeepers Association of Slovenia and the Republic of Slovenia and represents one of Slovenia’s greatest diplomatic accomplishments.
The main purpose of World Bee Day is to raise public awareness about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humanity. It is also an opportunity for professionals, politicians, economists and the public at large to discuss the challenges of keeping the bees and outline concrete activities to ensure their survival.
Slovenia is a proud beekeeping nation, as well as the only EU Member State to have protected its autochthonous bee species – the Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica). The Slovenian beekeeping distinguishes itself through painted beehive panels and the traditional beehive architecture known as AŽ (after its designer and beekeeper Anton Žnidaršič, 1874-1947) that has been used for more than a hundred years. The uniquely painted wooden beehive panels that depict everyday stories, superstitions, customs and love motifs, emerged in the mid-18th century and are a distinctive Slovenian ethnographic feature.
Why 20 May?
In Slovenia, beekeeping has a long and rich tradition. 20 May is the birthday of the father of modern beekeeping and first teacher at the beekeeping school established by Maria Theresa Anton Janša (1734-1773). Moreover, May is the month when the work of bees in the Northern hemisphere is in full swing while in the Sothern hemisphere it is a time for “honey harvest”.
In the framework of the celebration of the first World Bee Day, the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Bucharest, headed by H.E. Ambassador Mihael Zupančič, in cooperation with the Fundația Principesa Margareta, organised on 4 May a creative workshop for the children of the Generation Centre of the FPMR. The children, together with their teachers, the Embassy Staff and students of the Lectorate for Slovenian Language – Faculty for Foreign Languages and Literature of Bucharest, created painted wooden beehive front panels, as part of the Slovenian beekeeping tradition. The life of the bees, the hierarchic structure within the hive and the production of honey were presented by representatives of the Asociatia Crescatorilor de Albine din Romania (A.C.A.). The workshop participants also had the opportunity to taste the Slovenian honey and other traditional Slovenian products under the project “Honey breakfast” – an educational and promotional campaign for preschool and school children organised by the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association since 2007.
The children’s art work will be exhibited on 20 May during the event organised by Asociatia Crescatorilor de Albine din Romania (A.C.A.) and the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Bucharest to celebrate the first World Bee Day.