The Slovenia Times

Cooperation seen as key to preservation of bees


The debate was held ahead of the first World Bee Day, observed on 20 May on Slovenia's initiative. The Slovenian Beekeepers' Association president Boštjan Noč said that the world should realise the importance of honey bees at least once a year.

Noč noted that people's awareness about the importance of bees had substantially increased recently, something that could be inferred from the alarm people raise when phytopharmaceuticals are used.

He also noted progress in the use of such chemicals, in particular with regard to registration, although oversight and sanctions against offenders were still a problem.

The official said that climate change "have turned the situation upside-down", cutting the honeybee-harvesting season from four to two months a year.

Lukovica Mayor Matej Kotnik, who is also a non-professional beekeeper, noted that a wet spring meant problems because, instead of collecting honey, bees "behave in a romantic way".

He called for adapting agricultural policy to beekeeping. Farmers cut grass before it is out in blossom and just one type of plants prevails in the fields, which reduces the variety of bee pasture.

The panel, hosted by retailer Hofer, was also addressed by Aleša Mižigoj, director of Medex, a company that has been producing honey and bees products-based food supplements for 60 years.

The company has been working with the Agricultural Institute on a pilot project to help develop beekeeping in Bangladesh, and in this way enable the country to increase its food production.

The project was also mentioned by Tanja Strniša, a state secretary at the Agriculture Ministry. The ministry is also forming a beekeeping academy which will offer help to beekeepers at home and abroad.

"What we're doing today is to prevent having the planet without bees, with mechanical pollinators," Strniša sad, adding that bees were the indicator of how healthy the environment was.

She said that there were enough bees in Slovenia and that the number of beekeepers and bee colonies had increased in recent years, something that she would also like to see elsewhere in the world.


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