Slovenian beehive inaugurated in UN gardens
The beehive, located in the northern part of the UN gardens in New York, was made by Matija Čemažar and will be taken care of by Andrew Cote form Bees Without Borders.
"I never worked with such a beehive before, so if any beekeeper from Slovenia could spare some time to come to teach me, his know-how would be very useful," Cote said as the inauguration ceremony on Thursday.
He installed Slovenian bees, known as the Carniola Bee, in the beehive already on Monday, saying jokingly that the time of Italian bees at the UN is running out.
The president of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčak noted that the UN had had bees in two beehives for two years, which had produced 113 kilos of honey.
He congratulated Slovenia on succeeding with its initiative to have the UN declare World Bee Day, which was celebrated for the first time this year, on 20 May.
Slovenian Ambassador at the UN Darja Bavdaž Kuret pointed to the fact that the UN General Assembly had declared World Bee Day unanimously. "Slovenia's gift to the UN is a living monument," she added.
Lajčak regretted bees were endangered due to pesticides, parasites and the loss of natural habitat, so the UN was doing its best to preserve them.
He said bees could serve as a role model for the General Assembly, being entrepreneurial, productive, patriotic and well organised, with every single bee having its own task in the beehive, yet working together for common good.
Slovenia's former Ambassador at the UN Ernest Petrič, who is in New York for an International Law Commission session, said President Borut Pahor, whose aide he is, had asked him to attend the inauguration.
However, he would have attended it anyway since "bees are an important part of Slovenian heritage", he said, stressing that "our grandparents were known as the best beekeepers in the Austrian empire".
Petrič also said Slovenia "is grateful that so many countries had supported the World Bee Day resolution, which expresses an ambition of a small country to promote itself not with a monument to a general, who we did not have many of, but with bees".
Carla Mucavi, director of the FAO Liaison Office in New York, thanked the Slovenian government for successfully carrying through the process of declaring World Bee Day.
She highlighted the role of bees for the survival of humanity and pledged FAO's further support in protecting bees and other pollinators.
Also on Thursday, the FAO Liaison Office in Washington hosted a conference to mark World Bee Day, which was accompanied by an exhibition on the Carniola Bee, while guests were also able to taste Slovenian honey.