The Slovenia Times

Serbian researcher wins Golden Bee

Environment & NatureScience & Education
Ceremony at which President Nataša Pirc Musar conferred the Golden Bee award to Serbian researcher Slobodan Davidović.
Photo: Bor Slana/STA

Slobodan Davidović, a young Serbian researcher whose work focuses on wild bee colonies, has won the Golden Bee, Slovenia's prize for beekeeping achievements.

"Slovenia is a green country and home to the largest number of beekeepers per capita in the world. We have a moral duty to share our beekeeping knowledge and technology and promote protection of pollinators around the globe," President Nataša Pirc Musar said as she presented the award at a ceremony at the Presidential Palace on 24 May.

Davidović is the head of the Serbhiwe project which focuses on research of the genetic variability in different natural populations of honey bees and other pollinators with the goal of proposing measures to prevent their loss.

He was glad that the award committee recognised their research as a study that has potential. "I hope that now this award will make our research even more visible to other scientists across the world and change the way we look at wild honey bees and the management of bees and other pollinators," he said.

Agriculture Minister Irena Šinko, who chaired the award committee, described Davidović as a promising young researcher with advanced ideas and the ability to bring team members together.

"Their research has shown that wild bees are more genetically diverse and more heterogeneous than native honey bees," Šinko said of the research headed by Davidović. The project will serve as the basis for Serbia's national strategy on habitat conservation and restoring wild pollinators in the wild.

The winner was selected based on an open call. A dozen applications arrived from eight countries: three from Serbia, two each from Ukraine and Germany, and one each from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Spain and Greece.

Apart from Davidović, the other two shortlisted candidates were Fani Hatjina from Greece, an internationally renowned researcher at Cardiff University in the UK and long-time director of the Animal Institute of Greece, and Pau Enric Serra Marin, a young Spanish researcher and author of the award-winning documentary on bees Bee or Not to Be.

The Golden Bee rewards promotion, conservation and research of bees and other pollinators. It has been presented since 2021. The first two awards went to Argentina's Lucas Alejandro Garibaldi and the head of the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association, Boštjan Noč.


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