The Slovenia Times

Slovenia to Campaign with UN for World Honeybee Day


Confident that the bid will succeed, officials expect the day could be declared by the first half of 2017.

The endorsement of the initiative by the government means the country will launch the necessary activities for the UN to officially declare World Honeybee Day, Agriculture Minister Dejan Židan told a news conference at the headquarters of the Beekeepers' Association (ČZS) in Lukavica on Friday.

The association has proposed for the day to be observed on the birthday of Slovenian beekeeper Anton Janša (1734-1773), a pioneer of modern beekeeping and one of the biggest experts on bees. The association also marks 20 May as Slovenian beekeepers' day.

Presenting the timetable of the campaign, Foreign Ministry official Anita Pipan said Slovenia would try to enlist global support and underscore the importance of bees through various channels the first year, then draw up a draft resolution for the UN General Assembly and start lobbying among all UN delegations.

She reckons the day could be declared in the second half of 2016 or the first half of 2017. As the government support made the initiative one of Slovenia's priorities in the UN, the country's top officials will also present it at the session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Židan will present the initiative to his EU counterparts and the EU commissioners for agriculture, health and food safety and environment. He has already discussed the bid with many of the ministers and the response has been good, he said.

Honeybees are the most important pollinator and a good indicator of the state of nature, Židan said listing their many benefits. "Honeybees play a major role at a time when the whole global public is directed at efforts to combat climate change."

ČZS chairman Boštjan Noč, whose association plans to seek support for the World Honeybee Day within the international federation Apimondia, believes the initiative can benefit Slovenia's economy, in particular api tourism, and can make Slovenia better known world-wide.

"The endemic Slovenian Carniola Bee can be a good export merchandise. Demand for the Carniola Bee exceeds Slovenia's queen bee breeding capacities at the moment," Noč said, adding: "The honeybee is a symbol of clean environment", so Slovenia could be even better promoted as a green country.

The government endorsed the bid at its session on 2 April.


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