Bees and other pollinators are of crucial importance for the human life. A third of the food produced in the world depends on pollination and bees play the most important role. By pollinating they enable agricultural production, ensuring food security. In addition to that, bees also contribute to the human diet with their highly nutritious products.
Beekeeping has found a special place on the Slovenian soil. In the beekeeping world, Slovenians are known as the beekeeping nation because we have the highest percentage of beekeepers in Europe – there are five beekeepers per every thousand people. Moreover, Slovenia is famous for the Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica), an indigenous and protected Slovenian bee subspecies. It is also the second most widespread bee species in the world. Slovenia is also famous for its initiative to ban neonicotinoids, pesticides dangerous to the bees and the traditional Slovenian breakfast which spreads to a new country each year. Slovenians were also the organizers of the Apimondia World Bee Congress in 2003 and the Apimedica & Apiquality symposium in 2010. Both events were held in Ljubljana.
The Slovenian Beekeeping Association (ČZS) is strongly committed to the protection of bees. It plays an important role of informing the public about the importance of bees and bee products. They started an initiative to proclaim 20 May – the birthdate of Anton Janša (1734-1773) – the World Bee Day. The Government of the Republic of Slovenia has backed the initiative and will, presumably, pass the initiative to the United Nations in 2017.