Page 1

No bees, no life

Peter Kozmus, PhD, Boštjan Noč, Karolina Vrtačnik and more than 60 authors from 30 countries

No bees, no life

Peter Kozmus, PhD, Boštjan Noč, Karolina Vrtačnik and more than 60 authors from 30 countries

Contents Introduction

Boštjan Noč (Slovenia) | The importance of World Bee Day for preserving the planet and reducing hunger Dejan Židan (Slovenia) | Statement of Dejan Zidan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food

Introductory note

Peter Kozmus (Slovenia) | Introductory note

World Bee Day

Boštjan Noč (Slovenia) | The emergence of the idea for World Bee Day Snežana Popovič (Slovenia) | Chronology of World Bee Day Tanja Strniša (Slovenia) | World Bee Day connecting Slovenes and uniting the world

Life of bees

Maja Smodiš (Slovenia) | Life of bees Aleš Gregorc (Slovenia) | Food of bees Yves Le-Conte (France) | Overview of the chemical communication of honey bees Rodoljub Živadinovič (Serbia) | Prevention of allergies to bee stings and pollen

History of bees and beekeeping

Fani Hatjina and Gilles Ratia (Greece) | History of beekeeping Maria Bouga (Greece) | Apis mellifera subspecies in Europe

Bee selection

Ralph Buechler and Alex Uzunov (Germany and Macedonia) | Honey bee selection

Beekeeping in Slovenia

Boštjan Noč (Slovenia) | Beekeeping in Slovenia Janko Božič (Slovenia) | AZ hive Karolina Vrtačnik (Slovenia) | From the apiary to the gingerbread Peter Kozmus (Slovenia) | Carniolan honey bee and reasons for its preservation

Beekeeping around the world

Jodie Goldsworthy (Australia) | Beekeeping in Australia Lebedev (Russia) | Beekeeping in Russia Pushpendra s. Bhandari (India) | India, honey bee and Ayurveda Lucas Daniel Martínez (Argentina) | The diversity of beekeeping in South America Bjørn Dahle (Norway) | Beekeeping in the Scandinavian countries Mohammed Sakhawat Hossain (Bangladesh) | Beekeeping in Bangladesh Mulufird Ashagrie and Talila Keno (Ethiopia) | The importance of beekeeping in Africa

Bee products

Andreja Kandolf Borovšak (Slovenia) | Honey Mojca Korošec (Slovenia) | Identifying different types of honey Tomaž Samec (Slovenia) | Production and importance of propolis in the human diet Nataša Lilek (Slovenia) | The importance of other bee products in the human diet (pollen, royal jelly and wax) Asli Özkirim (Turkey) | The importance of bee products in cooking Maria de Gracia Campos and Ofelia Anjos (Portugal) | Bee products in pharmacy

Concern for the quality of bee products

Gudrun Beckh (Germany) | Concern for the quality of bee products Josef Ultz (Austria) | Ecological agriculture and beekeeping Etiene Bruneu (Belgium) | Globalization and trade of honey bee products

Education of beekeepers

Sulejman Alijagić (Bosnia and Herzegovina) | The importance of continuing education of beekeepers Jiří Píza (Czech Republic) | The importance of the transfer of beekeeping knowledge to children Lidija Senič, Marko Borko (Slovenia) | Good practice in education in beekeeping clubs in Slovenia Philip McCabe (Ireland) | The Importance of Integration of Beekeeping Organizations Norman Carreck (UK) | Why the International Bee Research Association is important for beekeeping Walter Haefeker (Germany) | The economics of caring for bees and pollinators and the role of professional beekeepers

Importance of bees

Koos Biesmeijer (Netherlands) | The importance of pollination for the production of agricultural products and assessment of the value of pollination worldwide Danilo Bevk (Slovenia) | Other important pollinators Nicola J. Bradbear (UK) | The importance of beekeeping for poverty reduction José Graziano da Silva (Brazil) | The importance of bees in food production to reduce hunger


Cristina Mateescu (Romania) | The importance of apitherapy Valeriy N. Korzh (Ukraine) | Traditions of apitherapy in Ukraine Karel Vogrinčič (Slovenia) | The importance of Filip Terc in apitherapy

Beekeeping tourism

Blaž Ambrožič (Slovenia) | Importance of beekeeping tourism Franc Šivic (Slovenia) | Beginnings of apitourism in the world Tanja Arih Korošec (Slovenia) | Current trends in apitourism

Why are bees around the world endangered?

Jeff Petis (USA) | Colony collapse disorder in USA Anna Gajda (Poland) | Honeybee colony losses In Europe Wolfgang Ritter (Germany) | The Varroa mite changed beekeeping in Europe Antonio Nanetti and Claudia Garrido (Italy) | Organic treatments for Varroa - The global trend Nebojsa Nedic and Kazimir Matović (Serbia) | Other pests of bees Robert Chlebo (Slovakia) | Current threats and opportunities for the beekeeping sector

Bonus content

Karel Gržan (Slovenia) | Bees and their honeymoon gift in religious conception Andreja Kozmus (Slovenia) | Bees as an example of the integration of values in education Jadranka Luketa-Marković and Andrej Sever (Croatia and Slovenia) | Beekeeping as a therapy for improving the quality of life of elderly and disabled people

Unbelievable facts - 100 questions and answers about bees The three people behind the book Peter Kozmus (Slovenia) Boštjan Noč (Slovenia) Karolina Vrtačnik (Slovenia)

We have prepared a few sample pages of the book below. They represent only a part of the article. The book will probably have about 300 pages.

Beekeeping in Slovenia



In Carniola, there is no place more beautiful than this lake with its surroundings. 3

Slovenia is a country in the heart of Europe known for exceptional landscape diversity, as it is where four geographical units meet and intertwine: the Alps, the Dinaric Alps, the Pannonian Basin and the Mediterranean.

Clean environment and blooming meadows of Slovenia are perfect for honey bee pasture.

Maribor – View of Pohorje



Bela krajina

Boštjan Noč

President of Slovenian Beekeepers' Association There are about 10,000 beekeepers in Slovenia and considering that the population of Slovenia is about 2 million, this is a very large number. We have up to 200,000 bee colonies. This means that an average beekeeper has fewer than 20 bee colonies. There are few beekeepers with more than 100 bee colonies, but we have one of the largest beekeepers in this part of the world who has more than 2500 bee colonies. The Slovenian Beekeeper’s Association is a non-profit professional organization founded in 1873 by beekeeping societies in order to promote their common interests. The association connects most of the more than 210 beekeeping societies and associations in Slovenia. We have our When my life is full of worries and sadness own Beekeeping Centre is near, bees cheer me up, my worries and in Brdo pri Lukovici that sadness disappear. was mostly built through beekeepers’ own voluntary work and contributions. We are proud of this centre and rightly so, because, among other things, it also houses the headquarters of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association that includes Public Beekeeping Advisory Service, premises for beekeeping trainings, a laboratory for quality testing of bee products, an expert beekeeping library, the editorial office of our journal called Slovenski čebelar (Slovenian Beekeeper) that has been published continuously for more than 130 years every month and is the oldest professional journal in Slovenia, a shop with bee products, and a restaurant with accommodation facilities. In its vicinity, there are typical Slovenian apiaries, apitherapy apiary, beekeeping educational path and honey plants.

A bee beats its wings 250-300 times per second and flies at 24 km/h, on shorter distances even at 40 km/h.

Typical Slovenian apiary

A hobby that strengthens body and mind is also beekeeping since bees and care for them are the best remedy for stress and all the afflictions we suffer from due to our fast-paced life. In Slovenia, there are more than 22,000 species of living organisms which places our small area among the riches areas in Europe in terms of nature. According to experts, Slovenia can be considered as an European biotic park which is also thanks to the autochthonous Carniolan bee. Slovenia is the country of origin of Carniolan gray that is spread around the world because of its excellent traits. In 1879 Pollmann described and named the bees he received from Carniola as a subspecies Apis mellifera carnica, also known as “kranjska čebela”, “Carniolan Bee”, “Krainer Biene”. A regular selection and an intensive breeding of bee colonies and queen bees enabled us to preserve an autochthonous population of the Carniolan bee. Queen bee with attending bees – photo Franc Šivic In declaration no. 42 of the Accession Agreement to the European Union, the Republic of Slovenia ensures the implementation of all suitable normative measures for the preservation of the indigenous bee race Apis mellifera carnica. In 2004 the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association was given the status of a recognized breeding organisation in beekeeping. In Slovenia beekeeping is only allowed with the Carniolan bee Apis mellifera carnica, which is a subspecies of honey bee Apis mellifera. The territory of the Republic of Slovenia is the original area of the Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera carnica). Bees can be registered in the stud book for Carniolan breeding bees on the grounds of established typical traits. With the intention of preservation and selection of our Carniolan bees, we have more than 30 queen breeders that breed purebred queens and production queens.

In an hour’s flight, a bee uses 10 mg of sugar.


Slovenian apiary with Slavko Avsenik and Anton NoÄ? in the typical regional costume of Gorenjska next to it

An apiary is a building or a room where hives are placed together under one roof. Apiaries became indispensable in working with stacks of beehives. The most appropriate apiary is an outbuilding made of wood. We choose wood because this material allows us to create the most favourable living conditions for bees. Wood enables us to set up a relatively simple and affordable prefabricated and portable building, taking into account that we may have to move the apiary occasionally. Material and design-wise, wooden apiaries are the most suitable for most of our environment in terms of settlements and landscape. Wood is partly substituted by stone only in our Karst and coastal region. The Slovenian apiary is just as special and characteristic of Slovenia as the famous hayrack. Apart from providing a home for the bees it also serves as a decorative element in many orchards and it embellishes our surroundings. Considering that just being near the apiary positively affects a person’s well-being, we can say that its purpose is not only to provide a home for the bees – it is also therapeutic. By breathing in the air in the apiary, it is possible to treat stress diseases and respiratory diseases such as mild asthma. When the beekeeper opens the back panels of the hives, the propolis aerosol, an excellent natural antibiotic, is released into the air.

We have been dedicating special attention to our youngest ones. For ten years, we have been organizing “honey breakfast”. We also started an initiative for the European honey breakfast and numerous European countries are already participating.

A queen bee’s stinger is longer and attached more firmly than that of a worker bee, but it isn’t barbed.

In order to educate children about beekeeping and the importance of bees, beekeeping clubs are organized at almost half of primary schools.


Beekeeping club

Beekeeping is a song for the heart that connects people and brings them joy ‌

Bee Museum KoĹželj

Recently, we have been devoting our efforts to developing apitourism. We have started certifying apitourism. We gladly share our experience with other countries by heading the Apimondia commission for apitourism. In Slovenia, apitourism represents a transformation of the rich Slovenian apiculture into a unique travel experience. It contributes to a higher quality of life, educates people and develops a high degree of respect and responsibility towards the natural, cultural and social environment. It presents Slovenia as a healthy destination, a country of hospitable people and, above all else, a homeland of excellent beekeepers with rich apiculture and centuries-old beekeeping practices developed by our beekeepers with their gentle beekeeping. The philosophy of this relatively new branch of tourism is built around respecting natural laws; the functioning and the purpose of bees can be compared to the functioning and the purpose of people and their putting values such as belonging, organization, diligence, respect and harmony into practice.

Slovenian beekeepers are proud and satisfied that, especially these last years, we have been supported by the government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of the Republic of Slovenia, starting with the Minister Dejan Židan, that has been supporting our projects and helped us carry them out in Slovenia and abroad. Slovenia has beekeeping in its genes and Slovenian beekeepers only continue the tradition of our ancestors. We pass on our mission to the younger generation and raise awareness about the significance of beekeeping among the general public. The Slovenian beekeeper is valued and respected in the Slovenian society and our duty is to preserve this!

Flag bearers at the first beekeeping celebration in 2003 in Breznica

A bee with a full honey sac can fly 6 to 7 km, which takes it 15 minutes.

Slovenian beekeepers are world-renowned for our hospitality and openness. We like to show our well-kept beekeeping premises and various beekeeping museums to our guests as well as prepare bee product tastings for them and talk about beekeeping in general. We enjoy presenting our activities to fellow beekeepers from Slovenia and abroad and to Slovenian and foreign public.

There are quite a few expert institutions working in the field of beekeeping in Slovenia. We have specialists for bee health working within the National Veterinary Institute of Slovenia, experts in selective breeding of the Carniolan honey bee and in assessing effects of acaricides on honey bees and varroa mites as well as effects of nosema spores at the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, and experts in honey bee product quality, genetics, and biological analysis of bee behaviour at the Biotechnical Faculty.


Philip McCabe

Apimondia President

The Importance of the Integration of Beekeeping Organizations The humble honeybee is a unique species; it does not recognise borders, religions or races. The world today would be a much better place if people could act in a similar fashion. Social structure is the key to success and survival in the honeybee colony - if only the same could apply to humans. The beekeeper’s world is a somewhat complex place with variances in addressing issues that in general could be solved to everyone’s satisfaction with an integrated approach. It is often quoted that the secret to success is good communication and we in the beekeeping world should learn from this. Working together means the sharing of information and data for the betterment of all. Apimondia, as the main body governing the beekeeping world, strongly recommends the integration of all Beekeeping Organizations. Our structure of seven scientific commissioners and five regional commissioners (one from each continent) provides us with a framework of giving leadership to all organizations to work together so that we can learn from each other and share information for the betterment of all. However, this can present challenges because of language barriers, cultural differences and problems that affect different peoples in different ways. Global warming, loss of bees because of the use of certain chemicals, varroa, the small hive beetle, GMO’s and Nosema are but a few of the issues that can impact on us in different ways. A stronger collaboration of organizations would help us in addressing these issues and ensure that beekeepers have the most up-to-date information available to them. It would ensure that the data required would be relevant and timely. So a United Nations of beekeeping organizations would be a step in the right direction and to do this we need all beekeeping organisations to come together and share the data and information they have in a way that will benefit us all. As President of Apimondia I see it as my duty to give leadership in ensuring that all organizations are part of a team helping our members in addressing the many difficulties we all face. Using our Congresses and Symposiums would be the road map to the Integration of Beekeeping Organizations.

In 2015, Mr Philip McCabe from Ireland replaced Mr Gilles Ratia from France and became the President of Apimondia international beekeeping organization

The President of Apimondia, Philip McCabe, the President of Slovenian Beekeeper's Association, Boštjan Noč and Peter Kozmus, PhD at Apimondia in South Korea

Solemn signing of the commitment to include people with disabilities in beekeeping.

Next to the Bee World pavilion – Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food; mag. Dejan Židan, the President of Apimondia, the President of the Beekeeping Association of Serbia and Peter Kozmus, PhD

One of the priorities of the President of Apimondia is visiting beekeeping events around the world – The visit of a large beekeeping fair in Serbia.

Photo Simona Magdič 19

The three people behind the book People are very dependent on bees and other pollinators, considering that at least one third of the world's food relies on pollination. Recently, bees in certain areas have been more endangered than they used to be. Besides globalisation, new bee diseases and pest and intensive agriculture introducing new pesticides, climate change influences them strongly as well. It is harder and harder for bees to survive in nature and so they can successfully survive only with the help of people – beekeepers. Beekeeping is therefore becoming more demanding and besides theoretical knowledge beekeepers also need a lot of practical skills. This situation can only be improved through cooperation of as many people as possible. Every step towards ensuring better living conditions for bees and other pollinators counts. We have to realise that each and every one of us can contribute to this goal! The initiators of the creation of this book, presented below, are well aware of this. We invited other authors to participate and each of them presented their point of view on a specific topic related to bees and beekeeping with the intention of conveying the bigger picture to the readers. We wanted to create a book presenting bees, beekeeping and their importance to the wider public in an accessible way. It is our wish that the readers would be more informed about these topics and that everyone would start contributing to the improvement of the conditions on Earth to ensure the survival of bees.

Peter Kozmus PhD

I was born in 1978 in Celje. I am a beekeeper and a researcher. I have been beekeeping since I was 14 and this activity means a lot to me. I treat bees with respect and calmness which is why my bees are very calm. After obtaining a degree from the Biotechnical Faculty in Ljubljana, I started working as a researcher at the department of entomology of the National institute of biology. After finishing my postgraduate studies, I was employed by the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia where I worked in the field of plant protection and studied the influence of various agricultural practices on bees. In 2014, I started working at the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association as the leader of the breeding program for the Carniolan honey bee in Slovenia. The beekeeping public met me in 2003, when I was the secretary-general of the Apimondia 2003 congress taking place in Slovenia. I actively participated in organizing the event Apimedica 2010 and the COLOSS conference in 2015 in Slovenia. I take part in various beekeeping associations and in international events. I was an active participant at beekeeping events in Austria, Italy, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, France, Belgium, India, Ireland, Argentina, Ukraine and South Korea. I co-authored numerous scientific and expert papers on bee selection, pollination and protection of bees and bumblebees as well as the books Čebelarjenje za vsakogar (Beekeeping for everyone) and Čmrlji v Sloveniji (Bumble bees in Slovenia). I am also the project leader for World Bee Day at the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association and the president of the Beekeeping Council of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food.

Boštjan Noč

I was born in 1974 in Žirovnica, less than a kilometre away from the birthplace of one of the greatest beekeepers, Anton Janša. I was born into beekeeping, since it was traditional in my family for several generations. I have been beekeeping independently since I was 13, when I started with five bee colonies. At 18, I already had more than 80 colonies. In 2016, I wintered almost 500 colonies. I use exclusively AZ hives and Carniolan honey bees. I produce honey, pollen, propolis, beeswax… In the past years, I have placed special emphasis on producing Slovenian honey under the higher quality scheme and on the gift program. In 2002, I sailed into functionary waters by becoming the first chairman of the Beekeeping association of Zgornja Gorenjska as one of its initiators. In 2007, I became the president of the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association and I have been its president for over 10 years. These ten years were marked by projects such as Slovenian honey jar, Honey breakfast in kindergartens and schools, Slovenian food day, European honey breakfast, the initiative for World Bee Day, numerous promotional campaigns and the consequent increase in the use of Slovenian honey from 1 kilogram to 2 kilograms, initiatives for planting honey plants, establishing Public Beekeeping Advisory Service, EU protection of Slovenian honey and many others. I have written two books, namely Rojen za čebele (Born for beekeeping) and the manual Dobra čebelarska praksa 1 (Good beekeeping practice 1). I have received several recognitions for my work. Among other prizes, I was given the highest award of the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association – the level I Anton Janša Award, the Beekeeper of Gorenjska 2015 award of the Beekeeping association of Gorenjska, the highest award of the Beekeeping Association of Serbia, the Municipality of Žirovnica prize, an award for voluntary work of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia and the title of the knight of the queen bee in 2011, awarded by the Italian NGO U.C.E.P.E.

Karolina Vrtačnik

I am a co-author and an editor of several books on ethnology, especially beekeeping. I highly value and love freedom and writing and I find it hard to imagine a day without them. Printed words and organizing skills have always been a part of my life. As a student, I became the youngest editor in the history of the leading national news publisher Delo. I often combine my work with care and concern for others: as the editor of the newspaper Družinski delničar, I started a charity project that enabled a thousand Zambian children to find a sponsor. It brings me joy that the project is still running. More than writing about myself, I like observing life and thinking about it by typing. Life is beautiful. Also because of bees. No bees, no life…

No bees, no life  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you