The laws which apply to bee colonies may be an example for us all. Respect, loyalty and responsibility towards individual and joint tasks are the basis for their survival. They are also the basis for the survival of nature. The sooner we people also realise this, the greater the chance that we will be able to save our world.
Unfortunately, though, bees are becoming extinct and each year significant losses of bee colonies are recorded. The most losses were recorded in the Coastal-Karst (41%) and Ljubljana regions (37%). The loss of bee families cannot be completely avoided but it can be considerably reduced through a better understanding of the causes. In the last few decades the conditions for beekeeping have significantly changed: the presence of varro mites in bee colonies, intensive farming with the use of plant protection products (PPP), climate change, environmental pollution, etc. Beekeeping is, thus, increasingly becoming an endangered industry.
For this reason, we prepared a large media campaign for the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association titled ‘PRESERVE THE BEES’. Since then, the campaign has seen a number of applications and we have also transferred it to the field of meetings tourism.
We started the basic campaign for the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association on 22 May 2010 as a part of the Slovenian Beekeeping Festival. The campaign continued throughout the rest of 2010.
The campaign was carried out in the form of projects as following:
- Establishment of the Council for Bee Preservation (22 May 2010)
- A petition for the preservation of bees
- Media campaign
- Website www.ohranimo-cebele.si
- Promotional workshops throughout Slovenia
- Fund for the Carniolan Grey Bee
- Research on the origin of the Carniolan Bee
- Screening of films with a beekeeping theme during the Congress
- Distribution of seeds of melliferous plants to visitors to the API-EXPO exhibition
- Planting and crop rotation with melliferous plants
- Establishment of a phone number for reporting the killing of bees
- Installation of an observational beehive in Ljubljana and Maribor
- Establishment of educational islands with melliferous plants
- Planting and arranging of melliferous plants
We later expanded the extensive campaign to the field of meetings tourism (BE BEE campaign). We did this because we had realised that in order to confirm that Slovenia is ideal for the development of the GREEN MEETINGS TOURISM, we need also a concrete proof that goes beyond the general claims about the cleanliness of water, the share of forests, etc. Bees, as an environmental indicator, are an excellent example of good or bad care of environment. In addition, the cornerstone of GREEN MEETINGS TOURISM is BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY. From this point of view, the role of bees is of key importance. Additionally, the message that honey bees can bring is extremely interesting and offers a number of stories for use in different parts of the campaign. For example, culinary delights with honey, craft based on honey, etc …