On the basis of the Agriculture Act, the Beekeeping Academy of Slovenia (BAS) was founded in 2018 as an Agricultural Institute of Slovenia (AIS) organisational unit. BAS is designed to provide non-formal education in the field of beekeeping to foreigners, educators, and other interested parties. BAS collaborates with educational institutions as well as other legal and natural persons involved in beekeeping in Slovenia and abroad. It is responsible for the joint promotion of Slovenian educational institutions in the field of beekeeping, as well as the dissemination of new knowledge in the national and international context in connection with beekeeping research and development. BAS was founded with the goal of transferring Slovenian beekeeping knowledge, competencies, and practices to other countries.
BAS consists of the head of the academy and the program committee, which includes representatives from AIS, three beekeepers proposed by Slovenian Beekeeping Association (SBA), a representative from the Public Advisory Service in Beekeeping, a representative from the University of Ljubljana (BF), a representative from the University of Maribor (Faculty of Agriculture and Biosystem Sciences), a representative from the University of Ljubljana (VF, NVI), a representative from secondary schools (providers of agricultural educational programs), a representative from the ministry responsible for education, a representative from the ministry responsible for foreign affairs, and a representative from the ministry responsible for agriculture.
Head of the BAS
|Name and surname||Valentina Cvjetkovič|
BAS Program Committee
|Institution||Name and surname of the member|
|President of the BAS Program Committee and beekeepers’ representative||Boštjan Noč
He has been President of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association since 2007, after serving as President of the Gorenjska Beekeepers’ Association and the Anton Janša Breznica Beekeepers’ Association. He has been a beekeeper since 1987. Beekeeping has been a family tradition for several generations in the Noč family. Currently, he has over 400 bee families.
|Agricultural Institute of Slovenia||Doc. dr. Janez Prešern|
|Representative of Beekeepers||
Dr. Peter Kozmus has been a beekeeper, researcher, and vice-president of APIMONDIA, the international beekeeping organisation, since 2017. He is also president of MAFF’s Beekeeping Council and co-author of numerous scientific and professional papers on bees, bumblebees, and pollination. He has been a beekeeper since he was 14 years old. He works at SBA, where his main task is the professional management of the Carniolan Bee Breeding Program, but he also handles a variety of other tasks.
|Representative of Beekeepers||
Marko Borko is the head of education and training at the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association and the editor-in-chief of the Slovenski čebelar newsletter. He also assists in the verification and certification of national professional qualifications as a consultant. Between 2008 and 2020, he organised over 90 beginner beekeeping courses across Slovenia. Annually he organises approx. 100 lectures and workshops. He also coordinates more than 150 beekeeping clubs in Slovenian primary and secondary schools.
|Representative of the Beekeeping Public Advisory Service||
Lidija Senič is the director of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association’s (SBA) services and the director of the Beekeeping Public Advisory Service. She has a master’s degree in management of lifelong learning. She is responsible for coordinating and supervising the work of all services. She drafts SBA’s work and financial plans, cooperates with state and other agencies, and contributes to the development of beekeeping regulations and program documents. She is the author of articles and the editor of various beekeeping publications, as well as the organiser of various international beekeeping events.
|Representative of the University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty||
Dr. Janko Božič is the head of the Physiology, Anthropology, and Ethology Department at the Ljubljana Biotechnical Faculty’s Department of Biology, where he also teaches the elective course Beekeeping. He is the head of the master beekeeper qualification examination board. He has authored numerous articles on bee biology and other beekeeping topics. He also leads and participates in the organisation of beekeeping symposia and congresses. He is a beekeeper, who has different hive systems.
|Representative of the University of Maribor, Faculty of Agriculture and Bio-Systems Sciences||Prof. dr. Aleš Gregorc|
|Representative of the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, National Veterinary Institute||
Assist. Ph.D. Metka Pislak Ocepek is a veterinary medicine doctor who works at the National Veterinary Institute, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ljubljana, where she directs the NVI Bee Health Laboratory, the National Reference Laboratory for Bees, and the NVI Expert Council’s Working Group of Veterinarians for Bee Health. She is also involved in the pedagogical process at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine as an assistant. She is involved in a number of research projects and is the project group’s leader in the field of bee research at VF.
|Representative of secondary schools, provider of educational programs in the field of agriculture||
Mag. Marko Hrastelj completed a master’s degree in beekeeping under the mentorship of prof. dr. Janko Božič. He is a member of the Recognised Breeding Organisation’s (RBO) expert council and holds an NVQ beekeeper commission license. In addition, he serves as an alternate member of the commission for beekeeper certification. He began beekeeping in 1995 and joined the breeding program in 2004. At the Podskalica breeding station, he was involved in the conceptual design and the first queen breeding. He mentors students for young beekeeper competitions, final assignments, and diploma theses co-mentorships.
|Representative of the ministry responsible for agriculture||Marta Hrustel Majcen|
|Representative of the ministry responsible for foreign affairs||Matjaž Florjanc Lukan|
|Representative of the ministry responsible for education||
Barbara Kuk Žgajnar graduated from the Faculty of Law in Ljubljana in 2007 with a diploma thesis on the topic of education. She got a job as a lecturer at the School for Headmasters in 2012 after 4 years of working in a law firm, where she became well acquainted with educational legislation through lectures and providing legal assistance to educational institution managers. She was hired at the Ministry of Science, Education, and Sports in 2020, where she continues her career.
|Tasks of the Program Committee||
Agricultural Institute of Slovenia
The AIS is the leading research institution in the field of agriculture in Slovenia. It takes a holistic approach to modern agriculture’s problems, expanding its activities to include environmental protection and ecology. It is a public research institute that conducts basic, applied, and development research in agriculture, as well as professional tasks, publishes the results of scientific research, professional, and control work, performs tasks based on authorisations and accreditations, and inspects the quality of agricultural products. The institute also helps farmers, educates young people, and offers agricultural advice to a wide range of people.
The Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera carnica) breeding program is co-executed by the Department of Animal Breedings’ beekeeping group. In collaboration with partners, SBA advises and supports over thirty queen bee breeders. The program is supported by the MAFF. They carry out professional beekeeping tasks in accordance with the Joint Basic Breeding Program in Livestock Breeding, as well as contracts with the Recognised Breeding Organisation in Beekeeping – RBO. The Carniolan bee breeding program has been in place in some form or another for at least thirty years. They strive to keep up with new phenotypic and genomic insights in breeding and selection. The original Carniolan bee pedigree book is maintained by the AIS beekeeping group, which also offers line selection advice. They issue zootechnical documents and conduct direct and queen bee progeny testing.
The group was tasked with developing and implementing a pilot project in Bangladesh to promote beekeeping. The beekeeping project initiative was officially presented in November 2016 at a meeting between the Slovenian state delegation and the BRAC leadership. BRAC was interested in the possibility of developing beekeeping as one of BRAC’s agricultural activities, which, if the project was successful, would be transferred to the level of farmers while creating an integrated value chain. They took a practical approach to planning. Mr. Brane Kozinc, an instructor, experienced beekeeper, and queen bee breeder, was assigned to the field in Bangladesh. The pilot project was successfully completed after two years. One of the most significant findings was among European qualities containing less than 17% moisture. No one could have predicted this outcome at the start of the project. The Bangladeshi side has received enough beekeeping knowledge to enable the BRAC team to carry out essential beekeeping tasks, such as the relocation of the mobile apiary. The realisation that beekeeping, as we know it in Europe, can be replicated in the developing world is also a result.
Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association
It is a non-profit, social organisation that was founded in 1873 by beekeeping societies to pursue common interests. Cooperation with state bodies and organisations in planning short- and long-term agricultural policy in the field of beekeeping, informing the wider community about the importance of beekeeping and bee products, implementation of work and tasks of the breeding organisation, strengthening beekeeping ethics, education, training, and informing beekeepers are the purposes and goals of the association. The organisation promotes the production, processing, and consumption of bee products, organises and promotes the spread of bee pastures, participates in or organises the selection and breeding of pure, healthy, and profitable Carniolan bees, and encourages citizens and youth in beekeeping circles to participate in beekeeping.
Within the SBA, there is also the Janez Golinik Professional Library, which has over 3,000 units of professional beekeeping literature for beekeepers and the general public to learn from. The bound years of Slovenski čebelar, which has been published on a regular basis for over a century and which SBA has been publishing as its professional magazine since 1898, possess exceptional values. Slovenski čebelar is Slovenia’s oldest regularly published professional periodical, having been published on a regular and consistent basis for over 120 years.
SBA has a concession to implement the Public Advisory Service in Beekeeping, which systematically informs and raises public and consumer awareness about the importance and role of beekeeping as an interdisciplinary industry, the role of bees in plant pollination, and the importance of healthy and flawless honey as one of the few natural healthy foods. The Agriculture Act assigns the Beekeeping Public Advisory Service the following tasks: consulting in the fields of technology, economics, and food safety, consulting in the preparation of beekeeping development plans, consulting in the implementation of common agricultural policy in the field of beekeeping, consulting in the drafting of regulations, development programs in beekeeping, and raising awareness of the importance of beekeeping among young people and the general public.
According to the MAFF’s decision, SBA is also a Recognised Breeding Organisation for Carniolan Bees. SBA implements a MAFF-approved breeding program that outlines in detail the tasks involved in Carniolan bee breeding in Slovenia. The AIS performs the tasks of the Second Recognised Breeding Organisation for the Carniolan Bee, to which the SBA has delegated the implementation of certain breeding program tasks under a contract.
The Honey Observation and Prediction Service (OPS), which is part of SBA, has been operating in Slovenia for more than a century and has a worldwide reputation. Honey predicting, field inspections of germ forms of mana producers, monitoring the development of mana producers and the state of honey resources, training beekeepers in honey prediction methods, and transferring honey prediction knowledge to beekeepers are the main tasks of the service.
Biotechnical Faculty (University of Ljubljana)
The Biotechnical Faculty is a research and educational community of higher education teachers, students, researchers, and associates, who provide professional and consulting work in the fields of wildlife sciences (biology, microbiology) and agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (zootechnics, agronomy) and related production technology (woodworking, food, biotechnology).
There is a Centre for Beekeeping at the BF University of Ljubljana, which brings together researchers, pedagogical workers, and professional staff in the field of beekeeping. Bee physiology and behaviour, bee toxicology, bee molecular and population genetics, bee immunology, physicochemical and sensory properties of bee products, bee product safety, and beekeeping technologies are the main thematic areas. Other thematic areas covered by research groups and departments of all departments at the faculty, depending on the needs and possibilities, include grazing resources (honey plants and mana producers), parasite and pathogen biology, the role of microorganisms in the digestive tract of bees and bee crops, and the antimicrobial activity of bee products.
Undergraduate and postgraduate students conduct research as part of various program groups, domestic and international projects, and research projects. Publishing professional papers, active participation in domestic and international professional meetings, participation in Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry working bodies in connection with the preparation and implementation of beekeeping regulations and measures, and participation in professional activities of the SBA are all examples of professional work. The elective course Beekeeping is regularly offered as part of the formal educational programs of the first-cycle study of Biology, with the option of enrolling students from all study programs of the faculty, and occasionally also separately for the study of Zootechnics. Depending on the coverage of thematic areas, content related to beekeeping is also included in other subjects of various studies conducted at BF. They strive for more educational activities in the field of beekeeping at the university level within the centre.
The centre’s members are responsible for beekeeping networking and activities, particularly for promoting the faculty’s achievements in the field of beekeeping, obtaining new research projects, professional tasks, new educational content, and transferring knowledge into practice. They participate within the scope of their laboratory or working group’s competencies and capabilities, which are limited by the research and other equipment available as well as financial resources. The centre ensures that the faculty maintains effective connections with other beekeeping-related research, professional, and educational organisations both at home and abroad.
Faculty of Agriculture and Biosystem Sciences (University of Maribor)
The Faculty of Agriculture and Biosystem Sciences’ mission is to conduct research, educate students, and transfer knowledge into practice to meet the needs of agriculture, food production, and related industries. At the same time, it aims to co-create public opinion and active policy in the areas of food security, natural self-sufficiency and environmentally friendly locally produced food, agricultural land preservation, biodiversity, and greenhouse gas and other pollutant reduction.
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, National Veterinary Institute (University of Ljubljana)
The National Veterinary Institute (NVI) is a special organisational unit of the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, which performs the public veterinary service that each member of the European Union is required to provide within a professional institution. NVI’s main activities include performing laboratory examinations of animal material, food, and raw materials for the diagnosis of infectious and other animal diseases, determining the health suitability of food of animal origin, feed, feed water, and other products, pathomorphological diagnostics, veterinary hygiene services, preparing expert bases for planning animal health and welfare measures by providing safe food and animal feed, monitoring animal health and reproduction at a national level by inseminating animals, monitoring the health status and treatment of bees and fish, and conducting disinfection, disinsection, and deratization.
NVI veterinarians monitor the health status of bees in the field and perform clinical examinations, perform field and laboratory diagnostics of bee diseases, provide expert advice and beekeeping to beekeepers, issue beekeeping certificates, provide professional support to the ministry and other institutions in the field of beekeeping in the preparation of programs and publications, and prepare professional articles and training in the field of bee health for beekeepers, veterinarians, and the general public. They are also involved in a number of domestic and international development and research projects, as well as student internships for students at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. NVI employs ten veterinarians, who specialise in bee health and have many years of experience in this field as part of the aforementioned activities. Furthermore, NVI provides all state-of-the-art laboratory diagnostics of all major bee family diseases, including bacteriological investigations, qualitative and quantitative PCR methods, and next-generation sequencing in the field of bee health.
Consortium of secondary schools, provider of educational programs in the field of agriculture
Grm Novo mesto – centre of biotechnology and tourism
The Grm Agricultural School and Biotechnical Gymnasium, the Secondary School of Hospitality and Tourism, the Vocational College, the Student Dormitory, the Inter-enterprise Education Centre with a school estate, food establishments, and the Culinary House – Gostišče na trgu, are all part of the Grm Novo mesto – Biotechnology and Tourism Centre. There is also a Development Institute within the Inter-enterprise Education Centre, which is the core of the Centre’s development and where the Novo mesto College of Rural Management was founded.
We are increasingly wondering what kind of food we will eat in the future. Where will this food come from? What are we going to drink? Can food also be a cure? What kind of environment will we live in? What will the climate be like? What values are important for people’s happiness? These and related questions necessitate the most answers from the field of biotechnology, which is taught and developed at Grm Novo mesto. Agriculture, forestry, food and nutrition, horticulture, nature conservation, and veterinary medicine are examples of these fields, which are related to tourism, trade, entrepreneurship, wood processing, hunting, recreation and sports, human health, catering, social welfare, and so on.
Grm Novo mesto, with its organisational structure and appropriate infrastructure (modern MIC) and interconnectedness, is ready to follow changes, provide answers to questions, and co-create the future for all who are close to nature, plants, and animals, and who see it as the heart of a creative and satisfied individual. Individuals, who are satisfied and happy in mutual cooperation are a prerequisite for a creative and satisfied society.
Educational centre Piramida Maribor
The Piramida Maribor Education Centre is NE Slovenia’s main education centre for food and nutrition. They responsibly and professionally impart knowledge, skills, and abilities to students in vocational education by upgrading all of their abilities in the field of nutrition and food that they have acquired in the secondary vocational education program. The vertical of education at the centre concludes with studies at the Higher Vocational School of Nutrition and Food, which provides graduates with specialised knowledge that allows them to succeed in positions of responsibility in nutrition and food, and they can also continue their education at the faculty.
On the green roof of the Piramida Maribor Education Centre, they take excellent care of their bees. Beekeeping in the city made its debut when a bee nest was discovered on a cherry tree planted near the school. The Beekeepers’ Association responded quickly and professionally, caring for the bee brood and setting up a small hive for it.
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Education, Science and Sport
|Full title||Agricultural Institute of Slovenia
Beekeeping Academy of Slovenia
|Address||Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, Hacquetova ulica 17, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia|
|Phone||+386 01 280 51 05|
|Website and email address||https://sca.kis.si/; email@example.com|
|Founder||Government of the Republic of Slovenia|
|Activity||Training for BAS program providers;
education for groups with an interest;
education for countries abroad.
|Legal basis for the establishment of the Beekeeping Academy of Slovenia||Zakon o kmetijstvu (ZKME-1), Uradni list RS, št. 22/18, 32/19, 49/20 -ZIUZEOP, 54/20, 61/20 – ZIUZEOP-A, 175/20 – ZIUOPDVE 203/20 – ZIUPOPDVE, 15/21 – ZDUOP|
|Head of the BAS||Mag. Ariana Ferfila|