Poklukar’s Days 2018

We remember some people we meet, but there are also others who will be remembered by history, which renders them immortal.

One of these, especially in the beekeeping world, is Dr Janez Poklukar, a renowned apicultural scientist, expert, researcher and pedagogue from Senično by Tržič.

Dr Janez Poklukar was born on 2 May 1960 in Kranj. After graduating in animal husbandry at the Biotechnical Faculty, he found employment with KŽK Kranj. In 1984, he became an employee of the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia. He obtained his master’s degree from the Biotechnical Faculty in Ljubljana in 1989, and a doctor’s degree in 1992 at the University of Zagreb. In 2001, when he was heading the department of apiculture, he was elected professorial research fellow. He devoted his work to scientific research in the field of apiculture, right until his premature death in 2004.

In his honour, the Slovenian Academic Beekeeping Society has been organising Poklukar’s Days, now happening for the third year in a row.  This year the Agricultural Institute was honoured to co-host the event, together with the Zagreb Veterinary Faculty.

The scientific symposium on bees and beekeeping was co-organised by the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, the Slovenian Academic Beekeeping Society and the BPRACTICES 4 and 5.10 projects.

4.10.2018: LJUBLJANA – Agricultural Institute of Slovenia

The first day of the symposium was marked by frequent and varied encounters with the excellent lecturers from Slovenia and abroad. In the first section a number of novelties were presented, with opportunities and new possibilities for the cooperation of all those who are guided by a love for bees and nature, and a desire for constant learning. The Beekeeping Academy of Slovenia got an opportunity to present itself, fitting in very well with the context of the draft project “Improvement and development of beekeeping”, working to improve conditions for bee survival by means of the World Bee Day, and detailing new opportunities for cooperation in the development of the House of Carniolan Bee in Višnja Gora.

The second section was dominated by the courage demonstrated by a young lady from a beekeeping establishment. The participants were able to learn more about the perception of honey among young consumers, and they all agreed that honey is much more than just a sweetener. A real surprise was the confirmation of the hypothesis that it is possible to extract royal jelly and at the same time breed queen bees by using the same breeding material – which will undoubtedly contribute to the welfare of the bees in intensive beekeeping establishments.

We were very pleased to see expert contributions about new findings in the area of breeding of bumblebees, and on the understanding of pollination and the diversity of pollinators. Our views ranged from the scale of nano-particles to the exotic viruses which infect our bees and bumblebees. We also learnt about the isolation of genetic traits from non-invasive biological sources in  the queens of the Carniolan Honey Bee.

That we are up-to-date was proven by a lecture given via Skype; the lecturers were Cecillia Costa and Marco Pietropaoli from Italy, who gave a presentation on varroa.

The first day of the symposium was concluded with veterinary topics, such as the problem of American foul brood, the presence of protozoa in bees, the infection of bees and bumblebees with the same virus strains. A project member from BPRACTICES from Rome presented a contribution on the testing of Varromed, a medicine against varrosis.

The symposium was interactive thanks to the head of the beekeeping group from the Agricultural Institute who conducted a survey on the assessment of economic damage. At the end of the symposium the survey was evaluated and discussed.

5.10.2018: ZAGREB – Veterinary Faculty, University of Zagreb

To add some variety to the event, the third Poklukar’s Days were conducted in two locations. The second day was thus in Zagreb, at the Institute for Biology and Pathology of Fish and Bees of the Veterinary Faculty. The aim was to provide a platform for the exchange of information among the participants, to visit the Institute and meet all those who share a love for bees, pollinators and nature. This certainly gave some added value to the third scientific symposium on bees and beekeeping, as it gave rise to many new ideas for future cooperation and joint projects.

The Beekeeping Academy of Slovenia is grateful for having had the opportunity to actively participate  in the event. The new experiences and ideas, opportunities for cooperation and contacts thus gained are invaluable for the further development of the BAS. The BAS would also like to take this opportunity to thank and congratulate the organisers of the symposium – the Slovenian Academic Beekeeping Society and BPRACTICES.

In the future we hope to see many more similar events and exchanges of opinions and ideas, as this is the only way to expand our horizons and maintain a high level of expertise and high quality of training programmes.