The voice for the bees

Julie Armstrong, the voice for the bees, on a visit to Slovenia

A day like any other, and yet very special.

It is not the weather nor the date that makes a good day, it is the people, friends, and stimulating conversations that one has.

One such good day was 13 September 2018, when the BAS was honoured by a visit of Ms Julie Armstrong, an advocate of bees. Julie is the founder and main operating force behind the ACT FOR BEES brand from Australia , the main mission of which is to raise awareness about the importance of bees and other pollinators. They call for the banning or at least the reduction in use of certain pesticides.

Ms Armstrong visited Slovenia after attending the congress “Learning from the bees” in August in the Netherlands.

After having some fine tea we continued in the lecture room of BAS at the Agricultural Institute, and talked about nature, bees, pollinators and food origin.

Naturally we could not go without tasting the typical Slovene varieties of honey before continuing our field trip across the country. Very soon we were able to spot beautiful bee houses surrounded by lush nature. Julie was thrilled by the greenery, the beauty of the typical bee houses and the gentle character of the bees.

The doors of the Agricultural Institute’s bee house in Brdo pri Kranju were opened and we were able to admire the magnificent interior, a nostalgic view from the times of the former Yugoslavia, when Josip Broz Tito, the President of the Federation, received the beautiful bee house as a present from the Medex company.

In Senično we were able to see a completely different method of beekeeping, and our conversation was steered more towards the activities based on the Slovene indigenous sub-species A. Mellifera carnica carried out by the Agricultural Institute.

We finished our excursion in Brdo pri Lukovici, where our first stop was the estate of an experimental orchard owned by the Institute. We learned many interesting facts about the links between the bees and intense fruit-growing, with both activities operating in perfect harmony on the estate.

The final stop was a walk along the educational trail, where we were able to see a therapeutic and educational bee house run by the Lukovica Beekeeping Society.

We were then joined for a traditional Slovene lunch by representatives of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, who presented their activities to our guest.A

A reception with the President of the Association was followed by a visit to the Association’s library, laboratory and other premises.