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Mag. Minister Židan: I believe that next year we will celebrate the day which bees and beekeepers deserve"

Berlin, 28 March 2017 – At the invitation of the German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Dejan Židan attended the first international conference on Bees in Berlin, organised by the German Beekeepers' Association and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture To promote international activities and Slovenia’s recognisability in beekeeping, Minister Židan addressed the conference. He presented Slovenia's initiative to declare 20 May World Bee Day, underlining the importance of beekeeping in Slovenia and noting that, in these turbulent times, the world needs projects that connect us. In his introductory speech German Minister Christian Schmidt spotlighted Slovenia as a country of beekeeping. "Slovenia is one of the leading countries as regards care for bees." Minister Schmidt also accepted the initiative that Germany be included as a co-sponsor in the global project for the proclamation of World Bee Day.

The two-day conference, which was organised by the German Federal Ministry together with the German Beekeeping Association, saw the participation of beekeepers, farmers, scientists, policy decision makers and representatives of various international institutions from many countries. The conference is being held under the slogan "Many stakeholders, one goal".  According to Minister Dejan Židan, this means that all those present have in common awareness about the importance of bees and care for bee health. “In Slovenia beekeeping is not only just more economic activity, but is also increasingly linked to a way of thinking about the environment and other societal issues”.  According to the Minister, the joint operation of the beekeepers and the government over recent years has initiated a broad social movement in support of protecting bees and nature, linking producers and consumers at a local level and using knowledge, experience and tradition of beekeeping in facing contemporary challenges. According to the Minister, beekeeping and bees link us in these turbulent times. "And this is what the worlds needs now; not only do we urgently need bees to ensure food security, but we also need mutual human and international relations in this turbulent world where understanding and linking are lacking."

 

We continue the common international path with an initiative for the United Nations to proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day. Minister Židan explained that the Republic of Slovenia under the initiative for the proclamation of World Bee Day endeavours to familiarize the global public with the importance of bees  for humanity to the greatest possible extent, especially in the prevention of hunger, and protection of the environment and biodiversity. "I firmly believe that on 20 May 2018 we will celebrate World Bee Day, a festive event that bees and beekeepers deserve."

 

Minister Židan and Minister Schmidt held a bilateral meeting on the margins of the conference. Minister Židan presented his German counterpart the activities and the course of procedures for declaring 20 May World Bee Day. On this occasion Minister Židan proposed Minister Schmidt that Germany be included as a co-sponsor in the global project for the proclamation of World Bee Day. The German Minister gladly accepted the initiative and listened attentively about the list of activities that will be conducted in coming months, as well as the planned events on the occasion of celebration of the first day of World Bee Day on 20 May next year. The German Minister described Slovenia as the European power playing a pioneering role in beekeeping.

 

After the conclusion of the introductory part, a discussion was held at an expert level, focused on three main topics: bee diseases linked to climate change, the question of biodiversity and food, and the issue of pesticides and the environment.