In 1873 the Carniolan Association for Prudent Beekeeping was established in Ljubljana, which represents the beginning of the organisation of the Slovenian beekeepers. Since 1898, we have been publishing the technical magazine Slovenian Beekeeper (Slovenski čebelar).
Today the beekeeping organisation is known as the Slovenian Beekeeper’s Association. It includes 207 beekeeping societies and 14 regional beekeeping associations, with a total of about 7,500 beekeepers. Its main tasks include the education and training of beekeepers in the framework of lifelong learning, publishing the Slovenian Beekeeper monthly and various technical books, the preparation of exhibitions, discussions and symposiums, the organisation of school clubs, beekeeping camps and workshops, raising the public awareness about the importance of bees in the preservation of the environment, the promotion of bee products in healthy nutrition and the list goes on and on.
The Republic of Slovenia is situated in the heart of Europe at the midpoint of Mediterranean area, Alpine region and Pannonian flat. It is one of the smallest countries in Europe (its surface is just 20.273 km2). The population is slightly less than two million and it is a country of many beekeepers. Slovenia has around 8.000 beekeepers and therefore four beekeepers per 1000 inhabitants, which means that the Slovenes are truly a nation of beekeepers.
Slovenians are emotionally attached to bees. The old saying that beekeeping is the poetry of agriculture was first used by the residents of the Slovenian lands. In addition, a recent slogan says that to be Slovenian is to be a beekeeper. Among every thousand citizens of Slovenia, four people are beekeepers, which is unique in the world. Slovenia has an over 140-year-old national beekeepers’ association, the prominent technical magazine Slovenian Beekeeper (Slovenski čebelar) of a similar age, a beautiful beekeeping centre at Brdo pri Lukovici, more than 150 beekeeping banners, beekeeping formalwear, a hymn and much more.
Thanks to its cultural heritage, beekeeping is still a very valuable part of the agricultural life of Slovenia. The present situation in the Slovene beekeeping sector is characteristic for its massive use of back-loaded hive bee-houses enriching the landscape, its mode of bee transportation, cultural heritage, and for the good organisation of beekeepers in the beekeeping associations.
Slovenian beekeepers, who are mostly united in the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, are proud to continue and to preserve the tradition of their ancestors. They take special care in the conservation of the autochthonous Carniolan bee, the protection of its life habitat and the production of the finest bee products.
Most of Slovenia has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. The average temperatures are -2°C in January and 21°C in July. The average rainfall is 1000 mm at the coast, up to 3500 mm in the Alps, 800 mm in the south east and 1400 mm in central Slovenia. Because of these good beekeeping conditions and other influences Slovenia has good beekeeping conditions and therefore a great beekeeping tradition.