World Bee Day celebrated at its birth place
Žirovnica, 20 May - A high-profile ceremony on Sunday wrapped up week-long celebrations of the first ever World Bee Day, which had been initiated by Slovenia to raise public awareness about the vital role of bees and other pollinators for humanity.
The main ceremony was held Žirovnica, the home town of the 18th-century Slovenian beekeeping pioneer Anton Janša, whose date of birth was picked for World Bee Day.
If featured addresses by President Borut Pahor as well as FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva and Boštjan Noč, the head of the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association and the architect of the bid for World Bee Day.
Pahor described the world day as "the beginning of a long path" that should end in "humans coexisting with nature" and the world developing along a sustainable trajectory.
Da Silva said World Be Day highlighted the fact that the world cannot continue to focus on increasing production and productivity based on the use of pesticides and chemicals that threaten pollinators.
The ceremony was followed by a meeting of Slovenian beekeepers. More than 80 stalls were selling bee products and handicrafts, and honey delicacies will be available for tasting.
Da Silva, who took party in the world beekeeping conference on Friday and an international ministerial conference on Saturday, held separate meetings with Pahor and Prime Minister Miro Cerar.
World Bee Day was declared by the UN General Assembly in December 2017, about three years after the idea was first floated in Slovenia.
The country is now trying to protect bees at the EU level.