IRNA – Iran and Slovenia should expand their cooperation to beekeeping and honey industry in addition to their long-lasting relations in other spheres, Slovenian envoy said on the occasion of the World Bee Day.
Kristian Radej, Slovenia’s Ambassador to Tehran, in an exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), on the occasion of the World Bee Day (May 20) said that Iran and Slovenia enjoy the required grounds for expanding their cooperation on beekeeping industry.
She said that Iran and Slovenia have a longstanding cooperation. The two countries have been connected for decades in various spheres, from business to science and academic fields. And beekeepers are major elements for strengthening the cooperation. The bee products can be used in various industries. Food, medicine, cosmetics and science are but a few. Therefore the field of beekeeping provides ample opportunities for the two countries to cooperate. Tehran and Ljubljana can start cooperation in the field by sharing knowledge and providing equipments.
Referring to an international beekeeping academy in Slovenia, the senior diplomat said that her country has invited beekeepers from Iran to take part in educational programs of the academic center.
‘Iranian and Slovenian professionals can work with each other on various issues regarding the bee and apiary, from diseases and challenges to modern know-how of the craft, such as keeping honeybees in urban environment,’ she said.
Radej said that Iran as a country of a beautiful nature has big potentials for raising bees and producing honey with unique tastes.
‘I am trying to introduce Iranian honey to Slovenian and European beekeepers,’ she said.
‘This occasion is an opportunity for looking for cooperation grounds between Slovenian and Iranian beekeepers. We have to prepare the stage for exporting and importing bee-related products, such as venom of bees that is of usage in cosmetics and plastic surgery,’ the ambassador said adding that the Slovenian business people are eager in trade cooperation with their Iranian partners.
Slovenia, despite being known for its honey industry, is interested in importing Iranian honey, according to the diplomat.
Slovenia’s embassy to Tehran hosted a number of Iranian and foreign guests, including officials and diplomats as well as business people active in the honey market, to celebrate the World Bee day on Monday evening.
At the ceremony, the Slovenian ambassador as well as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations addressed the gathering.
Slovenia was the pioneer in the initiative to designate the day, the birthday of Slovenian pioneer apiarist Anton Janša, as the international day for bees and will pollinators.
Speaking on the goals of the initiative, Ambassador Radej said, ‘We would like to raise awareness on the importance of the bees and other wild pollinators for the nature, food security, biodiversity and many other aspects of human life. That is why Slovenia, as a beekeeping nation took the initiative at the United Nations to designate a day on calendar as the World Bee Day.’
‘Beekeeping is a passion, tradition and part of the identity of Slovenia, and the country is proud that it has provided the opportunity for the international community of beekeepers to have a voice, at least one day in a year.’
Slovenia has decided to take care of bees, in order to pay its share to the environment, she said.
As a popular activity in Slovenia, restaurants and even families are having their own hives and serving their own honey, she noted.
Speaking on bee tourism, the ambassador explained that Slovenia is proud to not receive mass tourism describing it as ‘additional pollution’.
‘Slovenia as a country in the heart of Europe considers the nature as its main treasure. We are inviting small groups of tourists, and we offer from culinary, sport, nature related leisure as well as beekeeping experience.’
Apitourism or bee tourism is a main part of tourism industry in Slovenia. It encompasses various activities such as honey massage, culinary and visits related to honey and hives, including beekeeping museum. The little country with its magnificent landscape has been turned into the hub of apitourism in the past days, as it is the home to 10,000 beekeepers that annually produce 2,000 tons of honey. Slovenia has also preserved its native bee, the Carniolan.