0347 GMT September 15, 2019
By Farzam Vanaki
Iran’s potentials in the field of honey production are great as the country has an amazing variety of different kinds of the product and flowers, said the Slovenian ambassador to Iran.
Iran is the third largest honey producer in the world after China and Turkey, which rank first and second in this regard respectively, Kristina Radej added speaking to Iran Daily prior to a ceremony to mark World Bee Day at the Slovenian Embassy in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday.
She noted that Iran has a very large number of beekeepers who are doing a great job independently.
“However, Iranian honey producers are required to improve their standards and Iran is aware of that.”
With a little bit more support from the country’s government, Iranian honey producers will be able to achieve a lot more in the area of the quality of their products, the ambassador said.
Commenting on the occasion, she noted that May 20 is proclaimed World Bee Day to give a voice to beekeepers all around the world and help them have their own day.
“On this day, the world listens to the job beekeepers are doing for everybody and awareness is raised about the fact that without bees and other pollinators there will be no food or even nature. That is why on the proposal of its beekeeping society, Slovenia decided to put the great job the beekeepers are doing on a map.”
This is the second anniversary of World Bee Day, she said.
On the reason why World Bee Day is marked on May 20, Radej noted that, “In the northern hemisphere at this time of the year, bees are very active as they are going to start the season. Also May 20 coincides with the birthday of Anton Janša, who in the 18th century pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in his native Slovenia and praised the bees for their ability to work so hard, while needing so little attention.
“Every May 20 we see what we have achieved and put on the table on behalf of beekeepers on global scale regarding the food security, biodiversity, economy and development which are extremely connected to the job of beekeepers.”
Slovenia has a population of two million, a large number of which are beekeepers, she said, adding the country has a longstanding tradition in beekeeping and the number of its beekeepers is increasing.
“Slovenian Beekeeper's Association is very strong and has a strong voice.”
The country is also very active in the field of apitourism and promoting it and have made great progress in this regard, she added.
“There are many apitherapeutic centers in the country for curing hyperactive children or asthma and even rheumatism.”
Turning to the role played by bees in conserving the biodiversity and ecosystem, she said bees and other pollinators fly from one flower or tree to another and, thus, inseminate plants.
“Without bees and other pollinators the world’s food security will be greatly endangered. Bees are an endangered species due to pollution and the diseases that are spreading with the rapid industrialization of the world. In Slovenia, we are omitting pesticides one by one from the market to avoid harm to bees and other pollinators.”
In an address to the ceremony, Radej thanked the Iranian Ministry of Agricultural Jihad and stressed her appreciation for collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and UNIS Offices in Tehran.
She added the objective of the World Bee Day is to raise the global awareness about the importance of bees and other wild pollinators for survival of humans and sustainable development and agriculture.
“This initiative represents Slovenian contribution to international cooperation in tackling global challenges of food security, eradication of hunger and malnutrition and preserving the environment from further losses in biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems.”
Slovenia is a home of autochthonous Carniolan honey bee and has around 8,000 beekeepers, therefore, four beekeepers per each 1,000 inhabitants, which means that the Slovenes are truly a nation of beekeepers, the ambassador said.
“As a country with longstanding tradition in beekeeping we are sharing our experiences and knowledge to contribute to the sustainable development and progress of other countries in this field. I am proud that Iran is among our partners.”
Slovenia’s focus of this year’s World Bee Day is the empowerment of women through beekeeping, Radej said.