Big buzz builds for the sweetest of days

World Bee Day will be celebrated in Canberra for the first time on Sunday, May 20. KATHRYN VUKOVLJAK reports

World Bee Day co-ordinator Regina Podberšič, left, and Slovenian ambassador Helena Drnovšek Zorko. Photo by Kathryn Vukovljak

A SWEET day is promised by the embassy of Slovenia to honour and raise awareness of the importance of bees.

World Bee Day will be celebrated in Canberra for the first time on May 20 with a series of talks, workshops, kids’ activities and plenty of honey sampling, says Slovenian ambassador Helena Drnovšek Zorko.

“Slovenia is traditionally a beekeeping society and, as a country, we have become concerned at the decline of the bee population,” she says.

“In 2011 we banned some quite harmful pesticides and were amongst the first countries in the EU to do so, so we are quite progressive in this area.

“The Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association has initiated many projects including the honey breakfast, beekeeping school clubs and promotes nectar-bearing plants.

“We want to raise awareness of bees and other pollinators, because their survival depends on the environment and how we take care of it.”

The day to honour bees was adopted last year by the UN General Assembly to raise awareness of the importance of bees and apicultural products, Helena says.

“It will be a very sweet day!” she says.

“We are a small embassy and are extremely committed to World Bee Day and to honey – we love it, and this is a positive initiative that brings both professional and personal satisfaction.”

Bee activities are being hosted by the embassies of Slovenia, Switzerland and Sweden, along with Parliament House and various other organisations.

“Celebrating this day is creating a lot of learning, because if you want a clean environment then you have to learn how to do it in practice,” Helena says.

“We will be showing people how to take care of pollinators in the garden, celebrating sustainability and showcasing these practices for everyday life.”

World Bee Day celebrations will start at the embassy of Slovenia from 9.45am-1pm, with honey breakfast, honey jarring and information on bee-friendly gardens. The action will move to the embassy of Sweden from 1pm-4pm for an afternoon in the gardens, as well as a honey-themed afternoon tea at Parliament House, and a screening of “More Than Honey” at the embassy of Switzerland in the evening.

There will also be activities from 9am-4pm at Win’s Creek Meadery in Murrumbateman and pre-events from Canberra Magic Kitchen in Hackett and at the Canberra Region Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 19.

“Our aim is that Canberra will take ownership of World Bee Day, because there are so many beekeepers here doing an amazing job, as well as a clean environment that’s ideal for urban beekeeping,” Helena says.

“We hope that this is just the start, and that next year there will be more celebrations of Bee Day in other cities around Australia and the world.”

  • Visit Facebook for more information and the latest details
  • World Bee Day is on Sunday, May 20 at the Embassy of Slovenia, 26 Akame Circuit, O’Malley and at the Embassy of Sweden, 5 Turrana Street, Yarralumla
  • The event is free, register your attendance for the Slovenian event here and for the Swedish event here.
  • For information on “More Than Honey” at the Embassy of Switzerland, visit Facebook.

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