Historical Beekeeping is in Slovenia is woven into fabric of the Nation. More than 300 years ago did Johann Weikhard Freiherr von Valvasor recognized this fact in his "Glory of the Dutchy of Carniola". This renowned historian described little wooden houses that people built to keep their bees in. Hive migration to follow the flow was also recorded at approximately same time. These writings clearely demonstrate that 1) beekeepers had know-how and understanding of honeybee forage sources and 2) keeping bees could be profitable enough even after paying the fine for breaking the law by moving the hives to private forests.
Factography In contrast with many other European countries, beekeeping in Slovenia is considered as a subsector of animal production, not plant production. The pollination is naturally important in every agriculture, but there are only 5 - 6 % of crops and cultured plants in Slovenia that require pollination. With more than 200.000 registered colonies on 20.000 km2 surface - density of 10 colonies/km2 - it is the bee products (honey, pollen), queen bees, swarms and apitourism are main source of income rather than offering services of pollination.
Flow sources Main sources of Slovenian single-source honeys are not agriculture plants, but various tree species, like black locust, linden, chestnut, spruce and fir. The exceptions are buckwheat - which is not important in market share - and oil seed rape. The latter has considerable market share in many western countries. In Slovenia, however, Brassica bloom serves mostly to build up colony strength before black locust (acacia) flow.
Carnica Queen rearing is an important corner stone for apiculture industry around the world. We, at the Agricultural institute of Slovenia are tasked with Breeding program for carniolan honeybee for Apis mellifera carnica. Together with our partners, the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association, we support Slovenian queen breeders. At the same time we keep our breeding program up to date by weaving in the latest methods in selection, including genetic and genomic selection.