The BTC Company, in association with the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, started the socially responsible project “Help the city bee” in April 2014. The project is a result of the wider initiatives “Save the bees” and “Mission: Green”, with which the BTC Company is striving towards establishing a health- and nature-friendly environment. With the intention of preserving the autochthonous species of the Carniola honey bee, which is currently facing a growing number of problems due to the unstable weather conditions and other health issues, the meadow next to Atlantis Water Park became home to the urbane beehive with four bee families. The latter have already produced their first batch of honey. With this project the BTC Company is trying to raise the young people’s awareness on the importance of bees in their everyday lives and encourage them to find interest in urban beekeeping.
Three months after the beehive was set up on the meadow next to Atlantis Water Park the bees have already produced the first batch of honey, which was later on analyzed. Since the analysis results of the honey, acquired in the beehives situated on top of the Cankarjev dom building, have shown that the honey from city bees does not contain any pesticides or insecticides – after all, they are not used in cities – it is expected that the honey produced in the beehives in BTC City Ljubljana will also be of great quality. In general, the quality of urban honey, produced in metropolitan capitals, is usually high.
The project should encourage young people to take an interest in beekeeping
The project “Help the city bee” focuses especially on encouraging young people to start taking an interest in beekeeping and to organize after-school activities related to it. The competition “Bee-friendly school” was won by the primary school OŠ Medvode, whose pupils have displayed innovative skills in planting honey plants and having their own orchard. The school will receive an educational beehive and financial means for the organisation of their beekeeping after-school activity.
We can all help by planting honey plants
Bees have an important role in our lives, since they pollinate almost 80 per cent of plants and thereby indirectly provide humankind with more than a third of its food. With their activities they preserve biodiversity and produce tasteful bee harvests. In cities, bees can be found in parks and the surrounding forests and we can all contribute to improving their living conditions by planting different honey plants and trees. With that we secure a more beautiful and high quality environment and also help preserve the autochthonous Carniola honey bee, which is even more important this year, when we are still dealing with the consequences of sleet. Due to sleet and its consequences the production of honey will reach only around 20 per cent of the amount produced in the previous years. The BTC Company anticipates that urban bees are, due to the biodiversity of city life, far less exposed to all the dangers that threaten the bees in rural areas, while they can at the same time also produce quality honey regardless of less favourable weather conditions.
Jože Mermal, President of the BTC d.d. Management Board: “One of the sustainable projects of the BTC Company, which are joined under the trademark “Mission: Green”, is also the project “Help the city bee”. Bees will significantly contribute to a healthy environment and encourage thrift of our plants. One of our wishes is also to plant more honey plants in the future and to contribute to a cleaner and greener city as well as to the preservation of the autochthonous Carniola honey bee.”
Spokesperson of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association: “The bad weather and the consequences of sleet have negatively affected this year’s extremely bad honey harvesting and extraction. The dimensions of the bad weather conditions are so grave that we will most definitely all feel their consequences next year with regard to food production, unless we seriously start solving the issue of bee preservation. We are excited to see our urban bees producing honey and that they seem to be happy with their living conditions in the city.”
Two companies, SiMobil and Telekom, have also shown their charitable side when it comes to helping the bees. All visitors to BTC City can contribute 1 Euro to the foundation for the preservation of the Carniola honey bee by sending a text message with the keyword CEBELA to 1919. All the contributions will fund the setting up of the educational beehive and raise awareness among the city children about the importance of bees.
Maja Oven, Director of team BTC City Ljubljana and Director of the BTC Market Communications and Public Relations Sector
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