Bee honey products are displayed and on sale during the celebration of the first World Bee Day at the northern village of Zirovnica, Slovenia, on May 20, 2018. With waves of music and hails bursting out from a huge white meeting tent, a high-profile celebrating ceremony for the first ever World Bee Day was held in Slovenia on Sunday, signalling a further initiative by Slovenia to raise public awareness about the vital role of bees and other pollinators for humanity. (Xinhua/Wang Yaxiong)
ZIROVNICA, Slovenia, May 20 (Xinhua) -- With waves of music and hails bursting out from a huge white meeting tent, a high-profile celebrating ceremony for the first ever World Bee Day was held here in Slovenia on Sunday, signalling a further initiative by Slovenia to raise public awareness about the vital role of bees and other pollinators for humanity.
Slovenia's northern Alpin village of Zirovnica was the home town of the 18th-century Slovenian beekeeping pioneer Anton Jansa, whose date of birth, May 20, was picked for World Bee Day.
Some 2,000 beekeepers across the country gathering at the ceremony were addressed by Slovenian President Borut Pahor as well as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva, and Bostjan Noc, the head of the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association and the architect of the bid for World Bee Day.
Pahor described the world day as "the beginning of a long march" that should end in "humans coexisting with nature" and the world developing along a sustainable trajectory, according to the report by Slovenian Press Agency STA.
While the FAO chief Da Silva said World Be Day highlighted the fact that the world cannot continue to focus on increasing production and productivity based on the use of pesticides and chemicals that threaten pollinators.
The ceremony was followed by a meeting of Slovenian beekeepers from around 200 regional bee associations across the country. More than 80 stalls were selling bee products and handicrafts, and honey delicacies were available for tasting.
Da Silva, who took part in the world beekeeping conference on Friday and an international ministerial conference on Saturday, held separate meetings with Pahor and Prime Minister Miro Cerar on the topics mainly of bee and food of mankind.
Along with the Slovenian beekeeper participants, international and European representatives, bee experts, honey nutritionists and bee products producers attended the celebrating ceremony and visited the beekeeping pioneer Anton Jansa's birth place in the village as well as the relics of his beehives.
World Bee Day was declared by the UN General Assembly in December 2017, about three years after the idea was first floated in Slovenia.
The country is now trying to initiate another project to protect bees at the European Union (EU) and world level.