It is widely known that BIZkoshnica is greatly inspired by bees, their work ethic and their importance for our entire ecosystem. In order to be useful to both our planet and our community like bees, we focused on social entrepreneurship whose triple balance in addition to profit cares for the well-being of the planet and people. On the occasion of World Bee Day, we have compiled a text dedicated to these small but valuable creatures.
Bees are insects that came to Europe from Africa (just like humans). They are extremely important to humans because they pollinate almost all the plants, fruits and vegetables they eat. In addition to pollinating flowers, we also benefit from their products – honey and wax. How connected bees and humans are is shown by the fact that our history with them dates back to the ancient Slavs who valued bees in pre-Christian times. Pre-Christian Slavic beliefs are deeply intertwined with nature, primarily forests and rivers. Everything we know about their pre-Christian beliefs we know from studying oral tradition. Poems, riddles and proverbs were a way of remembering and transmitting knowledge, and today there is still a saying: “Diligent as a bee”.
Thanks to this knowledge, today we know that bees got their place from a mythical image of a tree. The Slavs imagined the world as a huge tree, its roots are below the surface of the earth in the water in which the god of the underworld Veles lives, the tree canopy of the world reaches the heavenly heights and the god of the sky Perun lives in it. The trunk, on the other hand, represents the world of the living around which bees fly. Can we then consider that bees are actually humans?
The connection between humans and bees did not remain only in that ancient world of the ancient Slavs and mythological stories, it continues today. We should not be surprised by the statements of the greatest minds of today, such as that of Albert Einstein: “If bees disappear from the planet Earth, man as a species has about 4 years of life left.” Despite such a statement, we have witnessed an unpleasant event in the last few years bee poisoning in hives throughout Međimurje. Accidentally or intentionally, a fragile ecosystem in which bees are an extremely important part and for which we seem to constantly forget that we are part of it, is endangered by a reckless act. Awareness of the importance of bees for our ecosystem,
At first, we associate bees with agriculture and food pollination. However, over the last few years we have witnessed the emergence of urban beekeeping that has been recognized by many European capitals such as Berlin, Paris, Vienna, Ljubljana. Zagreb also has bees (mile purgers) in its center, but they are illegal in public areas because there is no law regulating the number of their hives and communities, etc. According to the Croatian Association of Beekeepers (HUP) The narrow center of the Croatian metropolis is inhabited by about 500 bee communities without any supervision. We sincerely hope that our metropolis will join the good practices of the mentioned cities and apply the good practices that we can see in our closest neighborhood – Slovenia and Ljubljana.
Ljubljana has successfully launched the “Bee Road” project with the company A1 Slovenia in 2018. How successful it is is shown by the fact that cultural institutions like Cankarjev’s house they have beehives on their roofs. The honey produced by their bees is of high quality and can be found as such in their souvenir shop. The importance of urban beekeeping in Slovenia was also recognized by Ethnographic Museum Zagreb which in collaboration with Slovenian etnographic musem in 2020. organised a virtual exhibition which you can still visit.
We will conclude this article optimistically and emphasize in particular how the European commision announced which 100 European cities will participate in the EU mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030. We can proudly say that our Zagreb is among them.
The city administration says the following: “We are the only Croatian city selected among 100 European cities within the Mission, and as such a leader in the green transition for the whole of Croatia. Of course, we are aware that this is not only a great honor but also a huge commitment, but we are guided by the principle that participating in this mission can only help activities related to the green transition. ”