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 Jul 2 2021

Dan Državnosti and the Carnolian Honeybee in Slovenia

The Slovenian Statehood Day (Dan državnosti) is a public holiday in Slovenia to commemorate the country's declaration of independence from Yugoslavia 30 years ago, on June 25, 1991.

Lieutenant Colonel Marko Unger works in the force protection branch in JSEC's operations directorate since August 2020. His hometown is the city of Maribor in Slovenia, one of smallest countries in Europe (with a huge variety of landscapes, they even have glaciers). You can easily compare Maribor with Ulm, having approximately the same size, a prosperous economy, and a well-sized river running through the city centre. While the infrastructure in Ulm is developed slightly better, Maribor has the exclusive advantage of full size ski slopes within the city's boundaries.

Did you know that one of every 200 Slovenians is a beekeeper?

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With an overall population of two million and a surprising total number of 11,000 beekeepers, Slovenia's average is about four times as high as in the whole European Union. The beekeeping tradition is rich and strongly rooted in people's consciousness. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the government deemed beekeepers essential workers, permitting them to travel freely to tend to their hives. Lieutenant Colonel Unger is one of them.

Slovenia is the home of the Carniolan honeybee (Apis Mellifera Carnica), an autochthonous bee, which is considered one of the most widespread honeybee species in the world. It has an excellent sense of orientation, and a non-aggressive nature; it tolerates cold winters, has a long life span, takes care of hygiene, and is less prone to some diseases. In addition, it is a hard working bee, building its honeycombs fast and making good use of the available resources.

"Priden kot čebela", as the old Slovenian saying goes, "Work hard as a bee. "

Story by Joint Support and Enabling Command

Maribor is the second biggest city in Slovenia.
Lieutenant Colonel Unger's family is heavily involved in the Slovenian beekeeping tradition.
The beekeeping tradition is rich and strongly rooted in Slovenia.

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