Carniolan bee (Apis mellifera Carnica) in Slovenia

Janez GREGORI

Janez POKLUKAR

Janez MIHELIČ

  2.  Historical review of the development and recognition of the Carniolan bee

        Life of Slovenian people is closely connected to bees and beekeeping. Our ancestors were very successful in beekeeping with the Carniolan bee. Beekeeping was as much part of clergy and schoolmasters as it was of peasants and country people. To each farm building and garden always belonged a small bee-house. The fact that this trade has been deeply rooted in our people is obvious in works of past time authors like J. V. Valvasor (1641-1693) who was the first to write about bees and beekeeping in his famous Slava vojvodine Kranjske (Die Ehre dess Hertzogthums Crain/In Praise of the Duchy of Carniola), 1689. Later on the naturalist from Idrija,  J. A. Scopoli (1723-1788) wrote the Treatise on bees (Dissertatio de apibus), in the 4th volume of  Annus historico - naturalis, Leipzig, 1769-1772.

        Among beekeepers there were individuals, who put great efforts for the progress in this trade. A true supporter of the trade and a great beekeeper in the 18th century was Peter Pavel Glavar (1721-1784), who sacrificed a lot of time and money for the progress of beekeeping. In 1768 the government of Vienna sent the Proposal for the improvement of beekeeping in carniolan hereditary provinces. Peter P. Glavar gave a detailed  reply to the proposal as a pioneer among Slovenian beekeepers, describing the methods and beekeeping circumstances in our country. He suggested the establishment of beekeeping schools, adoption of appropriate regulations instrumentall in farther development and growth of this trade. He made an appeal for publication of much needed manuals in native language. Eventually he was the only one in years 1776/78 to who wrote such a manual in slovene language.

        In the time of P. P. Glavar there was a beekeeper, whose influence extended far beyond the frontier of Carniola. This was Anton Janša (1734-1773), native of Breznica at the Upper Carniola. He became by order of the Empress the first teacher of beekeepeing at Austrian royal court. Xxx . Although he was only 39 year old when he died, he left a great legacy of knowledge for the future. He wrote a treatise on bee swarming (Abhandlung vom Schwärmen der Bienen, 1771) and also left a hand written reference Vollständige Lehre von der Bienenzucht (Complete Guide to Beekeeping), which was published as late as 1775, after his death.

        Blooming beekeeping on the territory of current Slovenia and the example of famous predecessors encouraged more an more beekeepers to wright about it. This paper is limited only to publications of those who played an important role in promotion of the Carniolan bee at home as wells as worldwide.

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