Pilot project manager:
Urban Beekeepers Association of Slovenia (BEE)

Pilot Location:
Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Urban beekeeping for rehabilitation and social inclusion

Background:

BEE co-authored and promotes the “Najemi panj” (rent-a-hive) professional initiative in Ljubljana, innovative beekeeping service, which promotes greener, healthier environment, enables its citizens to be in touch with bees and raises awareness about the importance of beekeeping and honeybees for the whole system. Besides that, it enables better pollination in the city, and promotes environmental sustainability, with customers getting their own honey, produced on their rooftop terraces or backyard gardens. The customers vary from hotels, public institutions, private companies to regular citizens. The business model is still in its start-up phase, but the demand for the setting-up of beehives in the city is quickly growing. 

Vision:

The pilot will be a unique new project for the Urban Beekeeping Society of Ljubjana. The objectives of the project go beyond business opportunities and food production as such, as they also include social activation in its core. In fact, the project offers a way to rehabilitate and empower underprivileged groups of society (it is aimed at imprisoned persons) primarily in Ljubljana, with the possibility of spreading the business model throughout Slovenia. “We hope to turn the pilot into an example of good practice and show the therapeutic potential of beekeeping as a craft, vocation or occupation”. Beehives will be installed firstly in one prison in Ljubljana and training will be offered to inmates, with the aim of providing the prisons with own honey and other bee products, create more humane and socially inclusive conditions within the penalty system, and provide for the imprisoned the possibility of a new career/job after the end of their imprisonment and make it an example of good practice for other prison facilities in Slovenia as well as beyond. 

In collaboration with FoodE partners:
Urbani čebelar (SI), Arctur (SI) and University of Bologna (IT)