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Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia

by Pontis Foundation
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia
Help save bees and beekeeping in Slovakia

Yes, it's true, everybody wants to be(e) a beekeeper. It's modern, it´s fascinating and also cool. You only buy bees and it will help nature, you will have honey, money? On the beginning it's fun and easy. But then…
…You will have living superorganism, which work in really unique way, each. Organism, which you need to understand, to know all diseases and parasites, their needs. It's not only to keep bees, you need more, you need to be a GOOD beekeeper.

In 2018 we made 11 beekeeping courses and 1 long term course for unemployed people. This is 133 people. But these are not only beekeepers. They know, that to be a good beekeeper they need to have healthy bees in healthy environment and treat them only in ecological way. They know about natural pollinators, about sustainability in the country.

So we hope, this year we'd known 133 GOOD beekeepers who realize that BEE is more important than HONEY. We enjoy every news from new apiaries.
Now we end courses for 2018 and we are already planning the year 2019. And we think, it will be good to change the name of the course to: How to be a GOOD beekeeper…


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I see trees and bees, white flowers too, I see them bloom for bees and us. And I think to myself what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white. For beekeeper blessed day, the dark nights for planning and I think to myself what a wonderful world.

White mountains, but without snow
After very long days of winter, spring begins. Hazel´s twigs heavy under irrecoverable pollen, hills white. Not from snow, but now from blossoming wild cherry trees and later from acacia. Heaven for bees. This year starts great for bees, but also for us. We have joy from strong bees. And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Hey kids, BEE happy!
Spring is also time of school excursions at our educational apiary. Kids are little scared first, but then they are full of experiences, joy and happiness. We are only at the beginning of workshops and we have already 100 new little friends of bees. Happy kids who are not afraid of bees, what a wonderful world.

Beekeeping like aristocrats

Our bees in public park in Lucenec, give us a feeling that we are middle ages aristocrats. Beehives under old big trees in big green areas. And for kids is biggest experience to have drones in hands and see the queen of course. Yes, we have a queen! God save the queen and the bees, what a wonderful world.

Future beekeepers
In April we have started also beekeeper courses for beginners. We really enjoy work with people hungry for information and new knowledges. First tree courses finished, and we have already 32graduates. We hope, that they will be good beekeepers. Responsible beekeepers with healthy bees, what a wonderful world.

I see friends shaking hands…
Yes, we see new friendships in our course for unemployed people from region. We are starting in May and will end in October. They will work with their own bees at our community apiary and will get own tutor for half year. Beekeeping is a way for job opportunities, what a wonderful world.

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Bees doesn't sleep in winter. They are preparing for spring same like our organization. Last year was full of big things (new apiary, we were community project of the year, nature classroom or first conference under our direction). So it will be hard to make 2018 even greater. But only at the beginning of the year we see big opportunities.

Butterfly effect
Will have our new small project effect for whole Slovakia? In march we will start building a house for butterflies. No, no butterflies from the world, but locals: Small tortoiseshell, the peacock butterfly, or the red admiral.
Schools will visit our new pavilion for educational activities. Adults butterfly will be released into nature, what will support the local biodiversity.

Flight of the bumblebee
Our butterfly pavilion will have also playground where kids will learn more about colourful and useful pollinators by game. Last part will be bumblebee nests where it will be possible to look at their colony thru the glass. And also look at their majestic flight!

Bee’s knees
Plans for beekeeping courses we made in October. Now, all of our courses are full and we are looking forward to see all of hopeful future beekeepers. But this year (with your support) we start also new social beekeeping course. The course is aimed for people from our region that are unemployed in long term. They will got for free full course in duration from April to October, and will get also a starting beekeeping kit. This is the bee’s knees of our work.

Thank you for your support and stay in touch in 2018.


1. Hives are still under snow. But bees are preparing for spring. Same as our organization.
2. Direct contact with pollinators will have big impact for the kids.
3. Bees are chance for long time unemployed people from the region

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The year 2017 we had started with big news. We had built our apiary, that will serve as an environmental centre and a place for apitherapy. This wooden structure was designed in a style that is traditional in this region but modern features were added. And we had worked on it busy as the bees. Don´t you believe? Look at this video:

Lot of work during spring was done with not really typical focus group - the Roma. We had taught them, we had discussed with them and we showed them how to keep bees. We had spent lot of time at schools with high population of  Roma children.Topic of beekeeping and bees was for them something completely new, but nor children or adult were very keen on listening to this.

Corporate volunteering at Slovakia is still  in development. But the more we are happy when companies are interested in our project. Perfect cooperation was  started with DM drugstore . With their help we had created two "restaurants" for the pollinators where they can choose from a wide range of pollen rich flowers.

Also our  "urban bees" are doing great. New apiary to our existing apiary at the city park in the town Lucenec was added. Again the place for apiary is not so common as it was set at the yard of the local museum and gallery.  During season an  exhibition The year of a beekeeper was in operation and the students were joining our workshops at the museum. 

We were very delighted for the appreciation of our work. After 10 years of work and 5 years of existence of project Vcelí kRaj (Bee paradise) we were honored by Award of the Orange Foundation for community development, that might be liken to Oscars in the world of Slovak nonprofits.

However autumn is usually breathing space for us, autumn 2017 was the opposite. In to our lives a new member, maybe a new beekeeper or a support to our team - Teresa was welcomed. During autumn few other big things were done. We have a new object from artist Juraj Gábort at our premises. It serves as an outdoor classroom for our courses. New format of classes  a conference that we plan to offer regularly was tried out. Topic of the first one was natural and ecological beekeeping.

And our social entrepreneurship is growing too. Our top-bar hives are made by an other new member in our team.

Our newly built apiary
Our newly built apiary
Orange award. Thank you!
Orange award. Thank you!
In Lucenec
In Lucenec
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Kids after coming to our apiary
Kids after coming to our apiary

June was traditionally one of the busiest months on our educational apiary. The weather is stable and pupils had more free time in schools, so school buses with pupils were coming to us for the trip or excursion. It is always an event for us, and we tend to remember children who ask a lot and show a lively interest in bees. Especially nowadays, when so much money, time and energy is invested in modern forms of teaching, technological advances, and all sorts of interactive digital aids, we are always pleased to see fascinated pupils with "ordinary" nature. Fortunately, we still see this joy often.

We closed the end of the school year with a visit to the Novohradské Museum and Gallery, where the exhibition of Apiarist year was held in which we also actively cooperate. For school classes, we do short lectures on bees, taste different types of honey, and explain how it works in the hive on the glazed hive that we borrowed from the gallery.

Thank you for your kind donations. These magic moments happened thanks to all of you.

Watching the bees in special hive
Watching the bees in special hive
Kids were having lots of fun. We had fun too :)
Kids were having lots of fun. We had fun too :)
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Organization Information

Pontis Foundation

Location: Bratislava, Slovakia - Slovakia
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Marek Chalány
program coordinator for individual philantropy
Bratislava, Slovakia
$1,717 raised of $5,000 goal
52 donations
$3,283 to go
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