The final conference titled 'EU cities - good for BEES is good for PEOPLE, a transformation into green sustainable cities’ was the conclusion of a year and a half long journey of the BeePathNet Reloaded project. On the 25th October 2022 we met in hybrid form where we were joined by residents of over 45 cities and 17 different countries worldwide.
The conference was opened with a welcome speech by Dejan Crnek, deputy mayor of the City of Ljubljana and Peter Kozmus, Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association and the vice president of Apimondia. Maruška Markovčič, the project initiator and coordinator presented the journey from Ljubljana’s BEE PATH to the BeePathNet Reloaded partnership.
In the following session eminent speakers Adele Bucella (URBACT), dr. Fani Hatjina (APIMONDIA) and dr. Danilo Bevk (National Institute of Biology) talked about different aspects of sustainable urban development. Participants then discussed different aspects of urban beekeeping with the aim of ensuring sustainable and environmentally friendly cities.
After the break project partners from BeePathNet Reloaded presented the work they did on their bee paths and the challenges they faced. Ivan Doktorov (Bansko, Bulgaria), Mara Sugni (Bergamo, Italy), Helena Kolenić (Osijek, Croatia), Edyta Wykurz (Sosnowiec, Poland); and Branka Trčak and Nina Ilič (Ljubljana, Slovenia) all shared their experiences with the transfer of the good practice.
All 9 cities, that transferred Ljubljana’s urban beekeeping good practice, obligated themselves to keep on implementing pollinators friendly activities also after the official project’s end and to spread the movement round Europe. To set the common understanding and role of this partnership, Vesna Erhart, network communication officer presented the key principles and aims of the Bee Path Cities international network philosophy. The network was officially launched by Nataša Jazbinšek Seršen, head of the department for environmental protection in the City of Ljubljana. With this all EU cities are invited to join the international network of Bee Path Cities and follow in founding members’ footsteps.
In the round table all 9 partner cities (BeePathNet and BeepathNet Reloaded) presented the situation regarding pollinators and the effects the project had on their cities. It was moderated by Klemen Strmšnik, URBACT lead expert, and Ed Thorpe, URBACT expert and its key point was discussion of future plans at city level and common activities of the newly established network Bee Path Cities. In Ljubljana we were joined by Maruška Markovčič (Ljubljana, Slovenia), Attila Varga (Hegyvidek, 12th District of Budapest, Hungary), Elisavet Papoulidou (Nea Propontida, Greece), Tsvetanka Obetsanova (Bansko, Bulgaria), Mara Sugni (Bergamo, Italy), Helena Kolenić (Osijek, Croatia) and Edyta Wykurz (Sosnowiec, Poland). Joining us online were Justyna Olszewska (Bydgoszcz, Poland), Elena Giovannini (Cesena, Italy) and Ana Lirio (Amarante, Portugal).