12th International Meeting of Young Beekeepers

IMYB Ivančna Gorica, Slovenia

July 3rd to July 7th 2023


Slovenian beekeeping association and Municipality Ivančna Gorica

Full details are available on the website:


Participating  countries:

Australia, Austria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Jordan, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tunisia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, United States of America, Wales

Competition tasks:

  1. Written test on beekeeping and bee biology.
  2. Bee anatomy
  3. Nectar plants and types of honey
  4. Drone marking
  5. Identifying combs
  6. Wiring frames and embedding wire into comb foundations.
  7. Measuring moisture content in honey and electrical conductivity of a honey solution.
  8. Making a nucleus colony
  9. Assembling an AŽ-beehive
  10. Honeybee diseases and pests.

Winners (mixed international Teams)

1st place

Gracen AntayaCanada
Fien van den HaakNetherlands
Karl Robert MartisenEstonia
Georgios TsigkenisGreece
Štefánia Farkašová Slovakia
Gaja ZaharSlovenija
Karin Paulič (fasilitatorka)Slovenija

2nd place

Jacob PonsEngland
Dana GronauGermany
Andre FenechMalta
Aurora  Alisija PamrowPoland
Urška RižnarSlovenija
Marius Schwarzbauer (fasilitator)Germany

3rd place

Tariq AlfokahaJordan
Meda AbrutyteLithuania
Kajetan ZugajPoland
Veronika MoratoSlovenija
Thomas BarclayWales
Tadas Kusta (fasilitator)Lithuania

The individual results:

1st Place – Jakob Zöchbauer (Austria)

2nd Place – Reuben Wherret (Australia)

2rd Place – Štefánia Farkašová (Slovakia)

The country results:

1st Place – Czech Republic
2nd Place – Slovakia
3rd Place – Austria

About the 12. International Meeting of Young Beekeepers

Slovenia hosted the 12th edition of International Young Beekeepers Competition. It was organised by the Slovenian Beekeeping Federation and the Municipality of Ivančna Gorica, where the event took place. The honorary patron of IMYB 2023 was the President of the country, Mrs Nataša Pirc Musar, and the general sponsor of the competition was Nova ljubljanska banka.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food and the Slovenian Tourist Board also signed the successful 12th International Young Beekeepers Competition.

The Stična Primary School, which, under the leadership of its headmaster Marjan Potokar and with a large team of collaborators, took an active part in the organisation and running of the competition, was particularly instrumental in its organisation. Accommodation, meals and exceptional hospitality were provided by Abbot Maximilian File and the monastic family, as well as by the staff of the Cistercian Abbey Stična.

The opening ceremony took place on 4 July, at 9 am in the sports hall of Stična Primary School. The Slovenian national anthem, the arrival of the ferns, a video address by the President Nataša Pirc Musar, the presentation of the teams and the greetings of the speakers and organisers made for a great start to an unforgettable event in Ivančna Gorica. The President of the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia, Marko Lotrič, also addressed the audience. “Bees and humans have a great community. Diligence, hard work, loyalty, sacrifice, usefulness, … these are just some of the great qualities that characterise both communities and on which the future of the world depends.«

All present were welcomed by Jiři Piza, President of the International Centre of Young Beekeepers, ICYB. A particularly warm welcome was extended to the teams of the first-time participants, namely Greece, Jordan, Croatia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.

Boštjan Noč, President of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Federation, emphasised the words “pride” and “thank you”. “Slovenian beekeepers and co-organisers are proud to host such a great event as the International Young Beekeepers Competition. Pride is what makes us strong!”

Irena Šinko, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, welcomed the young beekeepers and their mentors. She highlighted beekeeping as a tradition in Slovenia, which is why it is important that the Ministry encourages the development of beekeeping.

The host of the competition, Ivančna Gorica Mayor Dušan Strnad, said, “We are proud and honoured to have been selected for this honour. As a bee-friendly municipality, we will go one step further. We are also becoming a beekeeper-friendly municipality and we are opening our doors wide to the participants of the 12th International Young Beekeepers Competition from all over the world.”

Finally, the anthem Love is in the bee air was sung by the choir and the occasional ensemble of the Stična Primary School, with dance choreography by the Guapa dancers.

After the opening ceremony, the competition began for young beekeepers from all five continents of the world. First, they took a theoretical written test on beekeeping and bees. In the afternoon, other tasks were tackled individually. The distinguished guests, including ambassadors and consuls of the participating countries, attended a reception at the Carniolan Bee House, which was organised by the Mayor of Ivančna Gorica, Dušan Strnad, and the President of the ČZS, Boštjan Noč, together with Maja Lampret, the Director of the Culture and Tourism Institute.

In the afternoon, the adult chaperones were given an expert lecture by the President of the International Centre of Young Beekeepers, Jiří Piza, at the Josip Jurčič Secondary School, followed by presentations on the work with young beekeepers in each country.

On Wednesday morning, the monastery courtyard was filled with a colourful crowd of smiling young people. Dressed in the colours of the international teams, the young beekeepers headed back to Stična Primary School, where the group competition part started. The mixed international teams are made up entirely at random, which makes the skills of cooperation, mutual assistance and coordination all the more apparent.

All the teams were also able to bond with each other with the help and motivation of the so-called facilitators – helpers, mostly former IMYB competitors and participants.

On Wednesday, all IMYB 2023 participants visited the Carnional Bee House in Višnja Gora, the Teaching Beehive on Krka and the Krška Cave. The adults also visited the Rogelj Beekeeping Farm.

The 12th International Young Beekeepers’ Competition participants got to know each other better and bonded even more during the presentation evenings in the hall of the Stična Cultural Centre. The music, singing, acting and dancing performances were very popular with the audience, who had a difficult task to choose the best presentation. The French team won and earned a performance at the closing ceremony.

On Thursday, the young beekeepers, together with their mentors and volunteers, went to the adrenaline park Cukarca. The experience among the treetops, creating hive finials with national flag motifs and relaxed socialising went by all too quickly. The adult participants went on to visit the Koželj beekeeping farm, and the team of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, with President Boštjan Noč, was waiting for them all at a festive reception, lunch and sightseeing at the Beekeeping Centre at Brdo pri Lukovici.

This was followed by the closing ceremony of the 12th International Meeting of Young Beekeepers. In the amphitheatre in front of the Josip Jurčič Secondary School, a number of exhibitors, especially local beekeepers and beekeeping clubs, presented themselves at an occasional market. At 20:00, the closing ceremony took place with the announcement of the best competitors and teams.

The event was opened by the Vice President of Apimondia, Dr Peter Kozmus, who first welcomed the young beekeepers and expressed his hope that they had had a good and successful week full of new experiences and knowledge in the field of beekeeping. At the same time, he stressed the importance of teamwork and networking. He thanked the mentors for their efforts in nurturing new generations of young beekeepers. Kozmus paid special tribute to the President of the International Centre of Young Beekeepers (ICYB), Mr Jiří Piza, for passing on his knowledge to young beekeepers.

This was followed by the presentation of the prizes and medals achieved by the national teams in this international competition. The young beekeepers competed in different categories, namely national team mixed, individual and team.

The participating teams also brought around sixty varieties of honey to the judging, with the first place going to the phacelia honey from Scotland, the second place to the Czech Republic for the mixed flower honey and the third place to Romania for the acacia honey.

In their closing speeches, Jiři Piza, President of the International Centre of Young Beekeepers (ICYB), Boštjan Noč, President of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, and Dušan Strnad, Mayor of the Municipality of Ivančna Gorica, thanked each other for the good cooperation and the successful organisation of the event, and expressed their special thanks to the coordinator of the competition, Mrs. Dragica Šteh, Abbot Maximilian, who opened the doors of Stična Abbey wide open for the accommodation of the participating teams, Mr. Marjan Potokar, Headmaster of Stična Primary School, where the competition was held, and Mr. Vladimir Fajdiga, the competition manager.

The event was concluded with the signing of a special document, the Apimondia Initiative for the establishment of a Youth Commission, signed by Boštjan Noč, Dušan Strnad and Jiři Piza.

The evening, full of enthusiasm and gratitude for the successful completion of the project, was enriched by the music of the Saša Avsenik Ensemble. 

On the last day of the meeting, the teams said goodbye to their friendly hosts and went home with fond memories.

Dragica Šteh, coordinator of IMYB Slovenia, 2023