A Year of Beekeeping in Bulgaria

After our prolonged blog silence – for which I apologize! – I decided to share with you chronological glimpses of what happened with our GA Local Initiative Program: Sofia, Bulgaria. Just as a reminder, our program revolves around an urban beekeeping project which I, Elena, and my friend Teo have been working on for over a year now.

At this time we have wrapped all summer and fall activities and are assessing the results and sustainability options. Our first and foremost achievement is the successful and legal installation of two Langstrot Ruth hives and one demonstration hive in the Physical Garden at the very very center of the city. We also managed to lead over So here’s how it all progressed.

February, 2013 – Brussels

We leave for Brussels! So, the funding we received for our project came from a contest for sustainable urban development ideas. The contest was conducted in many other European countries including the Czech Republic, Luthuania, Romania, Hungary, Poland. The winning teams were invited by CEE Bankwatch to present their ideas in support for changes in the structure of the EU funding mechanisms that would allow small citizen-lead projects to qualify.

People loved our project and we loved the dynamic and vibrant international community. Other projects included urban farms and community gardens, bike-recycling, and many more!

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Picking the Best Beehive

Despite the rain and the cold, summer in Bulgaria is approaching fast. Our team is trying hard to get things ready for the SoS and beekeeping season.

We are encountering the first difficulties with meeting our goals and deadlines…As we need to purchase some initial equipment; we turned to advice to local beekeepers and friends, who could direct us to the best source. One of our mentors recommended a Bulgarian company that makes demonstration beehives with a glass wall and a lid to cover it. Those would be perfect, we thought. The glass wall is covered, and light cannot bother the bees too much. They have a good design and are interactive—easy to show children, and a good asset for the University Botanical Garden, who have accepted our request for outdoor space. We managed to see how these look like and take a picture in front of the Hilton Hotel. Continue reading

Sofia’s Better Idea for EU Funds

“In 2012, the CEE Bankwatch Network, in cooperation with its partnering organizations from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Macedonia, Poland and Slovakia organized a series of contests for best citizens’ sustainable project proposals: ‘Better Ideas for EU Funds’.”

Our Sofia, Bulgaria, program’s project “Bees in the City Park” was selected as one of these projects! 

“The project – settling of a bee colony – will be implemented on the roof of a public building in one of the many parks in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. Workshops for both children and adults will be run by professional beekeepers, biology teachers and volunteers. Children will be given the opportunity to produce some honey themselves.”

Check out this short video clip of program leader Elena being interviewed at the event!