Agricultural Institute of Slovenia

Agricultural Institute of Slovenia
Hacquetova ulica 17, Ljubljana
Phone: 01 280 52 62
Director: Assoc. Prof. Andrej Simončič , PhD


About the institute

The Agricultural Institute of Slovenia is the leading research institute in the field of agriculture in Slovenia. It comprehensively deals with the issues of modern agriculture and is expanding its activities into the fields of environmental protection and ecology. It employs 187 workers, 89 of which are researchers.

The Agricultural Institute of Slovenia is a public non-profit research institute that performs fundamental, applied and development research and specialist tasks in agriculture, publishes the results of scientific research work as well as professional and supervision work, performs tasks based on authorisations and accreditations and checks the quality of agricultural products and products used in agriculture. The Institute also engages in the training of producers, education of young people and consultation for various users in agriculture.

Areas of activity:

  • Crop science and olericulture with seed science;
  • Genetics, breeding, preservation selection and gene banks in agriculture;
  • Animal production (cattle production, pig production, apiculture);
  • Fruit science, viticulture and winemaking;
  • Plant and environment protection;
  • The supervision of fertility and quality of agricultural land;
  • Ecology of the agricultural space;
  • Soil utilisation and protection;
  • Analyses of soil, mineral and organic fertilisers, animal feed, honey, residual pesticides, plant protection products, wine, must and spirit drinks;
  • Agricultural engineering and energetics;
  • Economics of agriculture.

The Institute performs its activity within nine departments and an independent Service for Official Certification of Seed and Plant Propagation Material. The Institute also houses a library and an INDOC centre with more than 33,000 books of specialised literature.

The majority of research and professional work is done at the laboratories and in experimental fields and plantations:

  • Experimental Station for Fruit Growing – Brdo pri Lukovici;
  • Infrastructure Centre Jablje;
  • Trials Centre for Potato in Moste near Komenda;
  • Selection-experimental station for bees at Senično near Golnik;
  • Collection-experimental blueberry plantation in Drenov Grič.

Work in the field of apiculture

In the field of apiculture, we perform research of the effect of external influences on the honey bee. We study the interaction of pesticides and infections with various pathogens and other factors on the longevity of bees. In such studies, we use the method of breeding bees in cages in an incubator; we perform toxicological, histological and other analyses and perform tests on bee colonies, technological measures, environmental effects and natural resistance of bees to the development and survival of varroa. The frequency of infections with viruses in bees and varroa mites are also carried out.

The Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, as the Second Recognised Organisation in apiculture, in cooperation with the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association as the Recognised Breeders Organisation, performs expert tasks in the field of selective breeding of the Carniolan honey bee and participates in carrying out the breed improvement programme for the Carniolan honey bee. As part of the expert tasks in apiculture, we cooperate with associates from Slovenia and abroad in the field of bee breeding, varroa mites control and the production of safe and quality hive products.

Important tasks we perform are:

  • Maintenance and development of the information system of purebred queens;
  • Keeping the stud book;
  • Control examinations of the breed purity of bees at breeding stations and in the field;
  • Management and organisation of progeny-testing of queens;
  • Selective breeding of our own bee colonies;
  • Organising and providing education for beekeepers for the requirements of performing the breed improvement programme;
  • Expert assistance in establishing purebred queen mating stations;
  • Monitoring the performance of tasks and the programme for forecasting nectar flow;
  • Cooperating with the performers of selective breeding programmes of the Carniolan honey bee abroad;
  • Determining morphological and production properties and the genetic diversity of the Carniolan honey bee;
  • Performing various development tasks etc.

Other expert and development work is performed as part of the Programme of Measures in the Field of Apiculture in Slovenia. We perform the following tasks:

  • Determining the effects of the environment on the honey bees;
  • Monitoring the quality of bred Carniolan honey bee queens;
  • Testing and the selection of varroa resistant honey bee colonies;
  • Determining the effects of bee food on the development, honey yield and reproduction of honey bee colonies.