World Bee Day: 20 May 2019

Date: 
Mon 20/05/19

Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities.

Pollinators allow many plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity - a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals.

To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day, which coincides with the birthday of Anton Janša, who in the 18th century pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in his native Slovenia and praised the bees for their ability to work so hard, while needing so little attention.

2018 was the first observance of World Bee Day.

 

2019 celebrations

 

The main purpose of the events is to spread awareness of the significance of bees and other pollinators for our survival. We must realise that simply proclaiming World Bee Day does not do much for bees and other pollinators; the main work aiming towards their preservation still needs to be undertaken and World Bee Day is an excellent opportunity in this regard. Beekeepers and nature conservationists would like to ask everybody to help improve the conditions for bees, thus improving conditions for the survival of people. No major steps are needed; what counts is each and every action that facilitates the existence of bees.

Every individual can contribute to the preservation of bees and other pollinators:

  • Plant nectar-bearing flowers for decorative purposes on balconies, terraces, and gardens.
  • Buy honey and other hive products from your nearest local beekeeper.
  • Raise awareness among children and adolescents on the importance of bees and express your support for beekeepers.
  • Set up a pollinator farm on your balcony, terrace, or garden; you can either make it yourself or buy at any home furnishings store.
  • Preserve old meadows – which feature a more diverse array of flowers – and sow nectar-bearing plants.
  • Cut grass on meadows only after the nectar-bearing plants have finished blooming.
  • Offer suitable farming locations for the temporary or permanent settlement of bees so that they have suitable pasture; as a consequence, they will pollinate our plants, which will thereby bear more fruit.
  • Use pesticides that do not harm bees, and spray them in windless weather, either early in the morning or late at night, when bees withdraw from blossoms.
  • Mulch blooming plants in orchards and vineyards before spraying them with pesticides so that they do not attract bees after being sprayed.

For more information about World Bee Day, please visit the FAO website of the World Bee Day website.