The objective of the observance of World Bee Day 2019 is to focus attention on the role of beekeeping, bees and other pollinators in increasing our planet’s food security as well as in providing key ecosystem services for agriculture.
Today there will be an International Round Table marking the second World Bee Day. This Round Table will be in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). It will bring together experts and representatives of various organisations– FAO, Apimondia, Beekeeping Academy of Slovenia, Coalition of the Willing on Pollinators, International Federation of Business and Professional Women.
In 2016, It was the Republic of Slovenia that forwarded the proposal of World Bee Day to be May 20th every year. The United Nations General Assembly accepted the date in 2017. The first observance of World bee Day was May 20th , 2018. The 20th May was chosen as it was the day Anton Janša, a pioneer of Beekeeping, was born.
This year, on the second observance, the message about the importance of pollinators to humans and the planet cannot be understated.
“It is no wonder that all the major world religions have sacred passages about bees. They have been and still are vital to food and life as we know it. Through the 2018-2030 plan of action of the International Pollinators Initiative, FAO and the Convention on Biological Diversity Secretariat in consultation with the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and other partners, will promote coordinated action worldwide to safeguard wild and managed pollinators and promote the sustainable use of pollination services, which is recognized as vital for agriculture and healthy ecosystems.
These actions support agriculture that is more diverse and less dependent on toxic chemicals. Helping keep our pollinators safe supports our food production, the incomes of farmers and the wider environment. Help us spread the buzz on World Bee Day.” (FAO)
In an increasingly precarious time for food security, pollinators could light the way to fighting poverty, however their current decline could be disastrous.
“The decline of pollinators could have disastrous effects for our future of food. Their absence would jeopardize the three-quarters of the world’s crops that depend at least in part on pollination, including apples, avocadoes, pears and pumpkins. And enhancing pollination isn’t just about mitigating disaster – with improved management, pollination has the potential to increase agricultural yields and quality.
For many of the smallholder farmers who grow crops which depend on pollination (such as cocoa and coffee), a death of pollinators could mean less income and greater vulnerability to hunger and malnutrition.” (FAO)
It is not just up to the organisations. Every individual can have an impact, and what better time than World Bee Day.
“But the rest of us play an important role, too. As citizens, we need to urge our governments to increase collaboration among national and international organizations, academic and research bodies and networks to monitor, research and assess pollinators and pollination services. Farmers can help maintain pollinator abundance, diversity and health by ensuring that farms have food resources and shelter continuously available to pollinators.” (FAO)
Some quick tips from Worldbeeday.org and the FAO
- Buy honey and other hive products from your nearest local beekeeper.
- Learn more about bees and conquer any fear of them you might have.
- Plant nectar-bearing flowers on balconies, terraces, and gardens
- Raise awareness among children and adolescents on the importance of bees and express your support for beekeepers.
- Avoid pesticides, fungicides or herbicides in your gardens.
- Make a bee water fountain.
See this great piece from the Gardener’s Path magazine on why we need bees HERE