As a way to recognize the role bees play, and other pollinators that keep people and the Earth healthy, for the first time, World Bee Day will be celebrated tomorrow, May 20.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this celebration will be an opportunity for governments, organizations, civil society and citizens to promote actions that protect and help pollinators and their habitats, increase their abundance and diversity, and support the sustainable development of beekeeping.
In the document: “FAO’s global action on pollination services for sustainable agriculture”, they highlighted that the date for this celebration was chosen because on that day Anton Janša was born, a pioneer of modern beekeeping. He belonged to a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long tradition.
The proposal of the Republic of Slovenia, supported by the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations (Apimondia) and FAO, to celebrate World Bee Day on 20 May each year, was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2017.
World Bee Day aims to promote the pollinator habitat and improve the conditions for its survival, so that bees and other pollinators can develop.
BEES HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE ACHIEVEMENT OF ZERO HUNGER, ONE OF THE 17 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS, BECAUSE ALMOST THREE QUARTERS OF THE WORLD’S AGRICULTURAL SPECIES DEPEND ON BEES AND OTHER POLLINATORS, BECAUSE THEY CONTRIBUTE TO FOOD AND THE NUTRITION.
Pollinators play an essential role in helping to feed a growing world population in a sustainable manner and to maintain biodiversity and dynamic ecosystems.
In addition, they contribute to achieving resilient livelihoods and creating new jobs, particularly for poor small farmers, by covering the growing demand for healthy and nutritious food as well as non-food products.
The decline in the number of these pollinators, due in large part to intensive agricultural practices, changes in land use, use of pesticides and more extreme weather events, is related to outbreaks of pests and diseases and higher levels of malnutrition and noncommunicable diseases, causing health problems for the population throughout the world.
FAO points out that to protect bees and pollinators from threats to their abundance, diversity and health, more efforts are needed to develop a greater diversity of habitats in agricultural and urban environments. Policies must be implemented in favor of pollinators that promote the biological control of pests and limit the use of pesticides.
Farmers can help maintain the abundance, diversity and health of pollinators using innovative practices that integrate local and scientific knowledge and experience and diversify crops so that pollinators always have food and shelter at their disposal.
Likewise, there is a need to increase collaboration between national and international organizations, academic entities and research networks to monitor, investigate and evaluate pollinators and pollination services.
We all have the opportunity to appreciate more bees and other pollinators, especially on May 20, World Bee Day.