20 May: World Bee Day celebrated

The World Bee Day is celebrated every year on May 20. It marks the birthday anniversary of beekeeping pioneer Anton Janša. The theme for World Bee Day 2019 was “Save the Bees”.

About World Bee Day

  • Background: 20 May was designated as World Bee Day by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by unanimously passing a resolution proposed by Slovenia in December 2017. The resolution called for adoption of specific conservation measures and highlighted importance of preservation of bees and their significance for humanity.
  • Objective: To raise awareness about importance of bees and pollinators, threats faced by them, their contribution to sustainable development and to acknowledge their role in ecosystem.
  • Reason: The day 20 May coincides with birth anniversary of Anton Janaa, an 18th century beekeeping pioneer. He pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in his native country Slovenia and praised bees for their ability to work so hard even while needing so little attention.
  • Value of bees: Bees and other Pollinators like bats, butterflies, and hummingbirds allow many plants (including food crops) to reproduce. About 33% of world’s food production depends on bees thus they are vital for preservation of biodiversity, ecological balance in nature and helpful in reducing pollution.
  • Apart from contributing directly to global food security, they are also key to conserving biodiversity, which is a cornerstone of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). They guard and even act as an indicator for emerging environmental risks and signal health of local ecosystems, thus act as our allies against climate change.
  • Threat: Bees and other Pollinators are increasingly under threat from human activities. Invasive insects, pesticides, land-use change and monocropping practices (agricultural practice of growing a single crop without rotation) may reduce available nutrients and poses greatest threats to bee colonies.

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