20 May World Bee Day Current Affairs - 2020

May 20: World Bee Day

Every year May 20 is being celebrated as World Bee Day by the United Nations. The official celebrations began in 2018.

Highlights

The World Bee Day is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of Slovenian apiculture pioneer Anton Jansa. This year, the World Bee Day is celebrated under the theme.

Theme: Save the Bees

The day is being celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators, hummingbirds, butterflies, bats.

The Convention on Biological Diversity focuses on conserving these pollinators as well. In 2000, the International Pollinator Initiative was launched at the COP (Conference of Parties) V. The initiative focuses on the sustainability of pollinators in agriculture.

Significance

Bees are the greatest pollinators. They are under great threats currently due to habitat loss, parasites, diseases and agricultural pesticides. According to United Nations, around 35% of world agriculture still depend on pollinators.

International Pollinator Initiative

The International Pollinator Initiative mainly aims to promote coordinated world wide action. It was launched under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The initiative is to run till 2030. India is also a part of the initiative.

The Convention on Biological Diversity is a multilateral treaty. It was opened at the Earth Summit that was held in Rio de Janerio in 1992.

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.