World Bee Day

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 21, 2022, 14:50

The United Nations instituted World Bee Day to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators, their problems, and their contribution to long-term development. It aims to increase efforts to safeguard bees and other pollinators, which will go a long way toward addressing global food security challenges and relieving hunger in developing countries.

World Bee Day is a chance to emphasise the importance of beekeeping, bees, and other pollinators in maintaining food security, increasing nutrition, combating hunger, and delivering critical ecosystem services to agriculture.

History of World Bee Day

  • The Slovenian Beekeepers Association started a campaign in 2014, asking to proclaim May as World Bee Day.
  • The Government of Slovenia enthusiastically embraced the idea and worked relentlessly to make it a reality.
  • In September 2015, Apimondia, one of the largest beekeeping organisations, accepted the proposal.
  • The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Food of Slovenia toured the world with the Bee World pavilion, actively advertising and informing the public about the mission and other associated activities.
  • In addition, the Ministry conducted several expert seminars and bilateral meetings with representatives from other countries and international organisations.
  • After more than three years of planning, on the 20th of December 2017, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution recognising the 20th of May as World Bee Day.
  • 115 countries backed the initiative, including great powers like Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Russia, the United States, and all EU member states.

Significance of World Bee Day

Bees are critical to the production, productivity, and quality of more than 75% of the global crops, which produce fruits and seeds for human use. They make a substantial contribution to the variety of meals available.

Unfortunately, pollination services see a dangerous decline in some locations, enhancing the importance of International Bee Day.

Pollinator population losses will influence the production and costs of vitamin-rich crops like fruits and vegetables, resulting in increasingly imbalanced diets and health issues like malnutrition and non-communicable diseases.

Enhancing horticultural crop yields is critical for maintaining the health, nutrition, food, and income security of smallholder farmers. Hence, World Bee Day focuses not only on production but also on augmenting human and social security.

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As the economic value of honey rises, bees are becoming a key source of income, food security, and a means of livelihood for many small-scale producers and forest inhabitants in many developing countries.

Farmers can increase crop yields by roughly 25% with better pollination management. Bees would substantially contribute to global food security and nutrition for an ever-increasing global population, only adding to the significance of International Bee Day.

World Bee Day, through conserving bees, aims to abolish poverty and hunger by ensuring increased yields and greater agricultural output.

World Bee Day Theme

The theme observed for World Bee Day 2021 was "Bee Engaged: Build Back Better for Bees". Under this theme, The United Nations proclaimed that the focus of that day would be on threats faced by bees and other pollinators as a result of COVID-19.

Every year on the 20th of May, International Bee Day encourages everyone to appreciate pollinators. It encourages pollinator-friendly farming techniques and helps conserve pollinator populations. Pollinators such as bees and other pollinators are rapidly becoming extinct.

Due to human activities, current species extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times higher than usual. To safeguard bees and pollinators from challenges to their number, diversity, and health, we must undertake efforts to improve the range of pollinator habitats in agricultural and urban contexts.

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FAQs on World Bee Day

Q.1. What is the importance of World Bee Day?

Every year on the 20th of May, we observe World Bee Day highlight the importance of bees and other pollinators in maintaining human and environmental health.

Q.2. Why is the 20th of May celebrated as World Bee Day?

The 20th of May was the birthday of Anton Jana, a modern apiculture pioneer. Jana came from a beekeeping family in Slovenia, where beekeeping was a traditional agricultural industry, so the day is celebrated as World Bee Day.

Q.3. Which country played a crucial role in recognising the 20th of May as World Bee Day?

The United Nations General Assembly and the FAO backed the request of the Republic of Slovenia to observe World Bee Day on the 20th of May each year.

Q.4. How does celebrating World Bee Day contribute to zero hunger?

Bees are essential to feeding the rapidly growing world population sustainably. Therefore, World Bee day recognises the importance of pollinators like bees and other insects to survive about three-quarters of the global crop species.

Q.5. What is the theme of World Bee Day 2022?

The upcoming World Bee Day theme in 2022 is Bee engaged: Build Back Better for Bees.