Today is World Bee Day! May 20 was officially named World Bee Day in 2018 by the United Nations in a bid to raise awareness for the role bees play in keeping the planet healthy.
The theme for World Bee Day 2020 is “Save the Bees”. It stresses the protection of bees and other pollinators. Not only that but the World Bee Day 2020 theme also aims at protecting the natural habitat of pollinators.
Biodiversity, and the threat to the population of bees in particular, may not seem the most pressing issue on the horizon amidst a global crisis.
However, the importance of bees to both the environment and our economy is more important than many people realise, and their populations are under threat.
Bees are vital to our way of life because they pollinate food crops, fertilising plants so that they can produce fruit, vegetables, seeds.
“Insect pollinators are essential for food production,” says CEO of Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Gill Perkins.
Bees and other insect pollinators together pollinate 87 per cent of all plant species, and about 75 per cent of crop species, without bees it has been estimated that supermarkets may have half the amount of fruit and vegetables.
The extinction of bees could lead to a significant disruption in our food supply chains, drive up the price of fresh produce, and likely cause famine in poorer regions, according to a number of wildlife organisations.
In an address by the President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, he acknowledge the role of the bee in food security and biodiversity.
“Small as they are, bees underpin our food systems. Close to three-quarters of the world’s crops depend, at least in part, on bees and other pollinators. In economic terms, natural pollinators contribute up to $577 billion to the global economy.
“However, colonies have been collapsing due to disturbances in their habitats as a result of intensive agricultural practices, changes in land use, urbanization, and the use of pesticides which are harmful to pollinators. Furthermore, bees face the threat of climate change-induced extreme weather events.
“In this first year of the Decade of Action and Delivery to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, we are focusing our efforts on nature-based solutions. If we are to make progress on the SDGs, we must prioritise the preservation of bees and other pollinators.
“On World Bee Day, I call on all Member States to pursue agricultural policies which protect bees and promote green spaces in urban areas which allow for pollination. Furthermore, I urge farmers everywhere to protect bee habitats by adopting pollinator-friendly practices in agricultural management. I commend all beekeepers for the work they do, and trust that they will share their expertise to create a better world.
“I am confident that by working together to save the bees we will succeed in ending hunger and eradicating poverty for everyone, everywhere”. he said.