Honoring Our Pollinators on World Bee Day

If you have enjoyed a fruit, vegetable, or nut this week, you were reaping the immeasurable benefits of our pollinators. Tomorrow, we celebrate World Bee Day. This is a day to honor the bees through various exciting community events to raise awareness about bees and how vital their roles are in pollination. Beekeepers and others in the bee community look forward to this day each year as an effective way to reach local communities across the world and raise awareness of these unique species.

Why May 20th?

The pinnacle of spreading awareness came when the United Nations Assembly formally accepted World Bee Day. In 2017, when World Bee Day was recognized by the Government of Slovenia for the first time and then widely adopted shortly after, May 20th officially became World Bee Day. The date was chosen because it was the birthday of the apiculture pioneer, Anton Jansa. Anton was a modern beekeeper for his time, born in the early 1700s, and is credited with changing the hive shape and size to allow for stacking. Stacked hives are how most beekeepers continue to keep multiple beehives today. In recognizing early on the vital role bees play in our ecosystem, and possibly a disregard for their relevance and importance, continued efforts over the centuries have raised awareness of the bee population’s critical roles in our environment and overall health.

Raising Awareness: The Essential Role of Pollinators

All pollinators play their role in allowing plants and food crops to reproduce. It is grossly underestimated how much value bees add. They are incredible helpers in our food source and act as little scientists for the environment. If the bee population or other pollinators are dying off and diseased, it indicates more significant ecosystem issues. These issues may include pesticide use that kills off pollinators, invasive insects, reduced nutrients, and careless land use that threatens bee colonies. Unless people know how their behaviors and choices impact the ecosystem and pollination process, they will not change their ways. Hence, the purpose of World Bee Day. Introducing people to the essential nature of what bees and other pollinators do for our food source and how human activity can negatively affect them is part of raising awareness. The hope is more will identify with the need to protect bees and use caution when doing things that may negatively impact hives in the area.

Healthy Bees Equal Healthy People

Believing that healthy bees directly relate to healthy people is a benefit that those supporting World Bee Day strongly support. Bee enthusiasts are asking communities to do their part to protect the welfare of bees, including farm owners and home gardeners. Pesticides can cause a rapid and dangerous decline in the bee population. Bee extinction would be devastating and result in diets consisting primarily of potatoes, wheat, rice, and oats. Now, carb lovers probably think that doesn’t sound too bad, but those things aren’t as tantalizing without the flavors of vegetables and herbs! Bees play a critical role in the meats we consume, which is not widely known since livestock needs crops to eat.

Beekeepers are popping up worldwide to provide plenty of homes for these pollinators. This is wonderful, but responsible beekeepers take their role seriously, even if only for a hobby, due to the special species they are now charged with taking care of.

Let’s Get Some Bee Stats

More than one-third of the food that ends up on our plates depends on those little fuzzy buzzers in one way or another. Agriculture and horticulture industries only exist because of bees and what they can do and produce.

Think about this:

Two bees are required for one kilogram of watermelon (an average watermelon is 10 kilograms)

69 bees are necessary to produce one avocado

40% of honeybee colonies were lost in the United States in 2018

Now, picture how many bees are necessary to maintain the food production for the entire world! The ratio of bees needed to the amount they produce makes it clear we need lots of bees. Therefore, World Bee Day is celebrated to bring appreciation to the bee population and how it will take a worldwide effort to stop the decline and get them back to a thriving species!

Bees literally touch and improve everyone’s life in one way or another. So, tomorrow, on World Bee Day. Might you BEE encouraged to wear black and yellow and talk to at least ten people about the importance of bees to our environmental health? Maybe your local community or farmer’s market has an event that you could volunteer with or help spread the word. Suppose you prefer a more introverted approach to honor our little bee friends on World Bee Day, plant some bee-friendly plants, shrubs, or flowers. Lastly, treat hives and bees with respect. If having an active hive on your property is causing concern, please contact a reputable and experienced bee removal company to come and safely relocate the hive. These pollinators are worth every effort we make and pay us back ten thousand-fold.