Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems
Happy World Bee Day!
World Bee Day is observed annually on 20 May across the globe. The day is marked to raise awareness about the essential roles bees play in supporting people and the environment.
United Nations has designated May 20 as the day to celebrate the pollinators dwelling in hives, fields and gardens around the globe.
There is no life without bees
Bees are an essential piece of our ecosystem. Perhaps more importantly, at least to the billions of people living on the planet right now, bees are an essential piece of our agricultural system. According to Sustain, one-third of the food that we consume each day is pollinated by animals. And though many insects, bats, and birds aid this process, the bulk of that pollination is performed by bees.
Bees are known to be one of the hardest working creatures on the planet and immensely benefit the people and the natural ecosystem around them. Bees carry pollen grains from one flower to another and help in the production of fruits, nuts, and seeds, contributing significantly to food security and nutrition.
Bees play a major role in maintaining a balance between humans, plants, animals, and the environment. Without bees, food would be scarce, and a vast portion of the population would perish from starvation. It is because they increase agricultural production around the world by pollinating. As a result, World Bee Day is celebrated to raise awareness about the threats faced by bees as a result of human activity and to acknowledge the significance of bees in our biodiversity.
Bees have been around for thousands of years, and the very first bee found was 100 million years old! Bees might also have been the very first species to decide to go vegetarian. Originally, our fuzzy friends used to eat other insects, but they evolved to eat nectar and pollen instead. Bees have long supported us, humans with honey being a monumental discovery for our ancestors (it must have been tough for them to gather!).
From sweetening food to dressing wounds, we loved honey so much that our children are still named after bees.
World Bee Day 2022’s theme
This year, World Bee Day will be celebrated under the theme - ‘Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems’.
World Bee Day is celebrated on the birth anniversary Slovenian beekeeper Anton Janša- the pioneer of modern beekeeping. Born on 20 May 1734, he came from a long line of beekeepers and was the first beekeeping teacher at the Viennese imperial court.
In 1766, Janša enrolled himself in the first bee-keeping school in Europe. He later on worked full-time as a beekeeper. In 1771, he published a book titled Discussion on Bee-keeping.
Slovenia is responsible for proposing the idea of World Bee Day to the UN. After years of campaigning, the UN finally proclaimed May 20 World Bee Day in December 2017, and the first World Bee Day was observed on May 20, 2018, according to the UN’s FAO
If you identify as vegans or an environmentalist, you may choose to abstain from bee-derived products (such as honey and beeswax), as the massive honey industry poses a number of ethical and environmental concerns. That said, pretty much anyone who eats food is still indirectly supporting the beekeeping industry, as honeybees are used to pollinate many popular crops, including apples, almonds, broccoli, squash, and melons, as per the FDA.
The UN’s FAO is hosting a free virtual event in honor of World Bee Day, on May 20, 2022, from 1:00 p.m through 2:45 p.m. Central European Summer Time (that’s starting at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time). It will be livestreamed in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.You can register to attend here.
“The event will focus attention on the role of different local bees and beekeeping systems in improving food security and livelihoods, by providing a range of products and ecosystem services, and what governments, agrifood systems actors and the public can do to protect them,” the UN stated.
Always Prefer to buy it from beekeepers, as more than 80% of their produce is sold directly from home.
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