World Bee Day 2020
This is why we are friends with bees
"If the bees disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
”Ending hunger is everyone's responsibility.”
— Ban Ki Moon, South Korean diplomat and the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 2007 to December 2016
”The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
— Masanobu Fukuoka, Japanese farmer and philosopher
”Bees are a sign of well-functioning ecosystems.”
— José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization since January 2012
The importance of bees
In order to be able to feed the world’s growing population, we need ever more food, which must be diverse, balanced and of good quality to ensure the progress and well-being of humankind.Bees are renowned for their role in providing high-quality food (honey, royal jelly and pollen) and other products used in healthcare and other sectors (beeswax, propolis, honey bee venom).
But the work of bees entails much more! The greatest contribution of bees and other pollinators is the pollination of nearly three quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food. A third of the world’s food production depends on bees, i.e. every third spoonful of food depends on pollination.
Sustainable farming and income:
Over the past 50 years, the amount of crops that depend on pollinators (i.e. fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and oilseeds) has tripled. Bees play an important role in relation to the scope of agricultural production. Effective pollination increases the amount of agricultural produce, improves their quality and enhances plants’ resistance to pests.
Cultivated plants that depend on pollination are an important source of income to farmers, especially smaller farmers and family-owned farms in developing countries. They provide jobs and income to millions of people. According to the estimates of an international study conducted in 2016 by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, the annual global production of food that depends directly on pollination was worth between $235 and $577 billion.
Biodiversity and environmental protection:
Bees are vital for the preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity in nature. They provide one of the most recognisable ecosystem services, i.e. pollination, which is what makes food production possible. By doing so, they protect and maintain ecosystems as well as animal and plant species, and contribute to genetic and biotic diversity.
Bees also act as indicators of the state of the environment. Their presence, absence or quantity tells us when something is happening with the environment and that appropriate action is needed. By observing the development and health of bees, it is possible to ascertain changes in the environment and implement the necessary precautionary measures in time.
Did You Know?
To make 1kg of honey, a bee must visit 4 million flowers and fly four times the distance around the world
Bees are among the only insects in the world that produce food people can eat
Bees pollinate as many as 170,000 species of plants
One honeybee alone can produce 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its life
Only the queen in the hive lays eggs, around 1,500 per day. Worker bees are all female.
Of the 100 species of crops that provide 90 percent of the world’s food, over 70 are pollinated by bees.
The vast majority of pollinator species are wild, including more than 20,000 species of bees.
Honeybees are the only bee species that die after a sting
10 things you can do for the bees
1. Plant or sow honey plants on balconies, terraces and gardens for decorative purposes.
2. Set up a nesting box for bees on your balcony, terrace or garden – you can do it yourself or buy it.
3. Maintain flowering meadows by using a greater variety of plants and by sowing honey plants in the meadows. A Admire flowering meadows and leave the flowers to the bee pasture.
4. Avoid mowing grass during the peak flourishing of plants and mow grass in the evening hours.
5. Allow beekeepers to temporarily or permanently settle bees on your agricultural surfaces. The bees will thus have proper plants to feed on, which will be properly pollinated and will bear more fruit.
6. As regards spraying, use pesticides that are harmless to bees and spray plants in windless weather conditions early in the morning or late in the evening, when bees are back to their hives.
7. Mulch flowering plants in orchards and vineyards before spraying with pesticides, in order to prevent them from attracting bees.
8. Raise children’s and teenagers’ awareness about the importance of bees.
9. Buy honey and other bee products from a local beekeeper.
10. Support beekeepers and attend events in support of bees.