Happy World Bee Day!
Proposed to the United Nations by Slovenia in 2017 and observed ever since on 20th May, World Bee Day promotes the role of bees and other pollinators that help keep people and the planet healthy, highlighting the challenges they face. 20th May hold’s a special meaning in Slovenia as it’s the birthday of Anton Janša who pioneered modern beekeeping or apiculture in 1794. 2022 theme is Bee Engaged: Celebrating The Diversity of Bees and Beekeeping Systems.
Why a United Nations day for bees?! Bees along with bird and bats help pollinate nearly 35% of the world’s crops! 3 out of 4 crops world wide are dependant on pollinators. No bees, no life! Out of all the pollinators, bees are the number one pollinators and major global employment recruiter. They provide millions of people with jobs ranging from agricultural, food and hospitality industries, cosmetics and skincare industries and pharmaceutical industries to name a few!
In addition to providing millions with food and jobs bees are also a good indicator of healthy ecosystems. So many non commercial food plants are also pollinated by bees. Did you know there are 20,000 different species of bees! Sadly many are in decline from diseases, habitat loss and pesticides. Bees have a huge impact on ecosystems and help with biodiversity. The more biodiversity there is, the more healthy the ecosystem.
How can you help the bees and other pollinators!
A few ways to help bees is to be aware of the food you buy. If you can, buy organic food. Usually organic food uses less pesticides that aren’t harmful to commercial/honey bees, wild bees or pollinators. I know it’s not always possible to buy organic food. It’s expensive. Even one item will help. Some supermarkets are also starting to sell non organic fresh produce that has less pesticides used in production.
Buy local honey to help support local beekeepers.
Be aware of the source of honey. I’m a bad vegan eating honey and have beauty products with honey and beeswax however I try to make sure the honey source is sustainable and the bees treated with respect. There are some bee farms where the keepers are a little battery farm. Commercial bees for crops can be rented out to pollinate crops for a few days basically living on the back of a lorry. Thankfully are more good beekeepers than bad beekeepers!
Plant bee friendly and other pollinator friendly plants. Even better if they’re native bee friendly and pollinator friendly plants! Biodiversity’s good!
Let areas of gardens grow wild to attract local pollinators.
Ask/petition local councils to set aside parts of parks to grow wild or areas of pollinator friendly plants. Here in Barcelona the Ajuntament has set aside in many public parks areas to grow wild to promote local wildlife and installed insect hotels. It’s nice seeing pockets of meadows in tiny spaces.
Be conscious when buying natural fibres such as cotton and linen. Thankfully now more brands are aware of the environmental impact fashion has. Like with organic food, organic cotton and linen also use less pesticides. Many Inditex brands have organic cotton and linen items at affordable prices. Even Primark has organic cotton lines!
All things Bee:
World Bee Day United Nations
Hilary Kearney @girlnextdoorhoney
The Bee Book: Discover the Wonder of Bees and How to Protect Them for Generations to Come. Emma Tennant, Fergus Chadwick. Everything you wanted to know about bees in one book!
The Secret Life of Bees. Sue Monk Kidd. Bee magic weaved with coming of age in Southern USA during the 1960’s.
Thank you for stopping by!