published on 20 May 2019 in life
World Bee Day
Today, Monday 20 May, is World Bee Day. The aim of the day is to attract attention to the key role of these hard-working insects, sorely tried by human activities and climate changes. Bees, in fact, like other pollinating animals, such as butterflies, bats and humming birds, are threatened by pesticides, changes to land use and monocropping practices that reduce available nutritive substances. Besides ensuring the survival of many plant species, these insects make a decisive contribution to global food security, therefore guaranteeing the sustenance of our species: more than two thirds of crops used for human nutrition are in fact pollinated by bees.
Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations Organisation in response to a proposal by the Republic of Slovenia, this day was celebrated for the first time on 20 May 2018. The choice of the date on which World Bee Day is celebrated is by no means random. In the northern hemisphere, May is the main month for pollination, while in the southern hemisphere it is when honey is produced and its by-products are processed. Furthermore, one of the first pioneers of modern beekeeping, the Slovenian Anton Janša (1734–1773), was born precisely on 20 May.
The day will be celebrated in over 115 nations, but the merit for it lies above all with Slovenia, and in particular with the Slovenian Federation of Beekeepers, which pressed the UN to officially recognise the day. Indeed, the Slovenian government is in the forefront in the fight to safeguard bees, and it was the first, in 2011, to ban the use of pesticides in its territory.