May 20 is World Bee Day ( World Bee Day ). The holiday was established by UN General Assembly resolution ( A / RES / 72/211 ) in December 2017.
This was preceded by a whole series of events: the adoption of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ( FAO ) on the problems of pollination, pollinators, the preservation of their diversity, food security and sustainable agriculture. In 2016, the Republic of Slovenia, together with the International Federation of Beekeeping Organizations, made a proposal at a meeting of the FAO to establish World Bee Day, emphasizing the role of these insects in pollination issues, increase productivity and as a result of food security.
As the date of the celebration, May 20 – was chosen in memory of one of the outstanding beekeepers, innovators of this type of activity – Anton Janshe ( Anton Janša, 1734 – 1773 ), considered one of the founders of modern beekeeping. He was born in Slovenia on May 20, 1734 and made beekeeping his main activity, significantly succeeded in this field, even having managed to write a manual printed in 1771 in German.
The establishment of the holiday is designed to emphasize the contribution of honey bees to the processes of pollination of plants, including crops, that is, their role in crop production, gardening, vegetable growing and other agricultural sectors.
Bees, butterflies and other pollinators affect us all. The food we eat, such as fruits and vegetables, is directly dependent on pollinators. A world without pollinators will be deprived of food diversity — there will be no blueberries, no coffee, no chocolate, no cucumbers. They not only help ensure an abundance of fruits, nuts and seeds, but also their diversity and quality, which are crucial for the nutrition of people. In addition to producing products, pollinators also make a direct contribution to the creation of medicines, biofuels, fabrics and building materials.
The vast majority of flowering plant species can produce seeds only by moving pollen from stamens to pestles. Without this work of pollinators, many of the interconnected species and processes that function in the ecosystem will collapse.
Pollination — is a process of critical importance for both agricultural and natural ecosystems. It plays a key role in food production and livelihoods and serves as a bridge between wild ecosystems and agri-food systems.
The holiday, emphasizing precisely on bees, as on the main polliter, also informs about which other representatives of the world of insects, as well as birds and mammals, participate in pollination processes. The role of bees is highlighted, since in addition to the naturally pollination process in the process of collecting nectar, these insects bring a person and many other benefits. First of all, this is of course – honey itself an important product, which is also the basis of many other food products, medicines, hygiene products and cosmetics. In addition to honey, beekeeping products used by humans include uterine milk, bee wax, propolis.
The health of pollinators depends on the yield of many plant species that form the basis of the diet of humans and the animal world.
World Day of bees is designed to inform the general population not only about the benefits of pollinators, but also about the problems that arise in the way of their existence in the modern world. Among these problems are the use of pesticides in agriculture, the transition in certain regions to the cultivation of monocultures, etc.
The ecological balance, arranged on the principle of close interconnection of all its components, suffers greatly in violation of at least one, seemingly at first glance, insignificant element. Thus, a reduction in pollinators leads to a reduction in food diversity.
All events held as part of World Day are held with the active participation of FAO, as well as beekeeping organizations, representatives of agriculture and farming.
Among the measures aimed at protecting the diversity of pollinators are monitoring the reduction of the population of individual species of insects, identifying and possibly eliminating the causes of this reduction. In addition, great importance is attached to the rational use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture, the possible rejection of their use in case of threat to pollinators, and the restoration of the natural habitats of pollinators.
In Slovenia, by the first date of the celebration of World Day of bees, celebrated on May 20, 2018, a memorial coin was issued with a dignity of 2 euros.