The World Needs Bees – The UN Has Declared 20th May as World Bee Day
Bees, along with the world’s other polinators, are coming under increasing threat from human acitivty. Polination is fundamental to the survival of our ecosystems. Nearly all flowering plant species along with three-quarters of the world’s food crops depend on animal polination. In order to raise awareness of the need to protect the world’s bees, the UN declared 20th May as ‘World Bee Day’. Their aim is to raise awareness and strengthen the measures aimed at protecting bees and other polinators. This would, in turn, help solve problems related to food production and supply – particularly in developing nations.
We Need to Act Now
The UN state that present extinction rates for bees are 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal. This is as a direct result of human activity. Around 35% of invertebrate pollinators (which includes butterflies) as well as 17% of vertebrate pollinators such as bats face extinction.
If this continues to be the case, it will have a very damaging impact on our ability to grow vegetable crops. This will lead to an increasing dependency on crops such as rice and potatoes. The end result will be an imbalanced diet, paving the way for a dramatic reduction in the health in populations around the globe.
What Can We Do?
We can all play our part. Individuals have the power to effect change. You could consider doing some of the following:
- Plant diverse species of flowering plants in your garden, no matter how small it is
- Support local honey producers by buying their products
- Buy organic food from farmers who value and invest in their local ecosystems
- Don’t use pesticides or herbicides in your garden
- Sponsor beehives
- Leave water outside for bees
- Raise awareness of the need to protect the bees
If you’re a farmer, beekeeper or landowner you could:
- Stop using pesticides
- Plant a diverse range of crops – the wider the variety of crops the better
- Create hedgerows and leave wide verges at the edge of fields for wildflowers to grow which in turn support insect, bird and animal life
Governments and decision-makers can help protect bees by:
- Enforcing measures and implementing incentives to help fuel change
- Providing opportunities for collaboration between organisations including farmers, universities, NGOs, charities and businesses who work in the agricultural and ecological sectors
At Herbal Apothecary we know that bees are far more than pollinators! We produce a range of natural bee products, including: