World Bee Day is May 20

By FPL_AssataS

World Bee Day is May 20! Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jansa pioneered a beekeeping process in the 18th century which is still used worldwide today. May 20th was Jansa’s birthday, so in 2017 the United Nations voted unanimously to mark it as a day to honor the beekeeper, and an opportunity to call the world to action in support of efforts to conserve and regenerate spaces where pollinators like bees can continue to thrive and propagate new generations of crops in fruitful ecosystems.

Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male reproductive structure of one flower (the anther) to the female reproductive structure of another flower (the stigma). This results in fertilization, and it allows the reproductive process of many plants to continue. There are other pollinators such as birds, bats, and butterflies. However, bees are the most populous pollinators with an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 species worldwide. Widespread human activity often damages or destroys habitats used by pollinators for work and shelter, rendering them fewer and farther in between. With this in mind, we can become empowered to adopt more considerate ways of sharing outdoor spaces with pollinators.  

The United Nations, opens a new window lists ways that individuals, farmers, and government bodies can take action to protect pollinators. Here are just a few of their ideas: 

  • Plant a diverse ecosystem of native flowers in your garden.
  • Support businesses that adhere to sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Avoid pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides when gardening.
  • Leave a simple water fountain in a bowl for nearby bees.

Beekeepers and farmers can: 

  • Reduce or change pesticide usage.
  • Maximize diversity of crops, make sure there are lots of attractive plants.
  • Create hedgerows (shrubs, trees, etc., grown in such a fashion to function as a barrier; often used to distinguish property boundaries).

Government entities can:  

  • Include more local community members in making decisions and implementing best environmental practices.
  • Enforce focused strategies and provide monetary incentives.
  • Join national and international organizations along with academic institutions and network to further mobilize the effort.

Take time on World Bee Day to thank the bees and other pollinators for keeping our home beautiful and livable!