World Bee Day: why is it celebrated?

World Bee Day was established in 2017 to protect these fundamental insects for biodiversity. Today, there are many threats, such as the use of pesticides and climate change. But there are many things we can do to protect these insects, first of all adopting a sustainable lifestyle.

World Bee Day: why is it celebrated?

The 20th of May is celebrated every year World Bee Dayan event created to raise awareness of the importance of these pollinating insects for human life. It is in fact known that bees are indispensable for the multiplication of numerous plant species and, consequently, for the protection of natural habitats worldwide.

But why was this date established and, above all, what can be done to protect these extraordinary insects?

Bees are now threatened by many human activities, so much so that their number is constantly decreasing from year to year. Yet despite the importance of these insects for the biodiversitymuch still needs to be done in terms of protection.

Here is some useful information.

What is World Bee Day?


World Bee Day is a recent event. The celebration was in fact wanted by theUnited Nations General Assembly in 2017, to recognize the fundamental role of these insects for human life and facilitate all support actions for their survival.

The date of May 20 is anything but random. It is in fact a tribute to the birthplace of Anton Janšaexperienced Slovenian beekeeper who lived between 1734 and 1773, the father of modern beekeeping.

The anniversary was born to channel the attention of public opinion to the indispensable role of bees for global biodiversity, a role that is increasingly at risk today due to human activities and ofpollution which follows.

Although this celebration focuses on bees, it also enhances the usefulness of other pollinating insects, such as butterflies and hummingbirds, but also of small animals that feed on nectar, such as bats.

Why is it celebrated

The celebration works on several fronts. On the one hand there is a informative intent towards public opinion, to explain the importance of bees and avoid their indiscriminate killing. In fact, many people are still afraid of these insects, as they fear their bites.

But it is a false belief, in reality, given that a bee hardly attacks humans if it is not threatened. Unlike wasps, bees have a hook sting which, once stuck in the skin, leads the insect to die. This is because, when attached to the skin, the sting detaches from the body and tears off part of the abdomen, condemning the insect to death. Consequently, that of stinging man is only a last resort for the bee.

On the other hand there is instead that of stimulating, within politics, a major movement protection towards these insects, with specific actions to reduce pollution, investments to promote sustainable beekeeping and projects to stop the disappearance of ecosystems.

Why are bees important?

Bees in the hive

But why are pollinating insects, such as bees, so important, so much so as to establish a world day? There are many reasons that make bees among living beings whose protection is fundamental.

Subsistence farming

The pollination activity of bees and other similar insects is responsible for the reproduction of at least 75% of all fruit trees worldwide. In particular apples, pears, strawberries and apricots. The same goes for many vegetables, such as tomatoes, as well as for ornamental plants;

Healthiness of the environments

Bees proliferate only in conditions of low or zero pollution, therefore they are an excellent indicator of the quality and wholesomeness of the spaces in which they live;

Ecosystem balance

These insects play a fundamental role in guaranteeing the delicate balance of ecosystems and biodiversity. Not only because they contribute decisively to the development of many plant species, but also because they limit the proliferation of invasive varieties and are also useful within the animal food chain.

Why is it said that life on the planet depends on bees?

Bee and nectar

It is often said that, without bees, life on the planet would not exist. The reason is very simple and recalls some of the elements already mentioned in the previous paragraph:

  • Il 90% of food consumed in the world today derives, directly or indirectly, from the action of bees;
  • At least 75% of all plant species uses bees for their reproduction.

This means that, without their fundamental contribution, the number of plants in circulation would be reduced. With them, also the production of oxygen and the filtration of excess carbon dioxide. Many animals would then disappear, weeds and harmful species would develop in an uncontrolled way.

But the drinking water cycle would also be altered. In other words, without bees there would be no life.

World Bee Day: their sad death

Bee and flower

But, as often happens, man does not pay much attention to the extremely delicate balance of the planet, exploiting its resources in a frantic way and threatening the existence of many ecosystems. And unfortunately, bees are among the first to pay the price. Since the 1970s, their numbers in the wild have decreased by more than 40%. A real moria.

But what are the causes?

Pollution and pesticides


One of the main reasons for the decline of these insects, highlighted on this World Bee Day, is the high environmental pollution and the extensive use of chemical pesticides.

These pollinators ingest harmful substances, due precisely to pesticides or toxic molecules released by waste abandoned in the environment, during their feeding phase. In doing so they meet their death.

There is also talk of thousands of specimens per polluted site every day, without the possibility that the specimens left alive have the minimum time necessary to repopulate the hives.

In particular, i neonicotinoidi – a class of neuroactive insecticides – have been declared true “killers” of bees. Since their introduction in the 1980s, bee populations have plummeted globally.

Climate changes

Climate Climate change

Bees were among the first specimens to suffer the effect of climate change, especially the increase in temperatures. Many populations have inaugurated real and proper migratory routes to reach colder climates, but this transfer leads to the loss of numerous specimens during the journey.

Again, not only do some of the plant and flower varieties fundamental to their livelihood begin to disappear, but the remaining plants also become less nutritious. Always due to the increase in temperatures and pollution, in fact, wild species are less rich in nourishment.

Last but not least, the increase in torrential rains – real natural disasters stimulated by climate change – lead with increasing frequency to the destruction of natural hives, even killing all the specimens that find their home there.



The increasingly popular strategy of cultivating monocoltureeven on very large green spaces, is depriving the bees of the plants they feed on.

Failure to access honey substances its first effect is the reduction of honey production, followed by the impossibility of regenerating the hives and proceeding effectively with pollination.

What can we do to protect bees

pink mallow

But what can we do for protect bees and thus avoid their extinction, not only on their World Bee Day, but all year round?

  • Grow plants that attract bees, such as clover, calendula, alfalfa, coriander, cumin, sunflower, mallow, borage, lavender and many more;
  • Avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides, especially if rich in neonicotinoids, preferring instead the good practices ofbiological agriculture and natural fertilization with manure and compost;
  • favor thebeekeepingalso at a local level, because it has proved to be virtuous for the repopulation of bees in green areas;
  • Hold up farms who apply the good practices of organic and bioregenerative agriculture, avoiding the use of pesticides and recreating ecosystems rich in biodiversity.
  • Adopt one more sustainable lifestyle, reducing the production of waste, recycling as much as possible, increasingly exploiting renewable resources. Contrasting climate change and the increase in temperature is the very first weapon to ensure a prosperous future for bees.

Time is short: by the end of the century, if nothing is done, most pollinating insects could have disappeared. And this could have dire consequences for the survival of the man himself.

Source: GreenStyle by

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