What is World Bee Day?

World Bee Day takes place on the 20th May to honour the birthday of Anton Janša, the pioneer of beekeeping in the 18th century. The day aims to raise awareness on the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development.

Why are bees important?

We all depend on the survival of bees. Pollinators, such as bees and other creatures (butterflies, wasps, spiders, bats and many more) are increasingly under threat from human activities, loss of habitat and climate change. Pollination is a fundamental part of our eco-system, with almost 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species, 75% of the world’s food crops and 35% of global agricultural land depending almost entirely on animal pollination*. Three out of four crops across the globe producing fruits, or seeds for use as human food depend, at least in part, on bees and other pollinators*. We all depend on pollinators for food, so ensuring their survival is paramount.

Bees and other pollinators are under threat, with close to 35%, particularly bees and butterflies, facing extinction globally. 35 bee species are under threat of extinction in the UK alone, with 13 species already being lost. Since the second world war, we have lost 97% of our wildflower meadows, leaving bees with very little natural habitat. A world without bees could struggle to sustain a food chain for the population of almost 8 billion people.

World Bee Day

Did you know? Facts about bees:

  • Bees have 5 eyes
  • Bees fly at approximately 12mph
  • Female bees (except the queen) are called worker bees
  • Male bees are called drones
  • Bees have 2 pairs of wings
  • An average beehive can be home to 70,000+ bees
  • Bees communicate through pheromones
  • Honey can be stored for eternity and will never spoil

How can we help bees and pollinators this World Bee Day?

With bees in decline, what can we do to help? Well, there are many things we can all do to help bees and encourage more pollinators into your garden. The best way is by providing nectar and pollen rich flowers throughout the year, giving them food. For this year’s World Bee Day, why not try some of the following:

  • Plant flowers – this creates habitat and food for bees
  • Don’t use chemicals in your garden
  • Create a bee bath – bees need water too
  • Cut your grass less often to let ‘weeds’ grow, especially in early spring #NoMowMay
  • Make a bee hotel

Having plants that flower throughout the year in your garden will provide food for pollinators all year round, not just for World Bee Day. Some great plants that flower in spring are Primrose, Sweet Rocket and Aubretia. Summer flowering plants include Lavender, Honeysuckle and Yarrow. There are many plants that flower in Autumn, including, Ivy, Hyssop and Michaelmas Daisies. 

What are It’s Interventional doing to help bees?

We love bees, they are part of who we are here at It’s Interventional. We have 2 beehives at our office in Sheffield, each housing thousands of bees. A local beekeeper maintains our hives, so we asked him a few questions to mark World Bee Day:

Watch our interview with Dave the beekeeper from More Bees Please now...

*https://www.un.org/en/observances/bee-day

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