The hardest working creatures on the earth are none other than the bees who are benefiting the environment, animals, and plants. The bee-human relationship has existed for ages as they are the most fascinating pollinators carrying pollen from one flower to another, ensuring the agricultural production and variety of foods on our plates by pollinating crops, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
World Bee Day was first inaugurated on 20th May 2018 and is celebrated every year ever since. The date for World Bee Day was picked as 20th May because, on this day, an apiculture pioneer Anton Janša was born hailing from a beekeepers family in Slovenia. Beekeeping is something that is deeply rooted in the Slovenian tradition, and it is one of the leading European countries in terms of beekeepers.
World Bee Day 2022 Theme
World Bee Day theme for the year 2022 is “Bee engaged: Build Back Better for Bees”. The World Bee Day aims to:
- Attract public attention to the threats and significance of bees in the global food supply.
- Develop awareness regarding the protection of bees and other pollinators and their habitats.
- Prevent the loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
- Promote bee-keeping awareness among people and the significance of bee-derived products to humankind.
Why bees are so important to the environment
Bees indeed are amazing! Here are some reasons why bees are important and beneficial to us:
- Bees are Ultimate Pollinators
Not only bees but other pollinators such as bats, wasps, and birds, influence 35% of the world’s crop production. Many farmers depend on a variety of bees to pollinate their crops. They boost the production of approx 87 food crops and multiple plant-derived medicines by pollinating fruits, seeds, berries, and nuts.
- Importance of Bees Within Food Webs
Bees not only provide us food but they also pollinate foods eaten by other animals and birds. Thereby, making a flow of food supply for various animals and thus backing huge food webs.
- Honey and its By-products
Honeybees have been sweetening our lives for years and beekeeping has allowed humans to collect honey and use its by-products. Additionally, honey has numerous medicinal values.
- Bees Benefit Biodiversity
Bees are therefore directly beneficial to the ecosystem as they pollinate wildflowers, trees, herbs, and shrubs in the jungle, thus enhancing and ensuring plant biodiversity and the beauty of the planet. Moreover, they contribute greatly to the parks, gardens, and enrichment of landscapes of the cities.
Types of Bees!
Nature has an abundant variety of bee species for the benefit of mother earth. There are approx 20,000 known bee species around the globe. Usually, bees live in colonies, but some are solitary. Here are some exciting facts about bees, let’s get into it:
- Honey Bee
Honey bees are ‘social’ bees, as they live in huge colonies usually of around 50,000 – 60,000 workers. Honey bees are also crop pollinators and honey producers.
- Bumble Bee
Usually, bumblebees live in small colonies of around 50 to 400 workers. Bumblebees are pollinators of wild and crop plants. They can fly in cooler temperatures and higher altitudes, thus making them ideal pollinators.
- Mason Bees
Mason bees are solitary bees creating a buzzing sound. They are excellent pollinators as they are 120 times more efficient than honey or bumblebees. It’s because mason bees do not live in hives, thus, the collected pollen stays with them wherever they go.
- Carpenter Bees
Carpenter bees are solitary and make their nests in the soil. They can withstand high temperatures and can be active under low lights. These traits make them incredible agricultural pollinators in hot climates, greenhouses crops, and night-blooming crops.
Why Are Bees Endangered?
These small buzzers are considered endangered due to habitat loss, pesticide use, industrial pollution, rapid industrialization, and urbanization. Moreover, climate change (temperature rise, early snow melting, and increased drought)is the most impactful factor in bee endangerment.
Unfortunately, a large number of bees are dying every year due to disease, bacterial infections, and parasites. As more bee species die, we will lose agricultural harvests. Eventually, some plants will go extinct without bees to do their part in pollination.
Bees have cultural and environmental prestige in our society as the most promising pollinators and producers of food, honey, and medicinal products. Both farmed and wild bees prevent the growth and quality of vegetation and crops. Bees are essential for food security and maintaining balance in the food web and ecosystem. However, the welfare and number of bees worldwide are declining, and therefore, it is essential to protect and conserve them to maintain human well-being.
We can support these small buzzers, even in small gardens of our homes, so that they can visit every flower, and collect nectar and pollens during their lifespan. Let’s get united and celebrate bee day every year, by praising all types of bees, and other beautiful creatures too who are not even bees! We believe that this earth belongs to every creature and to maintain a healthy balance between humankind and nature, we should contribute our part!