World Bee Day is celebrated yearly on May 20. Bee Day was established by the United Nations in 2017 to raise awareness about the importance of protecting and preserving bees from adverse human activities.
It honors not just honeybees, but bumblebees and species of solitary bees, too. There are almost 20,000 different species of bees worldwide. Bees live in colonies. In each colony, there are three types of bees, the queen bee, the worker bee, and the drone.
Bees not only contribute to the pollination of wildflowers, but also to the pollination of agricultural crops. According to an estimate, bees and other pollinators pollinate almost 90% of flowering plants and “70% of the world’s main crops.
And Albert Einstein once famously said that “if the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live”. But why are bees so important? Essentially, bees are crucial for the pollination of plants – pollinating a third of the food we eat and 80 per cent of flowering plants – many fruits, vegetables and crops that feed livestock depend on bees to pollinate them. While there are other methods of pollination – including wind, birds, bats, and other insects – wild bees are among the most important, because they are capable of pollinating on a much bigger scale.
There are many different reasons why bees are endangered, including habitat loss, pesticides, and climate changes. Declining numbers of different species of bees have been noticed around the world, which means that there is a real risk of additional species. In a seven-year span, the United States saw approximately 1.6 million bees die off each of those years.
Preserving wild habitats and restoring ecological agriculture is key to saving bees. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways you can “bee a hero” and do your bit to protect these all-important creatures – most of which can be done in the comfort of your own home or outdoor space. If you have a garden or small outdoor space, plant the flowers that will attract pollinators.