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Explainer: What is World Bee Day and why is it celebrated?

Google Oneindia News

The day marks the birth anniversary of Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern apiculture.

New Delhi, May 20: The World Bee Day is annually celebrated on 20 May with an aim to spread awareness of the roles played by bees in keeping people and the planet healthy.

Bees and other pollinators play a crucial role in the world's food supply chain. A full third of the food produced in the world depends on pollination, as per UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

Explainer: What is World Bee Day and why is it celebrated?

Why this date was chosen?

The UN Member States unanimously approved Slovenia's proposal on 20 December 2017 to proclaim May 20 as the World Bee Day. The day marks the birth anniversary of Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern apiculture. He hailed from a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long-standing tradition.

Anton enrolled in the first bee-keeping school in Europe and worked full-time as a beekeeper. He also published the book 'Discussion on Bee-keeping' in German.

Importance of the Day

Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities. To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day.

As per the studies, the population of bees and other pollinators is declining due to multiple reasons including intensive farming, the widespread use of pesticides, and pollution from waste materials. Bees are being infected by new diseases and pests, while their natural habitat is declining because of population growth. The climate change has also had an impact on its survival and development.

If this trend continues, nutritious crops, such as fruits, nuts and many vegetable crops will be substituted increasingly by staple crops like rice, corn and potatoes, eventually resulting in an imbalanced diet.

Hence, the day gives an opportunity for people and a society as a whole to take actions to protect and enhance pollinators and their habitats, improve their abundance and diversity, and support the sustainable development of beekeeping. Thus contributing to solving problems related to the global food supply and eliminate hunger in developing countries.

Interesting Facts About Bees:

The reason bees are so noisy is because they beat their wings 11,400 times in one minute!

The Honey bee's wings stroke 11,400 times per minute and it can fly about 20 mph.

Male bees don't have stingers and only female bees can sting.

Bees have 5 eyes and have 6 legs.

Bees have been here about 30 million years!

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