The number of pollinators is in decline around the world, while the need for pollination is on the rise.
In addition to being one of the world’s major pollinators, bees ensure food security, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, and significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change and environmental conservation. Scientific studies have proven that bees have become increasingly endangered. We need to take action to ensure the protection of bees and their habitats.
In order to be able to feed the world’s growing population, we need ever more food, which must be diverse, balanced and of good quality to ensure the progress and well-being of humankind.
Bees are renowned for their role in providing high-quality food such as honey, royal jelly and pollen but the greatest contribution of bees and other pollinators is the pollination of nearly three quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food. A third of the world’s food production depends on bees which is the equivalent to every third spoonful of food being dependant on pollination.
Over the past 50 years, the amount of crops that depend on pollinators (i.e. fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and oilseeds) has tripled. Bees play an important role in relation to the scope of agricultural production. Effective pollination increases the amount of agricultural produce, improves their quality and enhances plants’ resistance to pests.
Biodiversity and Environmental Protection
Bees are vital for the preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity in nature. They protect and maintain ecosystems as well as animal and plant species, and contribute to genetic and biotic diversity.
Bees also act as indicators of the state of the environment. Their presence, absence or quantity tells us when something is happening with the environment and that appropriate action is needed. By observing the development and health of bees, it is possible to ascertain changes in the environment and implement the necessary precautionary measures in time.
The main purpose of #WorldBeeDay, celebrated on 20th May, is to raise awareness of the significance of bees and other pollinators for our survival. Everybody can help improve the conditions for bees, thus improving conditions for the survival of people. No major steps are needed – what counts is each and every action that facilitates the existence of bees.
- Plant nectar-rich flowers in your garden, on your allotment, on your balcony or window ledge.
- Put away the lawnmower for a couple of weeks and saying ‘no’ to mowing in order to help hungry bees and other pollinators by letting the wild flowers in your lawn bloom to provide a feast of nectar.
- Do not use pesticides which harm bees or other pollinating insects.
- Set up a bee hotel in your garden or allotment to allow bees a safe place to settle.
- Buy honey form local beekeepers.
- Talk to your children or grandchildren about the importance of bees and how much we depend on them.