Today is the fourth annual observance of the World Bee Day.
The 20th of May celebration of bees was adopted by United Nations to coincide with the birthday of Anton Janša, who in the 18th century pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in his native Slovenia and praised the bees for their ability to work so hard, while needing so little attention.
The World Bee Day honours not only honeybees but 21 species of bumblebees and the 77 species of solitary bees as well.
As we are all continuing to deal with the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should consider how everyone can make a difference, to support, restore and enhance the role of these important little pollinators.
Bees are most known for honey, but these intelligent creatures are also behind most of the food we love – fruit, veg, chocolate and even coffee.
Albert Einstein once famously said:
“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.”
Sadly, the bee population is depleting. Since 1900, the UK has lost 13 species of bee, and a further 35 are considered to be under threat of extinction.
This is in part due to the continued use of pesticides, habitat loss from increased construction of houses on previously green land and climate change.
On this World Bee Day, we should all think about the things we can do, even on a small scale to help boost the bee population.
Consider planting some wild flowers and other plants that the bees love, or building a bug hotel for your garden.