Updated/Fact-Chacked on June 1, 2023 by Gareth James
When is World Bee Day in 2023?
World bee day was Saturday, 20th May 2023. World bee day was created by Slovenia in 2017 and the consensus was signed by 115 UN members. The project aims to create awareness about the importance of bees in our environment and
10 Bee statistics that should make you take action
– Honey bees only make 1/2 teaspoon of honey in their entire lifetime.
– The average bee travels 5 miles to find nectar.
– Honey bees are totally red blind, so you can attract more bees by planting blue and purple flowers (Salvia, lavender, cosmos) which they see best.
– There are 200 species of bees in the UK and 20,000 worldwide.
-Bees make hexagonal honeycombs which are the strongest shape in nature, allowing for optimal strength and minimal beeswax required to build.
-Bees have 5 eyes.
-Bees pollinate approximately 80% of wildflowers in Europe, helping other pollinators feed. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/nature/why-do-we-need-bees
-97% of bees’ natural habitat, wildflower meadows, have been lost since 1945. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bees/habitats-pollinators
-In the UK, 1/3 of all bees have vanished over the 10 years. https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/challenges/bees/
-Since 1990, one quarter of the 20,000 global bees species have been lost – that’s 5000 bee species. https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/bees-decline-global-species-loss-b1792205.html
-Crop pollination by bees is estimated to be worth £690 million in the UK and £120 billion globally. https://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/food-security/cfs_case_studies_-_sustainable_pollination_services.pdf
Why have bee populations declined?
Pollinators are an essential contributor to an ecosystem’s overall health and wellness. From foods to medicine and biofuels, pollinators are responsible for creating many things we use in our homes and industry today. But experts have recently noticed a rapid decline in the number of pollinators worldwide. Why is this happening? What are the possible effects of a decline in pollinators? And what can we do to stop the decline and foster a healthy environment for pollinators?
What are Pollinators, and just why are they so Important?
Pollinators are those insects and animals that contribute to the pollination of flowers and other plant life. In Europe, approximately 78% of all wildflower species and a staggering 84% of crop species rely on these insects and animals to pollinate flowers and plants.
- Bees, beetles, moths, wasps, butterflies, and more
- Birds, reptiles, squirrels, monkeys, rodents, and even humans
Most plants cannot self-pollinate and rely on insects and animals to pollinate plants, flowers, and crops. These are used as food sources, creating cotton and linens and making medication and biofuels.
It is astonishing just how many things are created and are possible thanks to the humble bee and other pollinators.
So Why the Decline?
It’s no secret that the world is overpopulated. With the ever-growing demand for food, medications, and fibres, the need for more pollinators is overwhelming. There are a few factors that have contributed to a decline in pollinators. These are:
- Significant changes in land use due to an increase in urbanisation and the use of lands for agricultural purposes.
- More pollutants and pesticides are used to control pests and other fungi that affect massive land crops or private gardens.
- Global warming and increased temperatures lead to inexplicable weather events and global crises.
- There is a reduction in food and nesting sources for pollinators because of land changes, pesticides, and global warming.
How to Save the World’s Pollinators
The time has come for us to save and protect our world’s pollinators. With many large corporations and even celebrities jumping onto the “Save the Bees” bandwagon, they have come to highlight the necessary changes that need to be made to protect and secure the survival of the planet as a whole.
While even the thought of this might seem like a mammoth task and have you asking what you can do to affect this necessary change, there are small changes that all of us can implement today to save tomorrow.
One of the most radical changes we can make is to immediately stop using pesticides that can cause the death or illness of the pollinators that rely on clean food sources to continue with their important tasks.
Here are a few other ways in which you can save the pollinators and make a difference:
#1: Educate yourself and others
Education is so important, and educating yourself and others on critical issues like the importance of pollinators is essential to create awareness and bring about the necessary change that can save the bees and other pollinators. Join forums, read articles about the effects of the decline in pollinators, and spread the word via social media platforms.
#2: Change your gardening methods
Often we see little tips on how we can make our gardens bee-friendly by leaving water out for them. We can do so much more. Use pollinator-safe pesticides and fungicides on your crops and flowerbeds. Plant flowers and other trees and plants that will attract bees and contribute to pollination and consider making a bee hotel. A little bit of research can go a long way toward creating a “pollinator haven” in your own garden.
#3: Choose natural methods of controlling pests
Pesticides and fungicides are enormous contributors to the death of bees and other pollinators. Choose products that are safe for all insects and animals. For more information on pesticides and other bee-friendly products, please visit the World Wildlife Foundation website.
These are not the only ways we as humans can make a difference, but they are small changes that we can make today.
Global Warming and its Effects on Pollinators
Global warming and the inevitable burden on resources such as land and crops are increasing daily, and while the solution is plain to see, there are many factors involved in making the changes necessary to eradicate the reduction and death of our all-important pollinators.
Again, it is up to each of us to make just one change to fight against the effects of global warming and bring about the restoration of bee and pollinator colonies across the globe. Here are some easy ideas to slow down the effects of global warming:
- Carpool to work with a group of colleagues to reduce the number of greenhouse gases emitted into the air from your exhaust and from the burning of fuels and fossil fuels. Alternatively, walk or cycle to and from the shop for your daily groceries or food items, and cut down on the world’s need for fossil fuels as energy sources.
- Switch to CFC (Cloro-Fluoro Carbon) free products by changing from an aerosol to a roll-on deodorant.
- Reduce the amount of waste you and your family produce by recycling and reducing the need for landfills and the destruction of possible pollinator nesting zones to be used for landfills and waste disposal centres.
- Get involved in community gardening initiatives that will attract bees, butterflies, birds, and more to these areas and increase pollination in your village, town, or city.
We can all make a difference. It is up to us to save the planet that we are inhabiting today to make it livable for the generations that will come after us.
We, as humans, are tasked with the responsibility of protecting our natural resources. This article has highlighted the importance of pollinators, why there is a rapid decline, and how we can make simple, small changes today that will make a difference tomorrow. Use our tips and suggestions on creating a bee haven in your garden today, and educate others on how they can protect our bees and other pollinators. Be the change.
When is ‘world bee day’?
World bee day is Friday, 20th May 2022.
How do you celebrate World Bee Day?
Plant a couple of bee-friendly plants in your garden and see how many different bee species you can count.
How many bee species are there in the UK?
There are over 270 different bee species in the UK and 20,000 worldwide
Gareth is the owner of Plantsman Media. Gareth lives in the North East of England and is obsessed with flowers. He has just started RHS level 2 certification.