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World Bee Day

Bees play a crucial role in keeping our ecosystem healthy and providing us food. While most of us know this to some extent, today we want to take a minute to celebrate everything bees do for us and learn what we can do for them!

On 20th of May we celebrate World Bee Day! A special day already in itself as it is also the birthday of one of the co-founders of EcoSisTeam. She shares this birthday with a very important man: Anton Janša, the pioneer of beekeeping. Anton was born in 1734 in present-day Slovenia and later moved to Vienna were he became the first royally appointed teacher of apiculture (bee-keeping) and kept the bees in the imperial gardens.

Now that we know who we have to thank for celebrating World Bee Day on the 20th of May, we should look at why. Bees are among the biggest group of pollinators and it is thanks to them that we not only get to enjoy beautiful flowers blooming but most importantly they are necessary for the growth of about 75% (!) of our crops. Flowers provide bees with the necessary nectar and pollen. The nectar is used as a source of energy and finally turns into honey and the pollen provides the bees with protein and nutrients. While collecting nectar and pollen from various flowers, bees automatically transfer the pollen between plants which leads to fertilization. It has been estimated that worldwide pollination services are worth around 3 trillion euros, that is 12 zeros after the 3! Talking about an under-valued service. It should now become clear how essential bees are for our ecological survival and our biodiversity. Indirectly through pollination - and without bees even knowing it - they play a tremendous role in our food security! A direct product from bees for the food sector is of course honey. Other products are commonly used in the cosmetic or pharmaceutical and medical sectors.

Due to habitat loss, climate change and use of pesticides bees have a hard time getting the necessary pollen and nectar to survive. This directly negatively impacts our bio-diversity and food security. Today, 40% of invertebrate pollinator species, particularly bees and also butterflies, face extinction! This is why it is so important that we take action to support bees to do the work they do for us. Here are three things that you can do right away:

  1. Plant flowers in your garden;

  2. Buy some local honey and support local beekeepers in taking care of bees;

  3. Spread the word and let everyone know how important bees are.

Book tip - The History of Bees, by Maja Lunde:

A beautiful novel on bee-keeping following three families in different countries (England, United States, China) across three eras (1852, 2007, 2098). All of them work in beekeeping and each have their own challenges to face. The novel beautifully writes about the history of beekeeping, the threats such as the colony collapse disorder which present-day beekeepers have to face and the bleak future if we do not take action today to take care of our bees like they take care of us.

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