The United Nations(UN)’s World Bee Day is annually observed across the globe on 20th May to raise awareness of the essential role bees and other pollinators play in keeping people and the planet healthy.
The theme of World Bee Day 2022 is ‘Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems’.
i.At the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO) Regional Conference for Europe(2016), The Republic of Slovenia proposed to celebrate the 20th May of every year as World Bee Day.
ii.In 2017, the Proposal for World Bee Day was submitted for consideration at the 40th Session of the FAO Conference.
iii.The United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/72/211 on 20th December 2017 and proclaimed the 20th May of every year as World Bee Day.
iv.The first ever World Bee Day was observed on 20th May 2018.
Why May 20?
The date 20th May coincides with the birth anniversary of Anton Janša a pioneer of modern apiculture. Anton Janša born in Slovenia pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in the 18th century.
Importance of bees and pollinators:
i.Bees and other pollinators, like butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are under threat from human activities.
ii.Pollinators play a major role in the reproduction process of several plants including food crops.
iii.The production of food such as fruits and vegetables directly relies on pollinators.
iv.The pollinators also contribute to medicines, biofuels, fibres like cotton and linen, and construction materials.
v.The pollinators also affect around 35% of global agricultural land.
Significance of bees:
i.Most of the 25,000 to 30,000 species of bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) are effective pollinators.
ii.Along with moths, flies, wasps, beetles, and butterflies, bees make up the majority of pollinating species.
SDGs and Bees:
The bees and pollinators play a major role in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) such as ending world hunger, preserving and restoring terrestrial ecosystems and others.
Observance in India:
Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare (MoA&FW) participated in the event organised by MoA&FW to celebrate World Bee Day at Tent City -II, Ekta Nagar, Narmada, Gujarat.
- The Ministry aims to promote beekeeping for the benefit of small farmers of India and to popularise beekeeping across India.
National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM):
National Beekeeping & Honey Mission (NBHM) under AatmaNirbhar Bharat is implemented through the National Bee Board for the overall promotion of scientific beekeeping and entrepreneurship among small & marginal farmers, infrastructure development for postharvest management and support for research & development and to achieve the goal of “Sweet Revolution”, popularly known as ‘beekeeping’.
- Sweet Revolution is an initiative of the Government of India to accelerate the production of quality honey and other related products.