The value of bees
Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities.
Pollinators allow many plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity - a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals. They also serve as sentinels for emergent environmental risks, signaling the health of local ecosystems.
Invasive insects, pesticides, land-use change and monocropping practices may reduce available nutrients and pose threats to bee colonies.
To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day.
Why this date?
20 May coincides 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.
2019 Celebration of World Bee Day
In order to further raise awareness of the importance of bees and to strengthen collaboration among stakeholders, the FAO and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Slovenia will jointly organize an event in observance of World Bee Day with a keynote address by Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed:
United Nations Headquarters
Trusteeship Council Chamber
20 May 2019, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Pollinators: our allies against climate change
Why Do We Mark International Days?
International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. More information available here.