The observance of World Bee Day worldwide has many objectives:
- To draw the attention of the world’s public and political decision-makers to the importance of protecting bees;
- To remind us that we depend on bees and other pollinators;
- To protect bees and other pollinators, which would significantly contribute to solving problems related to the global food supply and eliminate hunger in developing countries;
- To halt the further loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems, and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The biggest threats
The absence of an appropriate habitat for bees could lead to a continuous decline in pollination. Mono-cropping, pesticides and higher temperatures associated with climate change all pose problems for bee populations and, by extension, the quality of food we grow. Declining pollination also poses an immediate threat to nutrition. If this trend continues, nutritious crops such as fruits, nuts, and many vegetable crops will be substituted increasingly by staple crops like rice, corn, and potatoes, eventually resulting in an imbalanced diet.
How can we do more?
The following successful approaches for decision-makers should include:
- Pollinator-friendly pesticide policies;
- Conservation and enhancement of pollinator habitats;
- Valuation, incentives, and payments for ecosystem services;
- Participation, knowledge-sharing, and empowerment of rural and indigenous peoples and local communities;
- Collaborative research and outreach;
- Public awareness raising and knowledge sharing.
Protection measures for farmers and governments
Recommended practices for farmers to create a good habitat for bees to ensure pollination include:
- leaving some areas under natural habitat;
- creating hedgerows;
- reducing or changing the usage of pesticides;
- leaving nesting sites; and
- planting attractive crops around the field.
On a policy level, a more diverse agriculture and less dependency on toxic chemicals to facilitate an increase in pollination, leading to improved food quality and a surge in food quantity are encouraged.