On May 20, the world will celebrate bees, one of the insects that most actively contributes to the global population's food security and nutrition, as 75% of the world's crops depend on pollinators like them.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “some pollinators, such as bees, birds, and bats affect 35% of the world's agricultural production, having an influence on the production of 87 of the world's main food crops and of many medicines derived from plants. 75% of the worldwide crops that produce fruit or seeds to feed humans depend, at least in part, on pollinators.”
To recognize the importance and responsibility of bees in this process, the United Nations General Assembly decided in 2018 that World Bee Day would be celebrated every May 20, coinciding with the birth of Anton Janša, a Slovenian pioneer of modern beekeeping. "This annual celebration raises awareness about the essential role that bees and other pollinators play in maintaining the health of people and the planet, as well as the many challenges they face today," the FAO stated.
“Currently, the number of bees, pollinators, and many other insects is decreasing. This day is an opportunity for all governments, organizations, civil society, and interested parties to promote actions that protect and help pollinators and their habitats, increase their abundance, maintain their diversity, and support beekeepers and the sustainable development of the apiarian sector. Bees and beekeeping play an important role in the environment and agricultural production, in supporting rural livelihoods, creating decent rural jobs, and improving food security and nutrition," the organization stressed.
The pandemic caused by Covid-19 has also had repercussions in the beekeeping sector, affecting production, the market, and the livelihoods of beekeepers; as a result, the FAO has planned a complete program for May 20 to study the role of beekeeping in supporting rural communities and improving food and nutritional security in this difficult situation.