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Slovenia proposed that the United Nations (UN) proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day. On 20 December 2017, following three years of international efforts, the UN Member States unanimously approved Slovenia’s proposal and 20 May was proclaimed World Bee Day.

There is no life without bees

Bees are some of the most important pollinators, ensuring food and food security, sustainable agriculture, and biodiversity, and they significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change and the conservation of the environment. In the long-term, the protection of bees and the beekeeping sector can help reduce poverty and hunger, as well as preserve a healthy environment and biodiversity.

Bees are also important in terms of sustainable agriculture and creating rural jobs. By pollinating, they increase agricultural production, thus maintaining diversity and variety in our fields and on our plates. In addition, they provide millions of people with jobs and are an important source of farmers' income.

Nevertheless, scientific studies show that there are more and more negative effects on the health of bees, which makes them increasingly endangered. This, in turn, requires us to take extra care of their survival, as harmful factors cause a decline in the resistance of bees, which affects their susceptibility to diseases, pests and the like. In addition, this is also problematic in terms of the protection and preservation of the environment, as bees foster biodiversity in nature and have a positive impact on the entire ecosystem and are a good indicator of the state of the environment. As a result, in 2011 Slovenia became one of the first countries in the EU to prohibit the use of certain pesticides most harmful to bees.

"To talk about reducing world hunger without ensuring conditions for the existence of bees and other pollinators is to pull the wool over people's eyes. It is time for everyone to listen to bees, in particular leaders and decision-makers. From now on, 20 May will be a worldwide celebration of bees and beekeepers. I believe that with the proclamation of World Bee Day, the world will begin to think more broadly about bees, in particular in the context of ensuring the conditions for their survival, and thus for the survival of the human race", said Boštjan Noč, initiator of World Bee Day and president of the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association.

Bee in flight beside flower

Bees are some of the most important pollinators, providing food and food security. | Author Slovenian Beekeepers' Association