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, which 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.

The date for this observance was chosen as it was the day Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern apiculture, was born. Janša came from a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long-standing tradition.

The proposal set forth by the Republic of Slovenia, with the support of Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations and FAO, to celebrate World Bee Day on 20 May each year met with approval by the United Nations General Assembly in 2017.

World Bee Day intends to shine a light on the habitat of pollinators to improve the conditions for their survival so that bees and other pollinators may thrive.

Some Importances of Pollinators  

Animals pollinate approximately 75 percent of the crop plants grown worldwide for food, fiber, beverages, condiments, spices, and medicines. Pollination and pollinators are vital to ecosystems and the sustenance of food chains.
Let us take a look at these few direct importances:

Food    

Many foods that humans depend on, such as melons, almonds, pears, apples, peppers, coffee and soybeans are all from plants that depend on bees for pollination. Think about what will happen if bee populations fall. Many other plants that are food for animals depend on pollination. Pollinators are responsible for the survival of 30% of the human food supply and 90% of our wild plants.

Ecosystem balance   

In the study of food chains and food webs, we understand that a shortage or absence of one part of it can have serious consequences on entire food chains. Since all food chains begin with producers (green plants) it is vital that green plants retain their processes of reproduction. This means it is key for pollinators and plants to interact to keep the food chain intact.

Quality of production   

Pollinators help with cross pollination, ensuring that good quality fertilization occurs and viable seeds produced. Pollinators ensure the health of plant communities.

Indirect Importance   

Healthy plants that reproduce naturally play a key role in climate control, soil control as well as helps keep fresh waters clean.
 

Habitat Loss Means No Flower, No Bee, No Food And No future

Top Threats to Pollinators   

Bees and other insect pollinators are beset by the same environmental challenges as other species, including habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation; non-native species and diseases; pollution, including pesticides; and climate change.

Habitat Loss and Degradation  

Much pollinator habitat has been lost to agriculture, resource extraction, and urban and suburban development. Although these land uses can provide floral resources and benefit some pollinators, many bees and butterflies are habitat-specific, and the loss of habitat that provides sites for overwintering, foraging for pollen and nectar, or nesting can be detrimental to these species.
Habitat degradation, the decline in habitat quality, is another serious concern. For example, the loose, friable soil required by ground-nesting bees may be trampled by heavy foot traffic or the use of off-road vehicles.

Non-native Species   

Plants or animals brought here from other places can decrease the quality of pollinator habitat. When non-native shrubs such as autumn olive and multi-flora rose take over open fields, they crowd out the wildflowers needed by certain butterfly and bee species for pollen, nectar, or larval food.

Pollution  

Air pollution is a very real problem for bees and other pollinators that rely on scent trails to find flowers. Light pollution can harm moth pollinators by increasing their susceptibility to predation by bats or birds when they are attracted to artificial lights at night.

Climate Change   

Studies predict that climate change will alter the close relationship between insect pollinators and the plants that depend upon them for reproduction. Flowering plants migrating north or to cooler, higher elevation habitat in response to warming temperatures or other changes may not move in sync with their pollinators. The composition of pollinator communities is expected to change. According to the Xerces Society, anecdotal observations have found that bumble bees adapted to cooler temperatures are in decline, while bumble bees adapted to warmer temperatures are expanding their ranges northward. What effect this will have on local plants is unknown.

How to help bees?  

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.

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