It was Slovenia who first proposed that the United Nations (UN) proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day. On 20 December 2017, following three years of efforts at the international level, the UN Member States unanimously approved Slovenia’s proposal.
World Bee Day is now in it’s fourth year and is to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development.
Pollination is essential to our ecosystems and contributes directly to our food security. Bees are not alone in this mission and other pollinators include butterflies, bats and hummingbirds. All of which are under threat from human activities.
Getting back to the Bees, did you know that they dance? They use a ‘waggle’ dance to communicate and make decisions together. When looking for a new nest, a bee will use this motion to communicate to other bees the merits of a site. The longer and harder that the bee dances, is an indication the better the site. If another bee agrees they will start to dance too. Once around 20-30 bees are in agreement they will communicate to the swarm by vibrating their wings and making a high-pitched sound.
Bumblebees also get hangry! When they are unable to source the pollen that they need, they have been know to damage tomato and mustard plant leaves. This isn’t a pointless temper tantrum though as scientists have found that this can result in the plant flowering up to 30 days earlier than normal.
Here are just 2 ways of many in which we can help save Bees:
Bees live for the hive, and once they are mature enough to fly away to forage they do all they can to collect pollen. By planting the right kinds of plants, you can attract bees to your garden or window box. These include Lavender, Marjoram, Honeysuckle, Penstemons and Snapdragons.
A simple solution of sugar and water helps revive tired and exhausted bees. To create this energy drink for bees to revive tired bees, the RSPB suggests mixing two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water. Then place the sugar/water mix on a plate or spoon. Please do not add any more water otherwise the bee could drown. Next place the bee on the plate or spoon, where it will have a little drink, hopefully helping it to gather the energy it needs to fly back to its hive.