Established in 2018 by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the World Day of Bees, which is celebrated on May 20, offers us an enormous opportunity for reflection on one of the great problems of our time that is too often underestimated: their gradual disappearance.
This aim is achieved by putting the spotlight on the importance that these insects, together with other pollinators, have in the ecosystem and in our food systems..
Pollinators (for example bees, wasps, butterflies, hummingbirds, beetles, bats) are animals that, thanks to their movement, are able to favor plant reproduction and soil fertilization.
Some of them, in particular bees, passing from one flower to another with their paws dirty with pollen, carry out pollination, that is the mechanism by which the plants reproduce, thus helping the plants to reproduce faster.
Furthermore, they suck the nectar of the flowers which then lead to the hive, where other specialized bees called "worker bees" transform it into the excellent honey that we also use.
In recent decades, however, we have witnessed a slow and gradual decrease in pollinators, mainly bees and it has been seen that this phenomenon depends on two main factors: climate change (with prolonged periods of drought alternating with extreme events and sudden changes in temperature ) and pollution from pesticides and herbicides.
Over 90% of flowering plants need pollinators to reproduce and their variety represents the biological diversity that underlies our food systems. With fewer pollinators, ecosystems will tend to have less and less biological diversity with a strong reduction of animal and plant species and this would also imply a reduction in our food variety.
In such a future, many basic foods for our nutrition could be at risk such as apples, peaches, tomatoes, courgettes, chestnuts, almonds or products such as milk and coffee.
Therefore, World Bee Day aims to draw the attention of the world population to the protection of bees and other pollinators by creating an opportunity for experts to define actions and activities aimed at safeguarding their survival.