The United Nations has declared 20 May 2018 to become World Bee Day, adopting a resolution proposed by Slovenia and supported by all EU member states, which aims to raise awareness of the insects’ importance and warn about their dwindling numbers.
The decision to introduce a World Bee Day was taken at the UN general assembly in New York on Wednesday (20 December 2017).
The resolution’s 155 co-sponsors, which include the EU, the US, China and Russia, agreed to observe World Bee Day “through education and activities aimed at raising awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators, the threats that they face and their contribution to sustainable development”.
Bees and other pollinators are vital to the global food chain. Not only do they ensure food security but they also provide an economic service worth up to $577bn, according to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
The insects are a key part of many ecosystems and therefore a good indicator of ecosystem health.
Pollinators have declined by up to three-quarters in Europe over the last 30 years. While the exact cause is unclear, many scientists point to the rise in neonicotinoid pesticides as a major contributing factor.
Abstract taken from EU unanimously backs UN World Bee Day