Slovenia 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, thus proclaiming 20 May as World Bee Day.
In Skaza, where our mission is based on preserving the planet, we want to draw attention to the importance of bees for our survival. We decided to contribute to the conservation of bees and other pollinators in collaboration with a local beekeeper, Peter Bricman. We want to make the general public and every individual aware that, to the best of their ability, they can help improve the conditions for the survival of bees and thus the survival of humans.
No life without bees
In addition to being one of the major pollinators, thus ensuring food and food security, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity, bees significantly contribute to the mitigation of climate change and environmental conservation. 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. Scientific studies have proven that bees have become increasingly endangered. It is only through joint efforts that we can ensure the protection of bees and their habitats.
Peter Bricman, a beekeeper from the Ravne-Šoštanj beekeeping family, has been engaged in beekeeping for ten years. He tells us that a person can survive without bees for about seven years and highlights a challenge that everyone should face: “With intensive agriculture, bees have been affected in recent years because there are fewer and fewer honey plants. Meadows are fertilized for better growth, thus destroying flowering plants. Undergrowth for certain honey plants is being exterminated, forests are being exterminated, and large-scale environmental interventions have taken place in the Šaleška valley with industry. There is a shortage of food for bees from year to year.” He emphasizes that a substitute is urgently needed if we want to preserve bees and, consequently, our planet.
In order to be able to feed the world’s growing population, we need ever more food, which must be diverse, balanced and of good quality to ensure the progress and well-being of humankind.
Bees are renowned for their role in providing high-quality food (honey, royal jelly and pollen) and other products used in healthcare and other sectors (beeswax, propolis, honey bee venom). But the work of bees entails much more!
The greatest contribution of bees and other pollinators is the pollination of nearly three-quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food. A third of the world’s food production depends on bees, i.e. every third spoonful of food depends on pollination.
Every individual can contribute to the preservation of bees and other pollinators:
- Plant nectar-bearing flowers for decorative purposes on balconies, terraces, and gardens. When planting, we use a compost base, which is produced with a Bokashi Organko. When top-dressing, we use natural fertilizer, a fermentation liquid produced by the Bokashi Organko.
- Buy honey and other hive products from your nearest local beekeeper.
- Raise awareness among children and adolescents on the importance of bees and express your support for beekeepers.
- Let’s make hotels for bees and wild pollinators.
- Use pesticides that do not harm bees, and spray them in windless weather, either early in the morning or late at night, when bees withdraw from blossoms.
Biodiversity and environmental protection
Bees are vital for the preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity in nature. They provide one of the most recognizable ecosystem services, i.e. pollination, which is what makes food production possible. By doing so, they protect and maintain ecosystems as well as animal and plant species, and contribute to genetic and biotic diversity.
Bees also act as indicators of the state of the environment. Their presence, absence or quantity tells us when something is happening with the environment and that appropriate action is needed. By observing the development and health of bees, it is possible to ascertain changes in the environment and implement the necessary precautionary measures in time.
Bricman concludes our conversation as follows: “I am glad that your company is committed to preserving the environment. I see that you are working hard to develop natural bio-based materials and that you are using recyclables. Really commendable. Many companies should follow your example."
We are happy to support the local environment through socially responsible actions.