World Bee Day: How to 'Bee' Friendly

by Nicole Figura

World Bee Day: How to 'Bee' Friendly

What is World Bee Day?

On May 20th of every year, World Bee Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face, and their contribution to sustainable development in hopes of improving their conditions for survival so they may thrive. 

(Photo source: NordWood Themes

Why are Bees Important? 

Honeybees are pollinators, and pollinators increase crop yield by as much as 300%! They have tremendous agricultural benefits, helping nearly 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species and contributing $2 billion to food production in Canada every year. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity.

Why Do Bees Need Our Help?

Over the past decade, we have seen a decrease of 30% on bee population which impacts ecosystems and food supply on community, national, and global levels.

This is mainly due to human impacts, such as monocultures, use of pesticides, habitat loss due to developments, climate change (which disrupts nesting behaviour and alters blooming of flowers), and air pollution (which disrupts scent trails). On top of that, they also face the threat of invasive species (such as the Asian hornet), parasites, and diseases. 

(Photo source: Life Time

What Can You Do to Help the Bees? 

Small acts can help save our small buy mighty creatures! Practice urban-keeping aka building greater diversity of pollinator habitats in agricultural and urban settings by doing the following:

  • Start a small garden in your backyard 
  • Have flower window boxes
  • Make a bee bath (shallow dish of water)
  • Avoid using insecticides
  • Educate yourself on bees! 

As you go about the rest of your day, don't forget to 'bee' friendly — towards insects/animals and humans alike :)

Sources:

United Nations

Genome Canada

Gordon Food Service

World Wide Fund for Nature 

The Bee Conservancy