World Bee Day
Pollinators allow many plants, including many food crops, to reproduce. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity – a cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals.
To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN has designated the 20th of May as World Bee Day.
20th May coincides with the birthday of Anton Janša, who in the 18th century pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in his native Slovenia and praised the bees for their ability to work so hard, while needing so little attention.
The incredible secret life of London’s bees – BBC
With enormous open spaces available, London’s bee population is thriving, discovering innovative and new ways to adapt to city living.
More than a billion people around the world commute into cities each day, and they are not alone. The world’s wildlife is commuting too. A steady flow of animals journey in and out of cities to find food and shelter or to start a family. Leaving the wilderness they must overcome the unique challenges that the urban world throws at them to benefit from the opportunities on offer.
This episode explores whether the secret to an animal’s success in this fast-changing world is to keep one foot in the wild and one in the city, becoming a wild commuter.
This year, World Bee Day focused on bee production and good practices adopted by beekeepers to support their livelihoods and deliver good quality products.
To mark the day, a virtual event – under the theme “Bee Engaged” – highlighted the importance of traditional knowledge related to beekeeping, the use of bee-derived products and services, and their importance in achieving the SDGs. If you missed it, you can watch it here!
To celebrate #WorldBeeDay, renowned actors, singers, chefs and media professionals also recorded poems related to bees and beekeeping, some recalling how the behaviour of bees so often mirrors that of human beings across our planet. Listen to the poems now and bee inspired.
We have a whole host of resources available to download that you can use to help celebrate World Bee Day on 20th May. Click here to see all of our World Bee Day resources. Below is just a hand picked selection of resources to help get you started.
How can we do more?
- planting a diverse set of plants, which flower at different times of the year;
- buying raw honey from local farmers;
- buying products from sustainable sources;
- protecting wild bee colonies when possible;
- sponsoring a hive;
- making a bee water fountain by leaving a water bowl outside;
- helping sustaining forest ecosystems;
- raising awareness around us by sharing this information within our communities and networks
3 World Bee Day Activity Ideas to Inspire Your Kids
1. Take the Sting Out of Perceptions
While Apiphobia, the irrational fear of bees, is not very common, many people do have an aversion to bees because they think they will get stung when in close proximity. This fear has an overall negative impact on the call to action needed to preserve this beneficial bug.
Whether for your class or household, hold an outdoor lesson on the next beautiful day in a setting where a bee or two may be buzzing about. Grab books from your local library and/or download content to your tablet’s beforehand so that you have the resources you need to read aloud to your kids. Begin by metaphorically ‘removing the stinger‘, letting them know that in fact, it’s only female bees that can sting, which right away disqualifies half of the bee population from posing a “threat”.
Follow up with a note about how there are approximately 500 species that are actually stingless bees, and once again the potential is reduced even further. Long story short, the truth is that most bees won’t sting, and it’s just “bad press” that got this fear going in the first place.
2. Visit an Apiary
A visit to a local apiary will provide your children with an expert-guided tour and insightful look at how bees are cared for and ultimately do the good work that they do. Bee farms and apiaries will also often offer attendees the opportunity to pick up honey bee products.
3. Start a Pollinator Garden
A fun way to learn about bees while directly helping to save them is to build a sustainable home where they will thrive. View our 5-step guide to starting a pollinator garden. Concerned about having enough green space to make that happen? David Suzuki recently stated that cities are the key to reversing bee decline, with the introduction of pollinator gardens in city centres being instrumental in the process.
A rather interesting read that may provide some good comprehension work in the classroom is this article from BBC Earth, which discusses “the truth about Bees” and their perceived reputation vs the actual reality of the situation. This article can be found here, and even includes links to a very well researched site which denotes the varying species of bee and how they fall in the predator-prey tree.
Have a Great Day!
We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration for teaching about Bee Day.
If you have any great teaching ideas for this topic, feel free to comment below (they might even get added to the topic calendar!)