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'Bee' the change

‘Bee’ the change

Today, 20th May is World Bee Day (WBD). Yes, we can give thanks to these amazing creatures who contribute so much to our existence; to sustainability, and to our food security on this planet by being supported to do what they do best, without the destructive impact of pesticides, intensive agri-systems, and the escalating demands we make on our environment as relentless consumers of finite resources. However, on this day we can also reflect on how we can ‘Bee’ the change!

On 20 December 2017, following three years of efforts at the international level, the UN Member States unanimously approved a proposal by Slovenia to proclaim 20 May as World Bee Day.

Slovenia is a nation of beekeepers, and beekeeping enjoys a status equal to that of other types of agricultural activity. The significance of bees and ensuring their well-being is well understood. In 2011, Slovenia was one of the first EU countries to prohibit the use of certain pesticides harmful to bees in its territory. In 2014, Slovenia launched the initiative to declare World Bee Day with full support of their Government.

Why May?

In May, the northern hemisphere sees bees and nature develop profusely, while the southern hemisphere enters autumn, when hive products are harvested and the season of honey and honey-based products begins.  In addition, 20 May is the birth date of Anton Janša (1734–1773), a Slovenian beekeeper, the pioneer of modern beekeeping and one of the greatest authorities on the subject of bees.

The purpose of World Bee Day is to raise awareness of the essential role bees and other pollinators play in keeping people and the planet healthy. It provides an opportunity for governments, organisations, civil society and concerned citizens everywhere to promote actions that will protect and enhance pollinators and their habitats, improve their abundance and diversity, and support the sustainable development of beekeeping.

Food security

Bees are keystone species, playing a vital role as pollinators.

Global population forecasts predict that we will have close to one third more people in the next 30 years. To feed this growing population and secure the well-being of humankind, we need to ensure food is available, accessible, diverse, balanced and of good quality.

Pollination is crucial to achieving food security as three out of four crops across the globe producing fruits or seeds for human consumptions as food depend, at least in part, on pollinators. Pollinators affect 35 percent of global agricultural land, supporting the production of 87 of the leading food crops worldwide.

Let us use this day to reflect on our relationship with all life that sustains our existence and our creative role as ‘caretakers of our   common home’.

O Creator of the heavens and the earth
and of all things, the little with the great,
remember us who are your creation
as we are mindful of your little creatures, the bees,
in name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

You can also find a ‘one-stop shop’ for a lot of information about Bees on our Facebook Page  Welfare of Bees | Facebook

To access the full information used in this News Post see About World Bee Day

See also  A Season of Creation – Presentation Sisters Union North East Ireland (presentationsistersne.ie)

And Laudato Si: solidarity with creation – Presentation Sisters Union North East Ireland (presentationsistersne.ie)

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