“Urgent and wide-ranging efforts are needed to protect bees across wild, agricultural and urban habitats,” said the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Muhammed in her message on World Bee Day commemorated every 20 May.
The Deputy Secretary General observed that the decline and disappearance of bees and wild insects would have drastic consequences for global ecosystems and human well-being. “Bees are clearly crucial for our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Yet populations of bees and other pollinators have decreased significantly. Intensive agriculture and pesticide use are placing bees in ever greater danger. Bees are being exposed to new diseases and pests.” She explained, “Our non-governmental organizations, as well as beekeepers’ associations, research organizations and academia, have a key role to play.
Drawing a parallel with UN field staff, the Deputy Secretary General acknowledged that bees were among the hardest working creatures on the planet. “I would say, much like our UN staff we have in the field, peacekeeping and humanitarian.” She noted.
Muhammed therefore called on everyone to work together to ensure that these hard-working creatures could thrive so that the ecosystems and humans that depend on them could do the same—today and for future generations.
To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the United Nations designated 20 May as World Bee Day. 20 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.