Kenya joins the world in marking World Bee Day

The World Bee Day is observed annually on 20 May across the globe.

The day is marked to raise awareness on the essential role bees and other pollinators play in keeping people and the planet healthy, and on the many challenges they face today.

The date for this observance was chosen as it was the day Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern apiculture, was born. Janša came from a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long-standing tradition.

Read here the–> World Bee Day-UN General Assembly Declaration

This year, World Bee Day is being celebrated under the theme – ‘Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems’.

The day which is organised by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is being observed through a virtual event this year.

According to the official website, the event will focus on highlighting the importance of bees and sustainable beekeeping systems. It will also draw attention towards the various threats and challenges these pollinators face, while focusing on their contribution to livelihoods and food chain systems.

The event, which features bee and pollination experts from all over the globe, is scheduled to start with a video message by  FAO Director-General QU Dongyu.

In Kenya, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry Keriako Tobiko says as pollinators, bees play a part in every aspect of the ecosystem as they support the growth of trees, flowers, and other plants, which serve as food and shelter for creatures large and small.

He also noted that bees contribute to complex, interconnected ecosystems that allow a diverse number of different species to co-exist contributing to food security and nutrition, promoting sustainability and adaptation to climate change.

According to FAO, bees, pollinators, and many other insects are today declining in abundance.

“This day provides an opportunity for all of us – whether we work for governments, organizations or civil society or are concerned citizens – to promote actions that will protect and enhance pollinators and their habitats, improve their abundance and diversity, and support the sustainable development of beekeeping,” said FAO.

Timeline leading to World Bee Day
20 May 1734 – Breznica, Slovenia Birth of Anton Janša, who came from a long line of beekeepers, became a pioneer of modern apiculture. Bees were a frequent topic of conversation with neighbouring farmers, who would gather at the village and discuss farming and bee-keeping practices.

1766 – Anton enrolled in the first bee-keeping school in Europe.

1769 – Janša worked fulltime as a beekeeper.

1771 – Published the book Discussion on Bee-keeping in German.

2016 – At the FAO Regional Conference for Europe, the Republic of Slovenia proposed World Bee Day to be celebrated on 20 May each year, with the support of Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Association.

2017 – Proposal for World Bee Day was submitted for consideration at the 40th Session of FAO Conference.

2017 – UN General Assembly unanimously proclaimed 20 May as World Bee Day.

20 May 2018 – First Observance of World Bee Day.

Additional Information FAO, FirstPost 

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