On the 20th December the United Nations General Assembly declared 20 May a World Bee Day. The resolution, co-sponsored by 115 UN Member States (including the USA, Canada, China, the Russian Federation, India, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and all the European Union Member States), was adopted to ensure that every year on this day the worlds ‘attention should be drawn to the importance of preserving bees and other pollinators’.
In a press release from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food of Slovenia, Dejan Židan, head of the World Bee Day project and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, says the country proposed the proclamation of World Bee Day to the UN in response to an initiative of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association and “after three years of efforts both in terms of the official procedures at the UN and with regard to the intensive process of informing countries around the world, we have succeeded with this initiative. Bees and other pollinators finally have the place they deserve in view of their importance for the world and for humanity. The proclamation of World Bee Day proves that the will to take action does exist. I am happy that realization of the importance of bees for sustainable development and the future of humanity in general has reflected in the consensual support to the resolution.”
Mr Zidan importantly highlights “This is just the beginning of the difficult process of the protection of bees and other pollinators. In order to be successful, we must bring on board the governments of all countries, the business community and civil society. Awareness of the vital importance of saving the bees must reach every individual. And we must do more than just talk – we must undertake concrete activities to increase care for bees and promote the development of beekeeping – everywhere, including in developing countries.”
With every 200th inhabitant in Slovenia being a beekeeper, they have one of the highest number of beekeepers per capita in the world. Beekeeping for many is a life long tradition. Slovenia too, is the only country in the European Union to introduce legal protection for bees, and it was one of the first countries in 2011 to ban the use of certain pesticides harmful to bees.
A model bee-centric country. Thank you Slovenia for taking the lead for our bees.