What is World Bee Day?
The main purpose of World Bee Day events is to spread awareness of the significance of bees and other pollinators for our survival. World Bee Day is an excellent opportunity to put bees at the centre of the national conversation for a day and encourage actions that create more bee-friendly landscapes.
Beekeepers and nature conservationists are united in encouraging improved conditions for bees to build pollination security to safeguard our food security and environmental biodiversity.
Why do we need bees?
Bees – honey bees and the thousands of species of native bees – are important to our livelihood as they help to pollinate most of the crops we eat and many that feed farm animals. Nearly two-thirds of Australia’s agricultural production benefits from bee pollination.
Bee populations, particularly native bees, are under threat. Destruction of their natural habitat, intensive farming practices, and pests and diseases are just some of the complex reasons driving a decline in both the number and diversity of bees.
Without bees, our food security is at risk.
Bees & biodiversity
There are over 20,000 species of bee that exist globally and Australia is home to around 2,500 species of native bee. Native bees have co-evolved with our unique native flora over thousands of years.
Some species of plant can only be pollinated by a particular species of bee. In the absence of pollination, the plant species cannot reproduce so if that bee species dies, so too will the plant.
Without bees, biodiversity is at risk.
Bees are keystone species that play a vital role in preserving ecosystem health. Bees provide essential pollination services for plants.
Maintaining plant diversity supports other essential ecosystem services including helping to regulate climate, purify air and water, build soil and recycle nutrients.
Without bees, ecosystems are at risk.
Why do we need bees?
The purpose of World Bee Day Australia (worldbeeday.org.au), in partnership with The Wheen Bee Foundation (wheenbeefoundation.org.au), is to present the initiative and its implementation, raise awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping, and inform the public of major beekeeping events around the nation that celebrate World Bee Day.
There’s lots on for World Bee Day, so visit https://www.worldbeeday.org.au/explore/ for some great events, including a webinar about the Wheen Bee Foundation Powerful Pollinators project; a critically-acclaimed film, ‘The Bees of Grand Staircase Escalante’; participating Farmers Markets; and the Global Waggle Dance!
Bees on film
At a time when we need to learn all we can about bees to protect them, the lands where they are most abundant are suddenly being threatened. The Bees of Grand Staircase-Escalante is a research and documentary film project that follows two of North America’s most prominent bee researchers as they return to their back-country stomping grounds in southern Utah. Twenty years ago, they showed us this incredible hot spot for bee diversity. Now, they follow up on that work as the protections for these lands are being stripped away.
Pollinators are an essential component of agricultural production and of healthy, biodiverse landscapes. Protecting and enhancing pollinator resources on farms will help support a diverse range of pollinators. This webinar will provide an introduction to encouraging insect pollinators on farms, including a guide to choosing plants that will support diverse pollinators throughout the year.
We Need Bees
Participating Farmers Markets are celebrating World Bee Day to recognise the importance of bees and pollination for agriculture and our local food supply. See if there’s a participating market near you, and if not, encourage your local market to get on board for the bees.
Waggle Dance for World Bee Day
Bees communicate in the hive using a waggle dance to tell other bees where to find pollen, nectar and water to drink. Spread your wings to share the importance of bees by doing a human waggle dance! The aim is to have over 20,000 participants, equal to the number of bee species on planet Earth. Encourage friends, family and even your school to be involved. Dress up in your best bee costume, practice your dance steps, and upload your waggle dance for World Bee Day.