World Bee Day: why bees are important for our ecosystem
On the 20th of May we celebrate bees and their importance in the Earth's ecosystem.
They are part of the heterogeneous group of pollinators and have been placed on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List as their presence and diversity (and abundance for some species) are declined at local and regional scales. In particular, 16.5% of vertebrate pollinators are threatened with extinction globally.
But why are pollinators such as bees so important? They play an essential role in food production: more than 75% of the world's major food crops depend on pollination. There are over 240 crops in the world, including many fruits, that need pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, to survive. Moreover, the economic value of pollination to global food production is estimated at between $235 and $577 billion per year for farmers alone. By ensuring stable production, pollination helps to keep prices down for consumers.
This World Bee Day aims to raise awareness of their plight. Indeed, land use change, due to agricultural intensification and urban sprawl, is one of the factors leading to the loss of pollinators, a phenomenon that is particularly relevant when areas that are essential for the feeding and reproduction of these animals disappear or are degraded.
The abundance, diversity and health of pollinators are also threatened by other factors, including climate change, invasive species and emerging diseases and pathogens.
Appropriate local, national and global actions are therefore essential to mitigate these threats.
New studies have shown that neonicotinoid insecticides seriously threaten not only bees, but also bumblebees, butterflies, aquatic insects and even birds, with possible repercussions throughout the food chain. For this reason, many countries have suspended the use of neonicotinoids and the first to do so were Germany, France, Italy (2008) and Slovenia.
Maybe you didn't know it, but bees can become a great ally in fighting plastic use and pollution. In fact, with their wax, among other things, cloths can be made to preserve food products. At Kauri Store you can find beeswax cloths by Little Bee Fresh, a company founded in 2017, and produced with a very strong focus on sustainability, high quality organic raw materials and a fair supply chain.
Be part of the change by choosing alternatives to traditional, more polluting materials! It is only together that we can see results on a global level.
UNESCO, "World Bee Day"
Little Bee Fresh, "Unsere Philosophie"
Photo source: the United Nations World Bee Day | United Nations