World Bee Day: Raising Awareness for the Future of Bees
As bees across the world emerge from their winter dormancy, they begin their active season of expanding their colonies and collecting nectar while efficiently pollinating flowers, crops and more. Springtime is a very busy time of year for bees!
This means it’s an important time of year for all of us because this is when bees are out in the world, pollinating. Did you know that 90% of the world’s plant species rely on pollinators like bees to reproduce and grow?
Bees are a critical part of the planet’s ecosystem, but they are in danger.
Bee populations are declining due to a variety of factors including pesticides, habitat destruction, air pollution, lack of nutrition, and more.
That’s why the United Nations has designated May 20 as World Bee Day – to raise awareness about the importance of bees to our overall food supply and ecosystem and to spread the word that bees are in trouble, and we must help them.
Helping bees helps all of us.
And, while bees everywhere are in peril, there are some that are in more dire need of assistance to survive.
In Ukraine, where war has raged for over a year, bees are in particular danger as the effects of combat continue there. Beekeepers fleeing from their homes have been forced to abandon their colonies of honey bees, the most recognizable type of bee due to their production of honey. Ukraine bees rely on the nectar from sunflowers, a major crop in Ukraine, but due to the war, sunflower plantings are reduced, thus limiting a critical food source for these bees. Munitions and rockets have damaged hives. Chemicals from these belligerents stay in the environment and attach to bees as they pollinate. When the bees return to the hive, the deadly trappings attached to them can wipe out an entire colony.
Ukraine is one of the top five honey producing countries in the world. And, like honey bees across the globe, the bees in Ukraine pollinate important crops grown there, like sunflowers and rapeseed. Those crops, along with honey, are major exports for the country.
Greater Good Charities has been in Ukraine, providing aid to people and their pets since the conflict began in 2022. Now, together with Mann Lake, TRIWA and the Brotherhood of Ukrainian Beekeepers, Greater Good Charities is assisting beekeepers – and their bees – in two ways.
First, an initiative to provide Queen Bees to beekeepers in Ukraine whose colonies and hives have been destroyed by the impact of war. They must replenish their bees and the Queen is the only way to do so.
In June, to help the bees survive despite diminished forage from which to collect nectar, the effort will ship 30,000 lbs. of bee pollen substitute to Ukraine and will distribute that, along with sugar to feed the bees, to beekeepers who desperately need the support.
This assistance is critical to help revive colonies with new Queens and feed the bees in the coming months and beyond.
In honor of World Bee Day, we urge you to help support Ukrainian beekeepers by donating to help replenish colonies with Queens and feed the bees in Ukraine before they starve.