Written by Naman Anil Kumar, a grade 8 student
World Bee Day is celebrated on the 20th of May. This is a day to recognize the immense value of pollinators in the global ecosystem. Bees are the most important pollinators, and they are under the threat of extinction.
If bees die out, then we will lose a lot, and it will not just be the sweet honey they make.
“The most useful animal”
Everyone loves honey. And we know that bees make honey from nectar and store it in the hive. But, did you know that it takes 300 bees, 3 weeks to gather around half a kg of honey? That’s a lot of work! Our hero the honey bee is one of the busiest creatures on this planet. The great English poet William Blake wrote, “A busy bee has no time for sorrow”.
How does a tiny drop of nectar turn into honey?
That’s the magic of honey bees! They suck nectar from flowers and store it in a special honey pouch in their stomachs. A honey bee can carry its body weight in nectar. As soon as the pouch is filled, the honey bee flies back to the hive. In the hive, the nectar is passed from bee to bee till it dries out and turns into honey. The honey is poured into cells and sealed with beeswax.
Honey is not the only wonderful thing we get from bees.
A Beehive gives us:
- Honey- the tastiest sweetener ever!
- Pollen- protein-rich food used by athletes
- Royal jelly- a health tonic for old people
- Propolis-used as mouthwash
- Wax- used to make candles
Are bees really important?
As the bees fly around collecting nectar, they do something very important for plants and trees- they pollinate, or transfer pollen from one flower to another. Pollination helps in the formation of fruit in a plant. Without pollination, most of the plants and trees in the world will become extinct. Even crops need pollination. Without bees, there will be no strawberries, almonds, apples, pumpkins, even onions. Wild plants will die out. Albert Einstein had once said that “If honey bees were to disappear from the earth, humans would be dead within four years”. World Bee Day is celebrated to remind us how important bees are for mother Nature and for us.
Why is Bee Day celebrated on May 20?
Slovenian Anton Janša, a famous beekeeper was born May 20, 1734. He was a pioneer and an expert in beekeeping. Slovenia is known as the “Land of the Good Beekeepers”. Beekeeping is a very important activity in Slovenia. So, in memory of Anton Janša, World Bee Day is celebrated on the 20th of May.
Can I do something to help save the bees?
- Yes, you can
- Grow flowering plants that flower at different times of the year
- Keep a basin filled with clean water for bees in your area especially in the summer season
- Buy raw honey from local farmers, if possible
- Stop people from swatting bees in gardens and parks
- Tell your friends and neighbours about the importance of bees in nature
- Sponsor a beehive in a nearby apiary
The life of a bee is short. But it is filled with activity and purpose as it buzzes around from flower to flower gathering nectar and pollinating plants. Imagine how much we could achieve if we were as busy as a bee?
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