World Bee Day: Celebrating the Contribution of Beekeepers and Global Pollinators

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Beekeepers and our beloved honey bee will receive much-deserved recognition on World Bee Day this May 20, but for us at the National Honey Board (NHB), World Bee Day is every day. We admire the hard work behind the centuries-old craft of beekeeping and recognize the bees’ positive impacts on economies around the world and within our ecosystem. It’s hard to imagine that one-third of the foods in our diet are made possible by bees – and that is why it’s so important to raise awareness about the importance of protecting honey bees and the beekeeping profession. Without bees, we wouldn’t have the nutritious foods we enjoy and rely on.

World Bee Day coincides with the birthday of Anton Janša, the pioneer of beekeeping, who was born in 1734. During his time, he pioneered modern beekeeping techniques and praised the bees for their ability to work hard while being self-sufficient creatures. Fast forward to 2021, World Bee Day is now an opportunity for us all to focus on the importance of celebrating honey bees and other pollinators.

Here are a few interesting opportunities that embody the beauty of World Bee Day and illustrate a concerted effort to support beekeepers and bees all year long.

Honey Bee-stro at the Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival

The National Honey Board (NHB) is excited to announce that the Honey Bee-stro has returned for the 2021 season! The Bee-stro is a favorite of Walt Disney World® guests, and shares the sweet story of honey bees, the plants they pollinate, and the delicious honey they make. The Honey Bee-stro garden educates guests on the role honey bees play in our ecosystem. In addition, it reinforces that by eating honey, guests are supporting beekeepers and honey bees. By investing in the honey industry, consumers help to sustain beekeeping operations and fund vital bee health research. Visitors can also learn simple ways to help support honey bees at home.

Bee Health Research

For years, we have had a great partnership with Project Apis m., which is an organization dedicated to research focused on enhancing the health and vitality of honey bee colonies while improving crop production. Together, we launched the Bee Health Collective website, which serves as a 'one-stop-shop' for information about bee health in the United States. Site features include:

  • Databases of scientific research projects since 2009, as well as a listing of US researchers working in this field;
  • Bee Health Metrics presented through infographics, images and narratives about topics such as honey bee health, beekeeping, pollination and honey;
  • Bee Bulletin Board showing bee-related job postings and funding opportunities, including beekeeping, bee research, grants and scholarships.

Celebrate World Bee Day on May 20 by tuning in to our “Celebrate Beekeeping Video Series” on YouTube and learn more about the essential role bees and beekeepers play in keeping both the planet and its people nourished.