In 2014, Slovenia proposed that the United Nations make 20th May World Bee Day. On 20 December 2017, following three years of efforts at the international level, the UN Member States unanimously approved Slovenia’s proposal, thus proclaiming 20th May as World Bee Day! Bees play a vital role in our eco systems, and have an important part to play in maintaining our planet. However, bees are rapidly in decline on a global scale as they face many threats from habitat loss and invasive species to the use of toxic pesticides and global warming. Many of the threats to bees share parallels with the threats to trees and woodland, so saving bees goes hand-in-hand with saving trees. If these threats aren’t brought under control, we could be looking at a future without bees. To mark this important day, we are offering 20% off our entire Honey Bee Jewellery Collection for one week only, using the code SAVETHEBEES.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations, approximately 80% of all flowering plants are specialised for pollination by bees. Pollination is crucial because most of our vegetables, fruits and the crops that are used to feed livestock rely on it to be fertilised. Some of our favourite vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus and cucumber rely on the pollination of bees alone, as do apricots, strawberries, apples, tomatoes and almonds. While there are other methods of pollination, including by the wind, birds, bats and other insects, wild bees are among the most important pollinators because they are capable of pollinating on a much larger scale. It has been estimated that it would cost farmers in the UK a huge £1.8 billion per year to manually pollinate their crops, proving the immense importance of bees.
Some of Elephant & Bees' beehive fences
Bees can also play a vital role in protecting important crops and helping to end human-elephant conflict in Kenya. The Elephant & Bees project is part of the Save the Elephants’ Human Elephant Coexistence Program, based in Sagalla, Kenya. The award-winning project utilises 'Beehive Fences' as a natural elephant deterrent, helping protect farmers and farmland. The idea is based on their innovative research into elephants’ fear of African honeybees and how this can be used to help reduce crop-damage, thus minimising human-elephant conflict. The innovative beehive fences also help create a social and economic boost to farmers in the area through pollination services and the harvesting of ‘Elephant-Friendly Honey’ for sale. You can support this fantastic, unique project here.
You can support wild bees here in the UK in lots of different ways! One of the easiest ways is to plant bee-friendly plants in your garden. Bees favour a wide range of flowering plants, including foxglove, birdsfoot trefoil and red clover, which are easy to grow. Stopping using pesticides in your garden will also have a huge benefit on bees. Some pests provide food for crucial pollinators, so leaving them to be controlled naturally is the best choice if you want to help save bees. Adding a 'bee hotel' to your garden is also a great way to help support the bees. Bees need shelter to nest and hibernate in, and a bee hotel provides the perfect shelter for our busy little friends. The Woodland Trust have a great DIY tutorial to make your own here.
You can read more about World Bee Day and ways you can get involved here. Our honey bee jewellery collection is a delicate tribute to our small busy friends, and our very busy co-founder Bee on all of her adventures. Each design is first made using wax wire, inspired by ancient Roman filigree jewellery. It is then brought to life by our partner workshop in the Pink City of Jaipur with recycled brass or silver. You can also shop our full Honey Bee jewellery range here, use code SAVETHEBEES for 20% off the entire collection from 20 - 27 May.