“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
Earth Charter Austria and UNESCO Club Vienna collaborated to promote biodiversity through an outreach to local, national and international organizations, groups and individuals to share their messages, initiatives or knowledge about the topic. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions on public gatherings and the strain that smaller businesses face, we encouraged different stakeholders to connect digitally through the commemoration of the World Bee Day on 20th of May on their websites and social media.
Join the conversation with hashtags #BeeConnected and #WorldBeeDay.
We also collaborated with Negative Media, an artist collective (Aleksandar Andjelkovic and Andrija Grkic) based in Belgrade, who have created an animation to signify World Bee Day 2020. Aleksandar and Andrija have now joined our ECA team.
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” - Aristotle
Working together to deepen our understanding of the role that bees play in our ecosystem and society, we can begin to see just how interconnected we are with all living beings. The Earth Charter principles outline that we need to respect all life and to preserve Earth's biodiversity.
Through participating in the open exchange of information on the topic of bees, beekeeping and biodiversity, we also contribute to reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
WORLD BEE DAY
The initiative was launched in 2014 by the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, advocating that 20 May becomes World Bee Day. The initiative was supported by the Slovenian Government, which strove to realise it. In September 2015, the initiative was backed by the largest international beekeepers’ organisation, Apimondia (press release). In the framework of this initiative, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food travelled around the world with a pavilion Bee World and actively promoted and provided information on the initiative as well as other related projects. The Ministry also held a number of bilateral meetings with representatives of other countries and international organisations, and organised various events for experts.
On 17 November 2017, after more than three years of effort, the UN’s Economic and Financial Committee adopted a resolution proclaiming World Bee Day. On 20 December 2017, the resolution was unanimously backed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, thus designating 20 May as World Bee Day.
The initiative was supported by all UN member states, while 115 countries also acted as co-sponsors, including countries such as the USA, Canada, China, Russia, India, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and all EU Member States.
The purpose of the World Bee Day Organization website is to present the initiative and its implementation, raise awareness of the importance of bees and beekeeping, inform the public of major beekeeping events around the world and celebrate World Bee Day.
A virtual celebration “Bee Engaged” washeld on the 20th May 2020 by the FAO in partnership with CAAS, ASAC, the Permanent Representation of Slovenia and Apimondia.
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT BEES?
A COLLECTION OF SOME INTERESTING FACTS & STUDIES
The study of collective or swarm intelligence of bee colonies has wide applications in artificial intelligence.
(Swarm and Evolutionary Computation)
Bees improving in an observed complex behaviour and demonstrating tool use indicate just how flexible their cognitive abilities are.
Emerging and exotic high-impact pathogens that threaten managed bee species are also infecting wild pollinators.
Communal gardens and urban green spaces, especially those rich in flowers, provide the necessary sanctuary and habitat for bees, including wild and rare species.
Having incredibly sensitive olfactory senses, bees were successfully trained to detect bomb explosives, such as TNT.
(Los Alamos National Lab)
A nest made fully out of plastic by the Megachile bees was reported, showing their adaptability to a changing environment, but also poses questions about the risks of microplastics.
Bees build their beehives with the mathematically most efficient architectural design.
Bees can detect the roundness of the Earth and communicate routes to food sources to one another through dance.
(Harvard University Press)
Anaphylaxis is most commonly caused by reactions to foods, followed by insect venom. Admissions for intensive care and fatal reactions were rare for the latter.
(Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology)
Honey has been used in traditional medicine since at least the stone age. It has an inhibitory effect on many bacteria, viruses and fungi as well as countless other health benefits.
Food of the gods, honey, is mentioned and revered by every major religion - Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Bhuddism.
(Universal Journal of Honey)
Their social and hardworking nature, the finality of their sting, and the sweetness of their honey all play part in bee symbolism throughout art, religion, and literature.
The following are the scientific journals specifically dedicated to the study of bees, beekeeping and their products:
❏ Journal of Apicultural Research
AIMING TO ADVANCE THE UNDERSTANDING OF BEES AND BEEKEEPING
ANTON JANŠA (c. 20 May 1734 – 13 September 1773) was a Carniolan apiarist and painter born to Slovene parents in Breznica, Carniola (now in Slovenia). Janša is known as a pioneer of modern apiculture and a great expert in the field. He was educated as a painter, but was employed as a teacher of apiculture at the Habsburg court in Vienna. He became famous for his lectures in which he demonstrated his knowledge of bees. He also wrote two books in German: Discussion on Beekeeping (1771) and A Full guide to Beekeeping. The latter was published in 1775, after his death. The Empress Maria Theresa issued a decree after Janša's death obliging all teachers of apiculture to use his books. In beekeeping he is noted for changing the size and shape of hives to a form where they can be stacked together like blocks. As a painter he also decorated the fronts of hives with paintings. Janša rejected the belief that the male bees are water carriers and assumed that the queen is fertilized mid-air. He advocated moving hives to pastures. The Janša Beehive was preserved by Slovene beekeepers and in 1884 a plaque was put on the house where he was born. The Museum of Apiculture in Radovljica is also named after him. WORLD BEE DAY is commemorated annually on his day of birth, namely 20 May.
Born in South London on 12th June 1912, Dr. EVA CRANE became one of the greatest writers on bees and beekeeping in the 20th century. Trained originally as a mathematician, she was one of only two women reading for a maths degree at King's College London in 1933. She obtained a BSc in maths in two years, followed by an MSc in the then novel subject of quantum mechanics in 1935 and a PhD in nuclear physics in 1937. The rigours of her
scientific training were never to leave her and she applied them to all her work.
The legend is that Dr Crane's interest in apiculture was brought about when she was given a hive and bees as a wedding present in 1942. Years later she was to say "It wasn't the bees I was attracted to at all. I am a scientist and I wanted to know how they worked".
Dr Crane's research was meticulous and she felt that the cross- referencing and recording of information, so that original material could be traced and used by succeeding generations, was a vital part of her work. In her lifetime she had over 300 papers and articles published and she contributed many learned tomes to the shelves of bee lovers all over the world.
The objectives of the Eva Crane Trust:
❏ the advancement of the science of apiology
❏ Promoting, financing, organising and encouraging bee research for the public benefit.
Apply for funding: https://www.evacranetrust.org/