Celebrate the vital role bees play in global food systems


May 20 marks the seventh annual World Bee Day, and this year’s focus is on the vital role bees play in global food production.

Wheen Bee Foundation CEO Fiona Chambers says while many people have some understanding of the importance of bees, most don’t know the true extent to which we depend on bees for the food we eat every day.

“Most people know bees play a role in food production, but few know the sheer scale of their contribution,” Ms Chambers said.

“Here in Australia, at least 53 crops rely to some extent on bees. These include almonds, avocados, apples, berries, stone fruit and carrot, but also oilseeds such as canola, and legumes like clover and lucerne that feed farm livestock.

“Often when you sit down for dinner, the whole plate will have some link to bees.”

This year World Bee Day will see a host of events and activities taking place in communities across Australia, focused on the 2024 theme – Celebrating bees and their vital role in global food production systems.

“There are lots of ways to get involved, whether it’s joining a webinar, visiting a farmers’ market, taking part in a community gardening session, holding a pollinator picnic or simply talking to friends and family about the importance of bees,” Ms Chambers said.

A first for this year’s calendar is the Great Bee Morning Tea. Communities, schools and businesses are encouraged to show their support for Australia’s beekeepers by hosting a morning tea with cakes, cookies and other sweet treats all made with 100 per cent pure Australian honey.

“Beyond the honey they produce, beekeepers deliver vital pollination services to some of our biggest crops,” Ms Chambers said. “By buying 100 per cent Australian honey you are not only supporting Australian beekeepers but the many Australian businesses that rely upon them.”

As part of the World Bee Day festivities, The Wheen Bee Foundation has again partnered with the Australian Farmers’ Markets Association for the Bring Your Buzz campaign, which encourages people to wear yellow to their local farmers’ markets and buy food from producers who value the role bees play in their production. Celebrations at farmers’ markets run from Saturday 18 May to Sunday 26 May.

Anyone interested in hosting an event for World Bee Day is encouraged to register their event for free online at the World Bee Day website.