Bees maintain 76 percent of the world’s food production and maintain the ecological balance on which 84 percent of plant species depend.according to data from the FAO, which highlights the direct impact on the development of agriculture, biodiversity and environmental sustainability.
On the occasion of the celebration of World Bee Day this Friday, May 20, FAO highlights the role of pollinators such as bees, birds and bats that affect 35 percent of the world’s agricultural production and raises the production of 87 of the world’s main food crops, and of many medicines derived from plants.
Thus, the body dependent on the United Nations Organization (UN) highlights on its world day – officially declared by the General Assembly in 2017 – the direct impact of bees for the development of agriculture, biodiversity and environmental sustainability.
In this way, during this May 20, the UN warns that if the bee population were to be reduced, the production of apples, citrus fruits, kiwis, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, almonds or tuber and vegetable seeds would be jeopardized, among other basic foods for the human being; situation that could lead to an unbalanced diet, according to Europa Press.
Three million hives in Spain
In Spain, data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food indicate that in 2021 a figure of 3,049,065 operating hives was reached, 6 percent more than in 2018. In that period, the number of beekeeping farms grew by 12 percent, to the 35,300 currently registered. In total, the national honey sector generates around 62 million euros a year, which represents 0.44 percent of the final livestock production.
However, the consumption of honey is stagnant in Spain at about 0.8 kilos per person per yearcompared to the average of 1 kilogram per year per person in Germany – the largest consumer of honey in the Twenty-seven – and 2.6 kilograms per year per person in several Western countries.
The study ‘Analysis of the consumption of honey in young families with children’ carried out by the Institute of Market Research and Strategic Marketing Ikerfel, reflects that only 42 percent of the Spanish population consumes honey at least once a week; that 59 percent of children between the ages of 6 and 12 do not consume honey and 14 percent do so occasionally.
In this context, this Friday at 11:00 a.m., beekeepers and representatives of the agricultural and livestock union COAG planned to gather at the doors of the Ministry of Culture where they will deliver the signatures collected through the Change.org platform within the framework of the initiative launched by the Valencian beekeeper Enric Simó who asks UNESCO to declare this ancient livestock activity as Intangible World Heritage of Humanity.
They ask UNESCO for protection
The petition urges the Ministry of Culture to promote in UNESCO that beekeeping be a candidate for Intangible Heritage of Humanity to guarantee the protection of bees and of an essential sector for the maintenance of ecosystems.
Dressed in the typical protective suit, Simó is accompanied by beekeepers from various autonomous communities and with a giant bee to make visible the “asphyxiation of bees and the sector.” After the delivery of signatures at the ministerial headquarters, the delegation will meet with representatives of the UNESCO conventions area to explain their initiative.
“Beekeeping is an essential ancient trade for our natural and agricultural ecosystems and is in a limit situation”, Simó exposes in his petition.
In addition, on the occasion of the anniversary, the Spanish Association of Honey Merchants and Packers ASEMIEL-ANIMPA has launched a campaign to encourage reasonable consumption of honey and in which it encourages families to become ‘Mielenials’ and have honey for breakfast at least one day for 15 weeks to face the day with energy. The initiative has an Internet page www.desayunaconmiel.eu that proposes a plan for fifteen weeks with video recipes with honey.
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