World Bee Day | 20 May

Why a World Bee Day?

By observing World Bee Day each year, we can raise awareness on the essential role bees and other pollinators play in keeping people and the planet healthy, and on the many challenges they face today. We have been celebrating this day since 2018, thanks to the efforts of the Government of Slovenia with the support of Apimondia, that led the UN General Assembly to declare 20 May as World Bee Day. 

The date for this observance was chosen as it was the day Anton Janša, a pioneer of modern apiculture, was born. Janša came from a family of beekeepers in Slovenia, where beekeeping is an important agricultural activity with a long-standing tradition. 

Today bees, pollinators, and many other insects are declining in abundance. This day provides an opportunity for all of us – whether we work for governments, organizations or civil society or are concerned citizens – to promote actions that will protect and enhance pollinators and their habitats, improve their abundance and diversity, and support the sustainable development of beekeeping. 

Bee engaged with youth

Bees and other pollinators are essential for our existence, sustaining agriculture and biodiversity worldwide. With over 20,000 species of bees and various other wild pollinators, they face challenges from human activities, such as habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change.    

In recognition of the pivotal role that youth can play in addressing challenges bees and other pollinators are facing, World Bee Day 2024 focuses on the theme "Bee engaged with Youth." This theme highlights the importance of involving young people in beekeeping and pollinator conservation efforts, recognizing them as the future stewards of our environment.   

This year's campaign aims to raise awareness among youth and other stakeholders about the essential role of bees and other pollinators in agriculture, ecological balance, and biodiversity preservation. By engaging young people in beekeeping activities, educational initiatives, and advocacy efforts, we can inspire a new generation of environmental leaders and empower them to make a positive impact on the world.   

Fostering more diverse agricultural systems and reducing reliance on toxic chemicals can facilitate increased pollination. This approach can improve food quality and quantity, benefiting both human populations and the ecosystem.  

Did you know?

You don't have to be a beekeeper to protect bees and other pollinators. Here are some easy alternatives:  

Plant bee-friendly flowers
Join the buzz for World Bee Day
Establish bee houses for solitary bees
Opt for organic, sustainable food choices
Buy honey and bee products locally
Avoid harmful chemicals and pesticides
Leave nesting sites for ground-nesting bees
Plant hedgerows

By taking these simple actions, you will help to protect and enhance bees and other essential pollinators in our ecosystem.  Bee Aware. 

What's the buzz about?

We all know the bee basics. They’re important pollinators. They make honey. They make buzz. They like to join you at picnics.

But did you know that they also provide us with medicines and even help keep our planet beautiful and healthy?

Take our bee quiz and learn more about these tiny food heroes!

Learn more



Read FAO success stories from around the world on how bees and beekeeping contribute to livelihoods and sustainable development.


Browse this selection of FAO publications offering guidance, tools and analysis on bees and other pollinators. 


Check out this series of infographics on honey, pollinators, beehive products, benefits of pollinators, and the pollination services of forests. 

Timeline leading to World Bee Day

20 May 1734 – Breznica, Slovenia Birth of Anton Janša, who came from a long line of beekeepers, became a pioneer of modern apiculture. Bees were a frequent topic of conversation with neighbouring farmers, who would gather at the village and discuss farming and bee-keeping practices.

1766 – Anton enrolled in the first bee-keeping school in Europe.

1769 – Janša worked fulltime as a beekeeper.

1771 – Published the book Discussion on Bee-keeping in German.

2016 – At the FAO Regional Conference for Europe, the Republic of Slovenia proposed World Bee Day to be celebrated on 20 May each year, with the support of Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Association.

2017 – Proposal for World Bee Day was submitted for consideration at the 40th Session of FAO Conference.

2017 – UN General Assembly unanimously proclaimed 20 May as World Bee Day.

20 May 2018 – First Observance of World Bee Day.

Related links
 Join the conversation
Get involved!

Find out more about how you can promote #WorldBeeDay by reading our Get involved guide

Spread the word!

Inform, educate and engage audiences with real facts. Join the #WorldBeeDay campaign by sharing our free material on digital channels and raise awareness about the need to protect bees and other pollinators. 

Trello board
When we think of pollinator we may only think of bees..

Watch and share the World Bee Day promotional videos and join the call for action!

Bee-inspired poems

Listen the recorded poems by some well-known figures related to bees, beekeeping, or how the behaviour of bees so often mirrors that of human beings across our planet.

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Worldwide events

Celebration of WBD

21 May 2024, Palais des Nations, Geneva

Find out more  

International Forum for Sustainable Beekeeping 

22-23 May 2024, Slovenia  

Find out more

Bee Health Symposium 2024  

15 - 16 June 2024, Madrid, Spain 

Find out more and register  

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