World Bee Day | 20 May

For centuries bees, among the hardest working creatures on the planet, have benefited people, plants and the environment. By carrying pollen from one flower to another, bees and other pollinators enable not only the production of an abundance of fruits, nuts and seeds, but also more variety and better quality, contributing to food security and nutrition.

Pollination has a positive impact on the environment in general, helping to maintain biodiversity and the vibrant ecosystems upon which agriculture and humanity depend. A wide variety of plants critical to human well-being and livelihoods require pollinators. In fact, bees and other pollinators provide the important ecosystem service of ensuring out-crossing (that is, crossing genes) and, thus, reproduction of many cultivated and wild plants.

Did you know?

The vast majority of pollinator species are wild, including more than 20,000 species of bees. 

Pollinators contribute to 35 percent of the world’s total crop production, pollinating 87 of 115 leading food crops worldwide. 
Close to 75 percent of the world’s crops producing fruits and seeds for human use depend, at least in part, on pollinators. 
In many areas, bees, pollinators and many other insects are declining in abundance and diversity. 
Our food security, nutrition and the health of our environment depend on bees and pollinators. 
Everyone can make a difference to support, restore and enhance the role of bees and pollinators. 

Bee engaged in pollinator-friendly agricultural production

World Bee Day 2023
Hybrid event, 19 May 2023, 10.00 - 11.30 CEST

Agenda Webcast

Bees and other pollinators are fundamental for the health of ecosystems and food security. They help maintain biodiversity and ensure the production of nutritious food. However, intensive monoculture production and improper use of pesticides pose serious threats to pollinators by reducing their access to food and nesting sites, exposing them to harmful chemicals, and weakening their immune systems. 

Under the theme “Bee engaged in pollinator-friendly agricultural production”, World Bee Day 2023 calls for global action to support pollinator-friendly agricultural production and highlights the importance of protecting bees and other pollinators, particularly through evidence-based agricultural production practices. 

The global World Bee Day ceremony, which will be held in hybrid format at the FAO headquarters on Friday, 19 May, will be an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of adopting pollinator-friendly agricultural production practices to protect bees and other pollinators, while contributing to the resilience, sustainability and efficiency of agrifood systems.

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. 

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. 

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
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Get involved!

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

Visual identity

Download posters, virtual backgrounds, web and event banners, and so much more from the World Bee Day Asset Bank. 

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.

Learn more
Worldwide events

The International Symposium on Biosecurity in Beekeeping

HYBRID EVENT, 18 May 2023, 14.00-16.00 CEST


Bees and other pollinators: building resilience, supporting communities

UNHQ CONFERENCE ROOM 9, 22 MAY 2023, 13.15-14.30 EDT
Learn more


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