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“Nearly three quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food, depend on pollinators.  A third of the world’s food production depends on bees, which means that every third spoonful of food that you eat has relied on pollination from bees. Bees also produce honey which is rich in numerous vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in our diets.” 
-John Ward, of the Isle of Man Beekeepers’ Federation for UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man 

Immediate action is imperative. The decline of bees presents a critical threat. Current rates of species extinction, exacerbated by human activities, are alarming ranging from 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal. Approximately 35% of invertebrate pollinators, notably bees and butterflies, and around 17% of vertebrate pollinators, including bats, are at risk of extinction worldwide. 

Albert Einstein said about bees: 'If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.' 

Should this carry on, there will be a concerning shift in crop diversity. Nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, nuts, and numerous vegetables may be gradually replaced by staple crops like rice, corn, and potatoes, leading to dietary imbalances. 

Pollination stands as a fundamental process vital for our ecosystem's survival. Nearly 90% of the world's wild flowering plant species rely entirely or partially on animal pollination, as do over 75% of the world's food crops, encompassing 35% of global agricultural land. Pollinators not only directly contribute to food security but also play a crucial role in preserving biodiversity. 

World Bee Day is the recognition of the important role that we as humans can play in addressing the challenges bees and other pollinators are facing. This year's theme is “Bee Engaged with Youth” which highlights the importance of involving young people in beekeeping and pollinator conservation efforts, recognizing them as the future stewards of our environment.    

Here are some ways to enhance our impact on the Isle of Man: 

  • Plant bee-friendly flowers in your garden.  Cultivate a variety of native plants that bloom on the Isle of Man throughout the year, like Chamomile, bluebells, snowdrops, common poppies, and primroses.  
  • Keep a variety of flowers which bloom in different months and reduce spring cutting of grass for as long as possible. Bees need to keep feeding throughout the warmer months to ensure they have enough supplies to last them through the winter. 
  • Support local farmers and beekeepers by purchasing raw honey from local suppliers.  
  • Remember do not let bees have a taste of honey you’ve boughtit may contain disease and spread infection in local hives.  
  • Keep an eye out for bee predators such as the Asian hornet, which could devastate local bee populations. Notify Environmental Health / Pest Control if you spot one!  
  • Never import bees or bee equipment if you keep your own hives, as this may contain diseases or mites which may harm your local hive.  
  • Refrain from using pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides in our gardens.  
  • Establish a bee-friendly water fountain by placing a bowl of water outside with rocks for landing pads in your own gardens.  
  • Raise awareness about the vital role of bees and their declining populations. 
Our Island is home to a wonderful variety of bees and their survival truly is in our hands. Let’s do all we can to keep them around for years to come.  
-John Ward, of the Isle of Man Beekeepers’ Federation for UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man 

Bees may take the spotlight in discussions about pollination, but they're not the sole heroes in this vital ecological process. Other pollinators play significant roles as well: 

  • Hoverflies: These insects are remarkable pollinators, visiting an impressive 72% of global food crops and over 70% of animal-pollinated wildflowers. 
  • Wasps: Some plants have co-evolved with wasps and rely on them for pollination. Also, wasps are known to visit flowers for nectar, inadvertently transferring pollen in the process. 
  • Moths: With over 2,500 species in the UK alone, moths contribute to pollination by carrying pollen on their furry bodies as they travel nocturnally, dispersing genetic material over long distances. 
  • Butterflies: While most UK butterflies are generalist pollinators, they still aid in cross-pollination, albeit without specific plant relationships. 
  • Beetles: Pollinated flowers produce surplus pollen, ensuring that beetles inadvertently carry pollen from one flower to another as they move about. 

You can read UNESCO Biospheres' amazing blog from John Ward of the Isle of Man Beekeepers’ Federation here. 


Sources: UN World Bee Day 

Biosphere Blog Importance of Bees

Earthshot Prize Blog 10 ways to help bees


  • World Bee Day