World Bee Day, May 20 | The Global Waggle Dance Challenge

There are 20,000 species of bees to consider on our planet, and while Covid-19 has been sweeping across the globe and keeping us all indoors, thankfully the tiny winged creatures of the natural world have continued their work collecting and transferring pollen from flower to hive and looking after their Queens, for the sake of humanity.

Bee Keepers. Photograph: Michael Lamond 

Without the buzzy hum of bees there is no food and of course without food there is famine and human life would eventually cease to exist. Bees have a vital role to play in the survival of human life, and they are in danger, and as the beneficiaries of their miraculous work we have an obligation to ensure bees can thrive in healthy and biodiverse environments. According to bees are responsible for pollinating 75% of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food. An incredible feat from such tiny creatures!

Boštjan Noc is a Slovenian man who comes from a long line of Beekeepers across seven generations, and is the man behind raising global consciousness about the significance of these ingenious little pollinators with an international day of recognition ‘World Bee Day’. To cut a long story short after three years of negotiations between the United Nations Member States and a proposal from Slovenia, May 20 was declared ‘World Bee Day’ with the first day of recognition taking place in 2018.

Courtesy Wheen Bee Foundation

‘World Bee Day’ celebrations for 2020 have taken their place in the digital world to raise awareness about the importance of bees, with a fun world-wide ‘Waggle Dance Challenge’, an attempt to mark a series of new world records, including the upload of 20,000 waggle dance videos across 20+ countries in 20 days, ending on 20 May.

The organisers, Rotary Club of Canterbury, Australia, Rotarians for Bees and The Wheen Bee Foundation Limited invite audiences to join the fun and get waggling by registering here, learning the dance, challenging others to get involved and by uploading a video of you/ your family’s performance. You can be as creative as you like – dress up, craft some bees, create a beehive, be the Queen and swing your hips!

On Wednesday 20 May the online screening of the ‘Honeyland‘ documentary will be available for viewing. ‘Honeyland’ is an award-winning film nominated for two Academy Awards in 2019 and is the most awarded film in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, winning the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, a Special Jury Award for Cinematography and another Special Jury Award for Originality.

An inspiring story unfolds of the last female wild beekeeper in Europe who lives deep in an isolated mountain range in the Balkans with her elderly mother, where there are no roads, electricity or running water, her name is Hatidze Muratova. Hatidze has lived a peaceful life, but when a nomadic family come to the region with engines, seven children and a herd of cattle, two worlds collide and harmony is disrupted. Click here to read more and to pre-order your screening, a fee applies.

Bee Keepers. Photograph: Michael Lamond

The World Bee Day website is buzzing with information about the plight of bees and what we can do to help sustain them. The Mobile Content page offers downloadable activities including the Beeday game, which is free of charge to smartphones and tablets, Android devices: on Google Play. The ‘AR Bee World’ virtual discovery application, which requires VR glasses presents four films made with state-of-the-art technology giving audiences a window view inside and in front of a beehive from a 360° perspective.

For more interesting facts and to find out how you can support the life of bees visit the Wheen Bee Foundation, Australia’s only registered not-for-profit charity that promotes awareness of the importance of bees for food security and raises funds for research that addresses the national and global threats to bees.