May 20, 2019 marked the second observance of World Bee Day: an International Day declared by United Nations to promote, through awareness and action, issues of global concern relating to bees and other pollinators. When embraced, International Days are powerful advocacy tools that can mobilize political will and resources to address global problems. They also allow us to come together to celebrate and reinforce the many achievements being made.
Wheen Bee Foundation funded the development of an online platform for the promotion of World Bee Day Events in Australia. The site www.worldbeeday.org.au went live in April 2019 with 10 events being listed across four states/territories. World Bee Day events may be listed for free. Follow on Facebook @WorldBeeDayAustralia.
Here is a snapshot of just some of the World Bee Day celebrations held in May around Australia.
Government House Reception
A Reception hosted at Government House by Their Excellencies General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove and Lady Cosgrove on 20th May 2019 was attended by 100 invited guests representing all states and Territories of Australia.
International Honey Tasting – Great Hall Parliament House
An International Honey Tasting event at the Great Hall, Parliament House Canberra on Sunday 19 May attracted around 600 people to taste a range of honeys from around Australia and the world.
Bee Sustainable Family Picnic
A Bee Sustainable Family Picnic was attended by around 1500 people at the Embassy of Sweden, Canberra. A tipsrunda (Swedish for quiz walk) encouraged guests to explore the Embassy gardens interacting with educational stands on beekeeping, beehives, honey tasting, native bees, plants and assorted activities for children, adults and families.
More than Honey
‘More than Honey’ by Swiss Film maker Markus Imhoof was screened on Sunday 19 May at the Parliament House Theatrette, followed by a panel discussion and reception. Sponsored by the Swiss Embassy, the event aimed to raise awareness of environmental issues and the impact of climate change on pollinating insects. This event was fully subscribed at 250 people representing the theatre capacity.
Bee at the Markets
Bee at the Markets Sat 18 May – Capital Regional Farmers Markets put the spotlight on honey and the importance of bees to food production. Market attendance rate was between 6,500-7,500 shoppers representing an increase of 12% on its usual weekly attendance. This was particularly noteworthy as historically there is a decrease in numbers on market days that correspond with a Federal or Territory election.
Honey Hunters and Northey Street City Farm
Honeyhunters and Northey Street City Farm celebrated World Bee Day 2019 at the Northey Street Organic Market in Qld. Beekeeper Simon partnered with Tree Spirit Roslyn to entertain and inform around 200 people about the importance of bees.
God Coast Amatuers Beekeepers Society
Gold Coast Amateur Beekeepers Society travelled to NSW for its monthly meeting. Seventy people aged from two to 90 attended to participate in educational and creative activities. These included inspecting a hive, learning about preparing a colony for winter, making beeswax candles, balms, creamed honey and cooking with honey and bee art drawing and painting.