Blog post: The Buzz Around World Bee Day

May 17, 2024

Written by Shahina Hanif, ESPC Volunteer.

During our youth, playing outside in the summer, and the fear of being stung by a bee would paralyze one with fear whenever the tantalizing sound of buzzing was nearby. Although the fear of being stung has not left many of us, we have grown to understand that bees are not typically dangerous to humans. In fact, bees are essential to people. They are so significant that the United Nations has designated May 20th as World Bee Day. This is a day to recognize and appreciate these magnificent insects and participate in protecting them.

Firstly, overcoming the fear and stigma surrounding the dangers of bees is the starting point. It’s important to know that “most bees are too small to sting you and that most will avoid doing so whenever possible” (Bolt, 2023). Although, a bee sting can be fatal for someone who has a bee allergy. A BBC article reveals that entomologists from the University of Illinois’ Department of Entomology are saying that, “… Bees do not seek out humans to pursue. They only sting [to] protect their hives and their queen … Bees gathering pollen or swarming – that is, moving between hives – are not a danger” (Kelly, 2014). Understanding that bees are not our enemies, but our friends, promotes the safety of everyone.

Secondly, observing the major impacts from the efforts of busy bees is a crucial bridging activity that allows bees and humans to flourish together. Here in Alberta, we are home to the largest beekeeping and honey production operations. CBC news shares, “according to Statistics Canada, 40% of all honey produced in Canada last year came from Alberta — and it has never been worth more” (Frew, 2024). Not only do we benefit financially from the beekeeping and honey industry, but we also benefit physically and ecologically. Our ecosystem would not be able to thrive without pollination. “Nearly 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species depend, entirely, or at least in part, on animal pollination, along with more than 75% of the world’s food crops and 35% of global agricultural land. Not only do pollinators contribute directly to food security, but they are key to conserving biodiversity” (United Nations). Honey is regarded as highly nutritious, earning the fitting title of superfood, “with its antibacterial properties, flavonoids and antioxidants, [it] is in the category of healthy foods like blueberries, cruciferous veggies, nuts and whole grains” (Alberta Beekeepers Commission). Bees are a unique insect that are always giving to their environment and the people living there.

Lastly, attempting to give back to bees is the final step to joining forces with these mighty and vibrant insects to make a significant difference. Here are four things you can start doing now:

  1. Share this article with friends and families to raise awareness of how awesome bees are so they can help the bees that are in their gardens or balconies.
  2. Plant a collection of flowers in your outdoor garden so bees can access more nectar, which is essential to their survival. (Did you know that bees love traditional cottage garden flowers and native wildflowers such as Canada violets, prairie buttercup, and common tall sunflowers)?
  3. Revitalize tired bees with some sugar. Offer them this energizing drink of two teaspoons of white granulated sugar with one teaspoon of water on a plate or drip it onto a flower. (Only use granulated sugar and don’t worry if the bee is lying on the ground and not moving- it’s taking a break, so let it be-e).
  4. Enjoy local honey from a farmers’ market where you know bees are pollinating in pesticide free areas. (Do not consume it frequently though, because cutting honey consumption is beneficial for bee populations).

Bees are facing a threat due to intensive farming, monocultures, pesticides, and climate change. Nevertheless, we all have the power to protect our little friends by getting educated on the topic and sharing the knowledge with others so future generations can enjoy the many benefits that bees offer.


Alberta Beekeepers Commission. (“no date”). About Honey.

Alberta Native Bee Council. (2021). Alberta’s Native Bees.

Bolt, C. (2023, June 16). Five Myths About Bees: The Truth About These Remarkable Insect. WWF. Five myths about bees: The truth about these remarkable insects | Stories | WWF (

Frew, Nicholas. (2024, February 13). What’s The Buzz? Alberta Is The Powerhouse of Canada’s Honeybee Industry. CBC News. What’s the buzz? Alberta is the powerhouse of Canada’s honeybee industry | CBC News

Kelly, J. (2014, October 10). Flying Threat: Why Are Killer Bees So Dangerous? BBC News. Flying threat: Why are killer bees so dangerous? – BBC News

United Nations. (“no date”). We All Depend on The Survival of Bees.


Posted by:

Executive Assistant

Share This