Monaco is celebrating bees with the 11th edition of APIdays, highlighting the tiny creatures that play a huge part in keeping the circle of life going by pollinating an estimated 80% of all of Europe’s wildflowers, preventing inbreeding and helping plants reproduce effectively.
According to bee experts at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, a third of the world’s food production depends on bees.
Think about that for a moment. A full one-third of our global food output is reliant on a tiny insect. Couple this with the benefits bees give the planet, including the making of delicious honey, creating jobs for rural peoples as beekeepers, and pollinating vast numbers of plants to keep their proliferation going, and it’s no surprise this humble creature has been given its own special day.
Since 2011, the Principality has celebrated APIdays, a programme led by the French National Union of Beekeeping (UNAF) to promote “bees, environmental sentinels”.
Several hives have been operational on the roof terrace of the Museum of Philately and Coinage in Fontvieille and are monitored by the UNAF, with help from a team at the Gardens Section of the Department of Urban Amenities.
This year, on 24th and 25th June from 9am to 4pm, the Department of Urban Amenities will be offering free events at the UNESCO Gardens on the Fontvieille Terraces, giving people the opportunity to learn more about these fascinating insects.
Beekeepers will be on hand to provide information and raise awareness about the key role played by bees, the importance of protecting them, and the development of beekeeping in France. The theme chosen for this year’s events is ‘Flowers, bees… and humans’.
The program will include a presentation on the benefits of melliferous plants, an exhibition on the history of bees, natural wax candle-making workshops, a chance to observe and learn how to identify pollinating wasps, hornets and bees, discussions with the lead beekeeper who will demonstrate how to extract honey, as well as fun games and quizzes for the kids.
Photo by Manuel Vitali, Government Communication Department