World Bee Day

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Today, May 20, marks World Bee Day 2019: Folia Magazine joins in the event with this curious illumination from a 16th-century French manuscript.

Despite the great importance of this little insect over the course of history, WBD is merely at its second edition; the event was in fact established in 2018 after being approved by the Council of the United Nations the previous year. The proposal for a World Bee Day, as well as its date, was set forth by Slovenia: May 20, in fact, is the birth day of Anton Janša - a famous Slovenian beekeeper who pioneered modern beekeeping techniques during the 18th-century.

The aim of World Bee Day is to raise awareness towards the precious insect and its role in conserving biodiversity, as well as its importance for humanity as a whole: it is estimated that around 75% of the food we eat derives from the process of pollination mainly operated by bees. These, however, are sadly slowly disappearing because of pollution, pesticides, and climate changes. Can we imagine a table with 75% less food?


Illumination from the manuscript "Le Livre nommé Fleur de vertu", ms. Français 1877, f. 21v, 16th century, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Paris.

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