World Bee Day was instituted to raise awareness for declining bee populations. Bees and their pollinating practices stabilise our ecosystems — without them we would lose fruit-based crops, leading to unbalanced and unhealthy diets.
In Ukraine, beekeeping is a staple practice. Ukraine is one of the largest honey producers in Europe and ranks among the top 10 producers in the world. Ukraine is a great consumer of honey and other bee products, such as pollen to help prevent sickness. Westerners may be surprised to find honey typically sold in a granola or block form versus in a bottle.
While honey production is commercially viable, the market is not overwhelmed by corporations. Indeed, beekeeping is spread all over Ukraine with one beekeeper per 107 Ukrainians. Indeed, the practice is intrinsic to Ukrainian culture. While modern beekeeping can be traced back to the scientific efforts of Petro Prokopovych, wild beekeeping was traditionally practised in the Polissia region through generations. The practice of beekeeping was observed in coordination with the church calendar and was a source for almanac discoveries and even superstition.
Today, while Eastern Ukrainian landowners lose access to land engaged in conflict, the UN sends relief through viable beekeeping.