World Bee Day will be celebrated on 20 May for the fifth year running. Established on 18 October 2017 at the request of the United Nations General Assembly, ‘World Bee Day’ is intended to raise awareness of the importance of bees and other pollinators.
At the same time, this day is also an opportunity for experts and politicians to devise special activities to ensure the survival of bees.
World Bee Day draws attention to the importance of protecting these creatures, but also reminds mankind that life depends on bees.
More than 75% of the world’s food crops are the result of their work. Moreover, more than 80% of crops for human consumption rely on the work of these insects.
They are essential insects, vital for our survival on planet Earth yet seriously threatened by pesticides and herbicides, climate change and air pollution.
They should be protected as one of the most valuable assets in the world but, unfortunately, this is not the case. But bees are important in terms of preserving the ecological balance and biodiversity in nature. They are the protagonists of one of the most recognisable ecosystem functions, pollination, which is what allows food production. In doing so, they protect ecosystems and animal species and play a major role in genetic and biotic diversity.
Bees have the special characteristic of also being indicators of the quality of the environment. Their presence, absence or number lets us know its state of health and whether specific action is needed to restore the balance.
Consequently, in order to protect the presence of bees in our ecosystem, an important point to consider is the type of weeding that can be carried out: chemical and mechanical. Let’s try to understand why mechanical weeding has less negative impact than chemical weeding.
The strengths of mechanical weeding are the excellent reduction of grassing, a reduction in water evaporation due to capillary rise, increased penetration of rainwater into the soil and improved incorporation of fertilisers.
Grassing can be controlled by mowing, which can be carried out at varying intervals (2-3 times per year) starting in February.
The advantages of mowing are a quick operation, respect for plant roots, good protection against the emergence of new weeds, savings in the cost of disposing of pruning debris, and better soil bearing capacity, which, during heavy rainfall, allows faster entry into inter-row areas. Lastly, these machines can also be used on soils with stones and ensure considerable enrichment of organic matter in the soil.