The Malta Beekeepers Association, with Citadel Insurance’s support, is holding an exhibition at San Anton Gardens, Attard, today between 9am and 6pm to celebrate the first UN World Bee Day and to increase awareness about this tiny yet vital insect.
World Bee Day aims to emphasise bees’ contribution to sustainable development and generate awareness on the threats bees and other pollinators have to combat for survival. Malta is no exception to the worldwide phenomenon of the rapid decline of bee species. Over the past few years, bees have been dwindling due to fewer wildflower-rich habitats and pesticides.
With this in mind, the association has teamed up with Citadel Insurance to raise awareness about bees’ vital role in global ecosystems, including Malta’s. They are responsible for pollinating 70 out of the world’s top 100 food crops. Additionally, honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life including enzymes, vitamins, minerals and water.
Mario Sant from the Beekeepers Association, whose ancestors’ connection to beekeeping dates back to 1898, said the Maltese Apis Mellifera Ruttneri bee is highly active and resistant to certain diseases.
“Beekeeping and honey production are old traditions in the Maltese islands. Maltese honey was and is still considered a delicacy. It has been exported from the island since the Roman period. A hive of bees will fly about 90,000 kilometers to collect one kilo of honey. It takes two million flowers to make just one jar of honey, equivalent to half a kilo.”
In the past, Malta was nicknamed the ‘land of honey’. It is the only island whose name originated from honey. The Greeks called the island Melite, derived from the Greek word meli, which translates into honey. The Romans called it Melita and it was under the Arab rule that Melita was changed to Malta.
Angela Tabone, managing director of Citadel Insurance plc said: “We are happy to support campaigns such as World Bee Day. As part of our commitment to the environment and corporate social responsibility, we join other countries to raise awareness about this crucial cause. Bees are vital to the global food chain, and, as Albert Einstein was famously quoted, ‘if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, man would only have four years of life left. Remove the bee from the Earth and at the same stroke you remove at least 100,000 plants that will not survive’.”
In the coming months, Citadel will hold several other initiatives to support the association’s awareness campaigns. During World Bee Week, the company will launch its first activity and will be distributing tokens of honey from its branches.
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