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The Meeple Guild: Celebrate World Bee Day with a game of Beez

In case you are not aware May 20 is World Bee Day.
You move your bees to collect pollen and score points.

YORKTON - One of the neat things about doing a weekly review you can go off on a tangent once in a while.

This will be one of those times, although we’ll get to a game before we are finished, so just read on.

In case you are not aware May 20 is World Bee Day.

“World Bee Day is a day of awareness about the importance of honey bees and why we need to protect them and other such pollinators,” explains

“Designated by the United Nations, World Bee Day seeks to inform and educate people about honey bees and their impact on our biodiversity.

“For example, it is estimated that one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat depends on honey bees and the pollination process.

“But honey bees are facing extinction, with a 2021 report by the Center for Biological Diversity and the Bombus Pollinators Association of Law Students finding that American honey bees had decreased by some 89 per cent.

“World Bee Day is a day of awareness about the harmful effects of pesticides, climate change, and habitat loss on honey bees - and what we can do to reverse this.” 

So now we mark World Bee Day each May 20. The date was chosen as World Bee Day by the United Nations in honor of the birthday of Anton Janša, the pioneer of beekeeping in the 18th century.”

Again from the website, “World Bee Day is a relatively recent holiday. This is in response to the ongoing climate change crisis, with more bee species than ever before being reported to be facing extinction in the past 10 years. As a result, the committee of Slovenia appealed to the United Nations in 2017 to honor World Bee Day. In December of the same year, the United Nations approved the proposal, naming May 20 as International World Bee Day, with the first event taking place in 2018. In 2023, World Bee Day will celebrate its fifth anniversary.”

So as a way to focus your mind on the importance of -- and the plight of as well – of the bee, why not play a bee-related game on the 20th.

There are several including relatively new offerings such as Honey Buzz, and the one we will discuss here Beez.

Beez comes from Next Move Games, a publisher best known for the now near classic Azul, and its variant releases such as Summer Pavilion, Stained Glass of Sintra and Queen’s Garden, as well as Reef, a recent addition to our collection that is excellent too.

Beez, from designer Dan Halstad was released in 2020, and has players taking on the role of bees out collecting nectar to make honey. Here you even get awesome little bee pieces to move around the board – a highlight of an amazingly detailed board and offering.

The pollen is represented by wooden cylinders that are nice aesthetically to collect. Players store the pollen on individual boards which have recesses for the cylinders – so the component quality is about as good as it gets, which if you have played Azul you recognize it is sort of a Next Moves Games signature.

Beez initially is a bit harder to grasp than say Azul, or Reef, but once you get the movement of the bee pieces down, it plays quick with easy to understand goals – the card variety means slightly different objectives game to game.

In the end this one looks nice, but won’t become a classic like Azul. Still, on bee day it’s a perfect fit.

And to wrap up back to the website for five World Bee Day facts you won’t “bee-lieve!”

Bees are the most important pollinator in the world and have been for centuries. But here are some interesting facts you may not know about these winged creatures:

* The average honey bee will only make around 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime. 

* A single bee visits 50 to 100 flowers on each pollination trip. 

* Almost 75 per cent of the crops grown in the world rely on honey bee pollination. 

* Bees have four wings!

* There are over 25,000 different species of bees - and many of them can’t even sting!