Did you know that there are over 20,000 species of bees in the world, that they are vital to our ecosystems and food production, and that many of them are endangered?
But there’s good news - all around the world, people are pulling together to save the bees! Lots of small steps lead to big outcomes - and from individual actions to international agreements, humanity has made massive strides in pollinator protection in recent years.
If you’re inspired to help out, there are loads of ways in which you can contribute to keep this momentum going. Every effort helps! And you can’t quantify the feel-good factor that comes with taking action to make the world a little better for bees - and people too.
Helping bees and other pollinators at home
You can create a bee-friendly haven at home - in your garden, backyard, front porch or balcony:
Don’t spray it!
Eliminating or reducing the use of toxic pesticides is a great way to support bees and other pollinators. You can replace highly hazardous pesticides with less harmful alternatives. If you do use synthetic chemical sprays, apply them in the evening when pollinators are less active.
More gardens, fewer lawns
Lawns provide little or no forage for pollinators such as bees. Want to save yourself work, improve your soil quality and support pollinators? Give over some of that lawn space to flowering plants.
Give the mower a rest
Don't mow everywhere, leave some wild areas and allow the flowers to flourish. Mowing less frequently can also provide a pollination bonus.
Feed the bees
When planning your garden, choose various plants that flower throughout the year. As well as brightening up your garden, these flowers will be a bounty for the bees. See our resources section for planting guides tailored to your region.
Different types of bees have their own housing preferences. Ways to encourage them to take up residence include setting up a pollinator house, drilling holes in wood, poking holes in mud, leaving patches of ground undug, and providing a reliable water source.
Learn about pollinator-friendly gardening with Robyn Francis
In your community
Teaming up with others that share your passion for bees is a great way to feel inspired, support each other, and collaborate to create bee-friendly spaces. There are loads of organisations working towards creating pollinator spaces in towns, on roadside verges or on a wider scale. You can find a group near you, or even set up your own local project!
We know that not everyone has time to volunteer or set up an urban garden. Supporting and donating to projects that are working on behalf of bees and wildlife is another way to help our flying friends. We’ve helped to plant over a million trees for pollinator habitat by partnering with great organisations through our Billions of Blossoms program.
How we spend our money has an impact on the wider world. Supporting organic producers, particularly local ones, allows our food to be grown in ways that help instead of harm bees. You also lower your own exposure to pesticide residues and heavy metals, so it’s a win-win.
Try to buy from businesses that are taking steps to minimise their environmental footprint. Look out for labels from certification bodies such as Bee Friendly Farming, Bee Better Certified, B-Corp, Forest Stewardship Council, Rainforest Alliance, and others.
Become an idea-pollinator
Like bees spreading pollen making plants bloom and multiply, we can spread our knowledge and see our impact bloom.
Get talking - Tell your friends and family some cool bee facts, like how a honeybee can fly at 40km (25 miles) per hour, and the creation of one teaspoonful of honey requires bees to visit roughly 1,800 flowers! Chat with neighbours and spread awareness about how important bees are and good practices for protecting pollinator health in your locality.
Let those in charge know that pollinator conservation is important to you. Bring it up with your local councillor at a town hall meeting. Advocate for pollinators at state and national levels. Sign petitions that promote pollinator health.
Think of the children - Educating kids about bees and pollinators can spark their curiosity and set off a lifelong love of nature.
Bring it to work - Perhaps you can encourage your company or school to get involved with supporting pollinator initiatives?
Post for pollinators- Your social media feed can be used to share cute bee videos, amazing bee facts and stories about pollinator protection projects. Get started by sharing this page!
If you're a farmer
Farmers can play an especially important role in improving conditions for bees and other pollinators. And through improved yields, farmers are the prime beneficiaries of healthy pollinator populations.
There are lots of great ways to support pollinator health on your farm. These include providing year-round forage for pollinators, water sources, cover crops, and nesting habitat such as buffer strips and hedgerows. Using an integrated pest management (IPM) system can allow you to eliminate or reduce hazardous pesticides.
Check out our resources section below for more on the Bee-Friendly FarmingⓇ initiative, including guidebooks and information on getting your farm certified as a pollinator haven.