The Bee Cause

Britain’s bees are in trouble. 35 UK bees species are under threat of extinction, and all species face serious threats. Right now, they need us almost as much as we need them.

The decline in bees' diversity and abundance would have a serious impact on how our natural world functions. This includes our food crops. Bees pollinate much of the food that makes our diets healthy and tasty – from the apple in our lunchbox, to the tomatoes on our pizza. 

Friends of the Earth launched the Bee Cause in 2012 to reverse bee decline in the UK, and we've helped bees so much already thanks to you.

But bees aren't safe yet - so please join us and give bees a brighter future.



IMPORTANT: Call on Herts County Council to adopt a Pollinator Policy

Herts County Council care for many important areas that could be pollinator havens - like roadside verges, parks, school grounds and roundabouts. With habitat loss being a factor in the decline of bees over recent years it's important that these areas are managed in a pollinator friendly friendly way.

Friends of the Earth have successfully influenced some councils to put pollinators first and adopt local Pollinator Action Plans. Can you ask your council to do the same?

Please ask Herts County Council to adopt a Pollinator Policy here:





THE BEE CAUSE – IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE!
 
We wanted to share with you this email we received from Friends of the Earth HQ on 7th May 2018… 

Dear Bee Cause campaign contacts,

Bee pollinating flower
A couple of weeks ago countries across the European Union voted to ban bee-harming neonic pesticides on all crops grown outdoors, including the UK. This is an historic moment for bees! (see https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bees/eu-bans-beeharming-neonics).
 
On behalf of the Bees team, thank you for everything you’ve done on the campaign, since it began in 2012. It might surprise you to know the original plan was for a 6 month campaign on bees….and here we are 5 years later! Thank you for all the postcards you’ve persuaded people to sign, wildflower seeds you’ve given away, the Bee Walks, Bee Worlds, Bee Teas, More Than Honey film screenings, letters and emails to MPs, media stories…oh the list goes on but you get the picture. This would not have happened without you, so please do take a moment to celebrate this wonderful mile stone.
 
As we have the neonic ban under our belt, we’ll start focusing our efforts on habitat loss – a big problem for bees and other pollinators – by asking councils to implement pollinator plans so we can increase pollinator-friendly habitats across the UK. We’re also looking at how we can reduce overall pesticide use in farming by influencing the upcoming Agriculture Bill to protect our natural world. We need to shape these pieces of work up a bit more, so watch this space.

Thanks again!
Tom and everyone on the Bees team at Friends of the Earth

Yippee we did it! Well done everyone and a big thank you to all of you for helping us. 




Get involved

Join the Great British Bee Count 17th May – 30th June 2018. With over 270 species recorded in Britain there are a lot of different bees to find.

 
Thanks again for all your help!










Easy ways to help bees
Children enjoying the outdoors

Grow pollen and nectar-rich plants
Different bee species prefer different flower shapes, so aim for a range, from tubular-shaped flowers to open-headed flowers. As well as flowers, try shrubs, herbs, trees, fruit and veg. Spring and autumn flowering bulbs are also great.

Plant through the seasons
Bees need food all year round, so grow a mix of plants that flower from spring through to autumn and winter to offer a welcome food source for bees in the colder months. 

No garden?  Plant up a pot or window box
Try lavender, heathers, nasturtiums, sunflowers and bulbs like crocuses, as well as herbs. 

Grow flowering herbs
Try chives, sage, marjoram, mint and thyme, and rosemary if you have more space. 

Learn to love a few weeds
Dandelions and clovers are a great source of food for bees. 

Avoid using pesticides
Help wildlife thrive by putting away the chemical pesticides, especially those containing bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides.  

Give bees a drink in hot weather
Provide a shallow bowl of clean rainwater with a few pebbles for the bees to land on.
 
Buy a bee-friendly gift
A beautiful bee-friendly plant, bee hotel or a Friends of the Earth Bee Saver Kit make great gifts that will give our bees a helping hand.