Where would we be without bees?
They’re vital to food security and part of the backbone of our wild isles, allowing the UK to support a rich diversity of plants and wildlife. But with bee numbers in global decline, protecting them needs to be high on everyone’s agenda.
We most often think of honeybees and bumblebees, but did you know there are 270 species of bee in the UK? Each one plays a special role in keeping our meadows, woodlands, heathlands and hedgerows alive, with forager bees flying incredible distances for pollen and nectar, pollinating trees and flowers as they go.
It’s hard to illustrate just how important these industrious insects are to us. They’re part of how we support a rich biodiversity of plants and wildlife and are essential to our food and economy – globally, around a third of our crops depend on bees and other pollinators.
Yet, in a single lifetime, we’ve seen the widespread destruction of our natural world, threatening the future of our bees. Since the 1930s alone we’ve lost 97% of our wildflower meadows in the UK; we’re not looking after nature, and now it’s in crisis.
If we lose these essential winged workers, our food security would be threatened as well as the overall diversity of nature in our wild isles. But mass habitat loss, widespread use of pesticides in food production and the intensification of farming, together with a rapidly changing climate, are all causing a decline in wild bee species.
To protect these and other insects, we need to restore wild areas and plant more wildflowers. We need to support our farmers to produce food in a nature-friendly way and reduce the use of harmful pesticides. And we need to continue to fight for a stable climate.
Bees are critical for nature and our own survival. If we’re going to bring our world back to life, bees are a good place to start.
different species of bee in the UK
UK bumblebee species are now extinct
of global crops dependant on pollinators
Discover more about where bees live, the threats they face, and some stories of hope that show we can preserve nature if we take action.
True grassland habitats like wildflower meadows and chalk downland are havens for wildlife. But they’re fast disappearing and need our help before they’re gone forever.
Our nature is being pushed to the brink by the changing climate, pollution, mismanagement and more. Only by knowing the threats can we work to protect our wild isles.
Our wildlife is amazing - but it’s in crisis. WWF, the RSPB and the National Trust are working together to bring nature back from the brink. We need everyone. Find out how you can go wild once a week and together we can save our wild isles.