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Our Campaigns

Save the Bees

GOAL: Give bees a chance by planting more pollinator-friendly plants, protecting safe havens for bees and reducing our reliance on pesticides.
Bees are dying off at an unsustainable rate, with serious consequences for our natural world. They play a vital role as pollinators, and losing them would have a devastating ripple effect across all ecosystems. That’s why we’re working to expand bee habitats and stop the use of bee-killing pesticides.
Our pollinators are in crisis

In recent years, beekeepers report they’re losing on average 29 percent — and sometimes nearly 40 percent — of all honeybee colonies each winter. It’s twice the loss considered economically tolerable. And, just as worrisome, wild bee populations are also in decline.

There are more than 20,000 species of bees, and they are nature’s best pollinators. Ninety percent of wild flowering plants need animal pollinators. Without them, flowering plants will sharply decline, with dangerous consequences for all ecosystems.

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Three ways to help save the bees

Scientists point to several causes for bee die-offs, including bee-killing pesticides, the loss of good habitat, disease and our changing climate. While we’re working to address each of these problems, the three things we can do right now to save the bees are to plant more pollinator-friendly plants; stop the use of bee-killing pesticides in parks, wildlife refuges and other places bees should be safe; and promote sustainable, less pesticide-reliant agricultural practices.

1. Planting more pollinator-friendly plants: The great thing about habitat is that small spaces can do wonders. Parks, roadsides and government lawns are all perfect for wildflowers and pollinator-friendly plants. We’re calling on cities, counties, our state and the federal government to commit to planting wildflowers and other plants that benefit bees.

2. Protecting safe havens for bees: There are some places where bees should be safe. State parks, wildlife refuges and national parks should be free of bee-killing pesticides. Further, bee-killing pesticides have no place in our urban landscapes and backyards, as our urban environs have increasingly become important for bees. Already, Connecticut, Maryland and Vermont have banned the sale of bee-killing pesticides to consumers. Oregon should do the same.

3. Reducing reliance on pesticides: We’re rethinking the overall use of pesticides used to grow America’s food, and we’re working to support a food system that is far less chemical-intensive. More sustainable farming practices are available, and we’re working to bring them to scale and make them commonplace. At the federal level, the next Farm Bill will be the perfect opportunity to push for more sustainable policy changes. And states and communities are already stepping into the fray and considering bills and policies to move farming toward sustainability.

Justin Leonard via Flickr CC
Together, we can give bees a chance

Native bees and honeybees play a crucial role in the web of life that sustains us and all species. Their decline puts us all at risk, and we need to act today to save them.

Tell our state Legislature to restrict bee-killing pesticides.

Take action to save the bees

Tell our state Legislature to restrict bee-killing pesticides.