Long horned bee Eucera longicornis

The Bee Cause Are bees endangered?

Blossom and bees

Are bees going extinct?

Britain’s bees are in trouble. 35 UK bees species are under threat of extinction, and all species face serious threats. Pesticides are one of the key threats to bees.

The decline in bees' diversity and abundance would have a serious impact on how the natural world functions, including our 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. 

Blossom and bees
photo of oilseed rape field being sprayed

What's causing bee decline?

Bees, especially wild solitary bees and bumblebees, are in serious decline in the UK and globally. In the UK, we have already lost around 13 species and another 35 are currently at risk.

The biggest single cause of bee decline is the intensification of farming. This is compounded by the increased use of pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, which is having a devastating impact on wild bees.

Learn more about the threats facing bees, including habitat loss, climate change, pesticides, pests and disease, and invasive species.

photo of oilseed rape field being sprayed
Female buff tailed bumble bee flying near apple tree

Bees, trees and climate

Bees are great indicators of a healthy environment. But right now, they're at risk due to climate breakdown and habitat loss.

Shifts in the seasons are disrupting flowering times and the availability of food, shelter and nesting sites. Climate change also brings extremes of drought, heavier rainfall and flooding. Bees and pollinating insects are struggling to survive.

We’ve been campaigning for years for a safe climate and to help nature flourish. And now we’re campaigning for a new Environmental Rights Act to ensure a healthy environment for everyone.

Female buff tailed bumble bee flying near apple tree

Bee facts and figures

How many times more efficient the Red mason bee is at pollinating apple trees, compared to a Honey bee
Number of seasons in which different bees
need pollen and nectar
% of flower-rich meadows which
have been lost since the 1930s
£1.8 billion
How much it would cost UK farmers to pollinate
their crops without bees
The crop area, measured in football pitches,
of Europe's biggest field trial, which showed
neonicotinoids harm bees
Buff tailed bumblebee

EU bans bee-harming neonics

Fantastic news for bees! The European Commission has voted in favour of a ban on bee-harming neonicotinoids on all outdoor crops.

Friends of the Earth has campaigned for a neonics ban for a number of years.

The UK and Europe listened to the public and overwhelming scientific evidence on the harm bees and other pollinators face from neonics.

But there's still work to do till bees are safe. The government must do more to help farmers adopt pollinator-friendly ways of farming.

Buff tailed bumblebee
photo of poppies and other wildflowers

Ask your council to protect pollinators

Wouldn't it be fantastic if your neighbourhood was full of flourishing green spaces, for both you and pollinators to enjoy?

Councils can play an important role in habitat protection, restoration and creation.

If you work for a council and want to adopt pollinator-friendly measures, or you want to inspire your council to take action we have plenty of resources available.

photo of poppies and other wildflowers

Help save Britain's bees. Donate today for your Bee Saver Kit.

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