The Bees in Decline

The risks for agriculture in europe

The role of the bee

Bees and other pollinating insects play an essential role in ecosystems. A third of all our food depends on their pollination. A world without pollinators would be devastating for food production.

Who would pollinate all the crops? Hand-pollination is extremely labour-intensive, slow and expensive. The economic value of bees’ pollination work has been estimated around € 265 billion annually, worldwide. So, also from a purely economic point of view, it pays to protect the bees.

Bee-killing pesticides

Bee-killing pesticides in particular pose the most direct risk to pollinators. The main reasons for global bee-decline are linked to industrial agriculture, parasites/pathogens and climate change. The loss of biodiversity due to monocultures and the wide-spread use of bee-killing pesticides are particular threats for honeybees and wild pollinators.

Although the relative role of insecticides in the global decline of pollinators remains poorly characterised, it is becoming increasingly evident that some insecticides, at concentrations applied routinely in the current chemical-intensive agriculture system, exert clear, negative effects on the health of pollinators – both individually and at the colony level. The observed, sub-lethal, low-dose effects of insecticides on bees are various and diverse.

What can we do?

Any progress in transforming the current destructive chemical-intensive agricultural system into an ecological farming system will have many associated benefits on other dimensions of the environment and on human food security.

Support the change towards ecological farming and help to protect bees, wild bees and other pollinators: buy regional and organic food, avoid pesticides in your garden, plant bee-friendly organic flowers and get active by signing the petition to save the bees and agriculture.

"Without insect pollination, about one third of the crops we eat would have to be pollinated by other means, or they would produce significantly less food."

− Greenpeace International

"While agriculture multinationals like Syngenta and Bayer care only about profits, their bee-killing pesticides put bees and other pollinators at risk. Without bees and their natural pollination global food production would be severely damaged."

− Marianne Künzle

"The dramatic decline of bees is just a symptom of a failed agricultural system based on the intensive use of chemicals, serving the interest of powerful corporations like Bayer and Syngenta. We need to urgently embrace modern ecological farming. This is the only long-term solution to save the bees and agriculture in Europe."

− Matthias Wüthrich

The Symposium “Feeding Europe with fewer pesticides” has been held on November 4th
at the European Parliament in Brussels.

View the program

Sign the petition

Help us save the bees

Add your voice to thousands of people around the world who want to protect the bees by banning bee-killing pesticides and chemical-intensive industrial agriculture and promoting ecological farming. The more people who sign, the more we can influence the governments and companies who can act to save the bees.



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Anna Hayes has supported the bees