Bees play an essential role in keeping us and our planet healthy. The world’s agriculture depends on them and at least 70 out of 100 foods are intervened in favour of bees. Yet, bee numbers around the world have plummeted by 90% in the last century. We need to do something about it - urgently!
Worldwide, and also in South Africa, insect pollinator populations are declining. The loss of natural areas to monoproduction, the use of pesticides, especially while crops and weeds are in flower, and a shortage of nectar and pollen sources at certain times of the year are just some of the threats reducing the numbers of honey bees. Without the pollination services honey bees provide, more than 50 crops in South Africa will fail. Declining honey bee populations create a shortage in beehives for pollination, which results in poor harvests. This translates into a loss of job security and other threats to the viability of the agricultural industry. Without honey bees, there will be fewer food choices for everyone.
South Africa imports more honey than it produces. Increasing honey bee populations means more opportunities to grow the local honey industry and provide more jobs in agriculture. By providing a sufficient and constant source of forage for honey bees and managing other threats to their survival (e.g. by not spraying insecticides, especially not when crops are flowering and bees are active), landowners can do much to maintain and increase healthy hive numbers.
We need your support to create a future for people and nature
Make a symbolic adoption of a bee today to show your love and support for nature and all it provides.
What is WWF doing?
WWF has developed a guide for landowners to protect or grow forage resources for honey bees, understanding that these support other pollinators and natural predators too. It explains why eucalyptus trees are vital to the beekeeping and agricultural industries in South Africa, while contextually managing healthy indigenous biodiversity.
WWF has also set up a project with the WWF Nedbank Green Trust aimed at conserving the Cape honeybee through restoring their indigenous forage.
This project builds on the work that’s been done to free up water by removing alien invasive vegetation. The next step is promoting and assisting with the planting of indigenous species that help increase local biodiversity and are a source of forage (or food) for honeybees and other pollinators.
WWF is collaborating with local farmers, beekeepers and newly established indigenous plant nurseries to understand the role that proactive restoration (or replanting) can play in enhancing the forage of the Cape honeybee. The long-term aim is to scale up the project that is based on the need to better understand the pollination needs of the fruit industry and to work with farmers and landowners as stewards of the land, to catalyse interest in veld management. Another focus of the project is to increase livelihood options, including skills development in restoration activities and beekeeping.
How does the symbolic adoption work?
First of all: thank you. You’re choosing something different. This is a special gift because it will help protect the beautiful and sometimes fragile environments that surrounds us – for both people and nature.
This is a perfect gift for animal lovers, environmentalists or simply people with a big heart.
What you get
A digital symbolic adoption certificate.
A beautiful digital photograph.
An optional soft toy to love forever. *Toy may vary from image shown.
We'll keep you updated on how you're supporting our vital work including sending you adoption updates two to three times a year.
Did you know?
One out of every three mouthfuls of our food depends on pollinators such as bees.
Social bees, such as honeybees and bumblebees, often live in hives or nests, above or below the ground.
Most solitary bees nest in the ground.
Bees have 4 wings