Bee Guardian Foundation (BGF) is an organization established in 2009 that hopes to empower and enable whole communities to work together to protect the world’s diverse bee species through raising awareness about the importance of all 250+ species in the UK. Bees are keystone species within the earth’s eco-system- they play an extremely important role in maintaining biodiversity and food security. We are dependent on many different species of bees to pollinate at least one third of the food we eat, cotton we wear, and many of the medicinal plants we are dependent on- we must maintain bee diversity in order to ensure plant diversity.
BGF works to achieve this goal by working within communities; getting individuals, schools, councils, farms and businesses who are not normally involved in conservation efforts to become Bee Guardians. Bee Guardians take responsibility for the land that they manage (whether it is a farm, school campus, or roof garden) and their activities will be tracked and publicized as a tool to inspire future generations, supplement already existing scientific research on the issue, and to inform policy makers. BGF also works to raise awareness about the key relationship between pollinators and the food we eat. By educating both producers and consumers BGF hopes to ensure that land is managed and products are produced in ways that are not detrimental to bees and their habitats. They have also created Bee Guardian Business Members who produce Bee Guardian certified products which raise money for BGF. Consumers will be given a choice to buy “bee friendly” products so they can help the bees through consumer decision-making. As BGF tries to create lasting change in consumer practices and knowledge, they also are hoping to reach, inspire, and change people’s attitudes toward insects and the environment through direct observation, encounters, and emphasis on the role they play in our lives.
The loss of pollinators is a global issue that will effect each and every one of us on this planet. Pollinators and the role they play are worth billions to the global economy yet this situation is not generally well understood by the public, policy makers and/or food producers. This is where BGF comes in- through small, effective initiatives, lasting change can be created for the future of bees in the UK and all over the world.