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Bees are incredibly important for our ecosystem and food supply. Learn more about bees, Colony Losses, and the organizations that are helping to find a solution.

Importance of Bees

We depend on bees more than most people realize.

One in three bites of food1 is made possible by bees and other pollinators . Bees pollinate nearly two-thirds of major U.S. crop species. We can thank bees for coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, cotton and more. Bees are also vital to clover and alfalfa: two crops that feed cattle and other grazing animals. In the United States alone, over one hundred crops need or benefit from bees, which translates to $3 billion of our economy.

Pollinators are also essential to other animals. Many fruits and seeds need pollinators to grow and survive – plants that feed a quarter of all birds and several mammal species.

[1] Mader, E., Shephard, M., Vaughan, M., Black, S., LeBuhn, G. (2011). Attracting Native Pollinators: Protecting North America’s Bees and Butterflies. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.

Additional Resources

Pollinator Conservation

Learn more from the Xerces Society about how to Bring Back the Pollinators.

Give Bees A Chance

Learn how Whole Foods is working to raise awareness of Colony Losses.

Colony Losses

In 2006 beekeepers warned that bees were mysteriously disappearing. Bees that seemed healthy were simply abandoning their hives and never returning.

Why? No one knows the exact cause, though scientists believe there are several factors:

  • Exposure to pesticides
  • Hive management practices
  • Invasive parasitic mites
  • A new virus
  • An inadequate food supply

Scientists and researchers all over the country are trying to find solutions, and we can help by:

  • Planting bee friendlier native wildflowers
  • Supporting organic agriculture
  • Avoiding pesticides

Additional Resources

Bee Threats

Learn more about a variety of issues affecting bee health in this landmark series from the Star Tribune.

TED Talk: Why Bees Are Disappearing

Watch Dr. Marla Spivak, Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota, give an insightful and inspiring presentation about the issues facing bees.

A Bee Friendlier Flower Bombing

Planting even a few native wildflowers can go a long way to help bees. But we wanted to try something even bigger. With seed bombs. Dropped from the air.

So we went to Yolo County, California, a farming community dependent on bees, to try something new. We enlisted a plane, a piece of land surrounded by organic crops, and over 1 million native wildflower seeds to create an aerial seeding event that would help bring pollinators back.

In other words? We flower bombed the heck out it.

Check out the video here, and be sure to share with your friends and family to help spread the word.

Our Commitment

At Cascadian Farm, we’ve been farming organically since 1972, and we know how essential bees are to the environment. In fact, bees are responsible for the pollination of over two-thirds of the world’s agriculture crops. That’s why we’re spearheading Bee Friendlier, an education and support program to help bees thrive. Bee Friendlier seeks to inform, teach and promote bee-friendly activities by:

  • Planting Wildflowers for Bee Habitat
  • Supporting Bee Health Research
  • Training and Educating about Pollinators

Additional Resources

Spreading the Word

Visit Cascadian Farm’s website to learn more about bees and some of the ways we hope to help.

Cascadian Farm & Partners

Cascadian Farm

Cascadian Farm has grown beyond our original farm in Washington State and is recognized as a pioneer in converting conventional farms to organic. We realize that we can make a difference beyond just the food that we produce. That’s why we work with partners who share our mission. Working together, we can help sustain the health of the earth for all living creatures today, tomorrow and for generations to come.

Xerces Society

The Xerces Society is the leading nonprofit conservation organization working on behalf of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to raise awareness and restore native wildflower habitat across the country. Farmers, governments, and businesses lean on Xerces for their invaluable expertise regarding bee-friendly practices.

University of Minnesota Bee Lab

Nestled in the heart of honeybee country, the Bee Lab at the University of Minnesota is the nation’s foremost research center for Colony Losses and bee health. Led by Dr. Marla Spivak, their work is internationally acclaimed and continues to shed valuable, new insights on the issues facing bees.