Foods that bees pollinate • Friends of the Earth • Save the bees

Foods bees pollinate

Foods bees pollinate

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What foods do bees pollinate? How much time to you have, because this list is extensive! There is a vast amount of foods that bees pollinate from fruits and vegetables to almonds and spices. 

But did you know that bees are also responsible for helping dairy and meat production? Livestock like cows and goats feed on alfalfa, clover, and other vital crops. Their food is pollinated by bees. So even though bees only pollinate one in three bites of foods humans eat, they are responsible for the food other animals depend on – wild animals and livestock alike. 

Why are bees important to us

Bees have the all-important job of pollinating the plants around us. The foods that bees pollinate help us have a healthy, nutritious diet. Some of the foods that bees play an important role in pollinating include the following:

  • Apple
  • Avocado
  • Blackberry
  • Blueberry
  • Brazil nut
  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cashew
  • Celery
  • Peppers
  • Coconut
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Plum
  • Tomato
  • Turnip
  • Watermelon

We won’t list all the foods that bees pollinate because we’d be here all day.  Bees pollinate over 130 fruits and vegetables and are responsible for pollinating three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants. They pollinate seeds and nuts. It’s truly incredible the vast reach of pollinators.

Nearly 35% of the food the world depends on requires animal pollinators — like bees — to reproduce.  

But bees not only pollinate our food, they also help plants and trees grow — which is vital to clean, breathable air. 

Unfortunately, bees are under attack from pesticides and climate change. Last year, beekeepers reported that 45% of their hives died. If bee colonies continue to collapse, what kind of world would that leave?

Why do we need to save the bees

We know that bees are vital to clean air and food — not only for us but for the wildlife that we share this planet with. But what would happen if the bees suddenly vanished? 

First, we know that our favorite foods would be in short supply. Even if there were ways for humans to somehow replicate the pollination process, it would be expensive — meaning not everyone would have access to the foods they love unless they paid a steep price for it. Imagine day in and day out being forced to eat just corn,  wheat and other products that are pollinated by the wind. A vibrant meal plan would be out the window, and you’d be stuck with a bland, non-nutrient-rich diet.

Next, you’d need to wonder what caused the bees to die off. We know that rampant pesticide use is a key factor in pollinator decline. And we also know that pesticides aren’t only toxic to pollinators — they impact humans as well. They are linked to neurological disorders, cancers, and other health complications. What is driving pollinators to extinction also impacts human health. Our air, soil, and water are all contaminated by toxic pesticides. Will people be able to survive this world that is causing the bees to die off?

Pesticides harm more than pollinators

Researchers have found that organophosphate pesticides damage children’s developing brains — even at very small levels of exposure. 

Glyphosate — another pesticide that is pollinator-toxic — has been linked to increased risk of cancer

While the mention of a post-apocalyptic world minus pollinators might seem hyperbolic, it could be a real issue our grandchildren face if something is not done.

We lose more pollinators each year. Currently, 1 in 6 species of wild bees are regionally extinct, and over 40 percent are vulnerable to extinction. That is why Friends of the Earth is dedicated to being a loud and disruptive save the bees organization. We know a quarter of wild bee species haven’t been seen since the 1990s, and we know we need to keep ramping up the pressure to save the bees.

Save the bees

Saving the bees is not a small feat. After all, there are major players impacting their decline. Pesticide giants and retail corporations are all out for a profit.  Additionally, our legislators are not taking firm action to protect the bees — and our planet — from these toxic chemicals. 

Government Regulation

Without significant legislation to protect the bees, we know toxic pesticides will continue to be sprayed throughout the country. Countries like the United Kingdom and the EU, Switzerland, Brazil, and Egypt have all banned dozens of highly hazardous pesticides. But the United States is lagging behind these other nations — banning only a handful of pesticides! In fact, the United States allows 85 pesticides that are outlawed in other countries. 

Pesticide Giants

Pesticide giants like Bayer-Monsanto, Syngenta, and the like, are furthering pollinator decline. They try to pull the wool over the public’s eyes with falsified bee-friendly marketing. But we know the truth. Their products are harming bees — leading to drastic pollinator declines. 


Grocery retailers could play a major role in protecting our pollinators. If retailers made firm commitments to pollinator health and ended the use of bee-toxic pesticides in their supply chains, it could have a radical impact for bees — for the better! Wondering where your favorite grocery retailer ranks when it comes to pollinator health? Our retailer report card is a great place to start.

How you can help save the bees

When you join Friends of the Earth’s email list, you will be able to take part in our effort to push for stricter legislation of pesticides, demand retailers protect bees, and stand up to corporate pesticide giants! With you by our side we can continue to push for vital changes to keep our pollinators — and our food system and planet — safe.

Additionally, when you make a donation to our save the bees charity it allows us to continue doing our crucial work to protect pollinators. With you by our side, and with your generous donation and active voice, we can succeed. 

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