Save Bees

Western carpenter bee

Carpenter bees are pollinators (not pests)

Large carpenter bees are an amazing sight to behold. Dedicated and efficient pollinators (even in cold weather), they live surprisingly long lives (up to three years in some cases), raising a small number of young in nesting tunnels passed down through family generations.Read more

Bumble bee sleeps in flower

A bumble bee queen sleeps in a flower

This is my own story (from 2010!) of a bumble bee queen who found the perfect spot to spend a series of nights in early spring. Safely tucked inside a crocus flower, she enjoyed a delicious energy bar, whose enclosing petals would open to the sky only once the sun hit! Read more

Bumble bees mating

Hosting tiny guests at an Air Bee-n-Bee in San Francisco

Today I heard from Ann in San Francisco with a question after she found my post about how to revive a cold, wet, or exhausted bee. Astonishingly, a queen bumble bee—carrying three little worker bees, no less!—had sought out Ann’s help in the garden. In her words: “Hi, I have a queen bee that visited my back patio yesterday and she kept following me around and trying to get under a bag of potting soil…I moved the bag and then her…to under a sunny bush…she was then crawling back to me! So I put down my glove and she hopped on and I found a more protected area of the lawn where she spent the night. Today she is back with three small bumble bees on her back she is not moving and will not drink its going to get cold and windy soon…what do I do???” Read more

Bees and mushrooms

Fungi Perfecti mycelium extracts boost bees’ immunities

Fungi Perfecti is a company founded by Paul Stamets, currently producing mushroom mycelium that is beneficial for both human and bee health. Working alongside scientists at Washington State University, they have demonstrated that extracts of polypore mushrooms confer an immune benefit to bees. They have also been working with beekeepers, and hope soon to introduce a native bee feeder that anyone can put in their own garden, so bees may sip beneficial mycelium to boost their immunities. In the meantime, they have suggestions for mushrooms you can grow yourself to provide an immunity boost to your local bees.Read more

Metallic green sweat bee

Bee Events, Bee Walks & Bee Art

From national pollinator weeks to regional bee weekends, it’s worth checking out some of these bee events. There’s also a fantastic app-enhanced “bee walk” if you happen to bee near Salisbury in the UK! And there are varous bee-focused art exhibitions to see too. Read more

Elise Fog

Elise Fog of Save Bees & Enlightened Bugs

I figured I should introduce myself at some point! I’m the one who has built this website, and I’ve also taken all the bee photos you see on these pages. I adore bees... if you haven’t already guessed! I started this site in 2010 to connect with other bee lovers and share the importance of pollinators. Bees are so critical to our world, and I find it so striking that anyone, anywhere can help save bees (whether you have a small garden or acres or even a balcony, or even no outdoor space at all!). Read more

Saving a bumble bee

John’s story of the ‘Bee that Stayed’

Reader John first wrote to me in reply to my post about how to revive a cold, wet, or exhausted bee. In his words: “I can’t believe this, I love Bumble Bees, and when I find one in the garden lying there exhausted, I mix a bit of sugar with water and let them crawl on my hand have a drink, then they sleep for 3 minutes and fly off revitalized. Well. I found one lying on the lawn in a bad state, so I did my usual, NOW he has stayed on my hand and won’t go away, he stayed there whilst I mowed the lawn, and he is still here 1 hour later, he has stayed on my finger whilst I am typing, so I put him on a piece of kitchen roll next to me on the table.” Read more

Grow Wild Bees

Eric Venturini of Grow Wild Bees

Eric Venturini is an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Maine, where he studies wild bees. In one recent project, he managed bumble bee health and diversity surveys across the state. He also provides pollinator outreach and education to farmers and the public throughout the state, speaking at events throughout New England. In this interview, I chat to Eric about his project Grow Wild Bees. Read more

Sweat bee on aster

Update on the many threats to bees

In this in-depth article, I take a look at the many threats facing pollinators in today's world. There was a time when flowering meadows and other bee-friendly habitats carpeted huge swaths of land. These days, bees must travel much further distances for food, often subsisting on just a few types of flowers, rather than the many types they often need in order to live healthy lives. But there's far more to this story than simply a loss of habitat, and the threats bees face vary depending on the type of bee. Learn more about pesticides, commercial pollination, genetic diversity, and other factors affecting bee health. Read more

Mining bee on crocus

Implications of Zika on pesticide use

One of the most alarming developments of 2016 was that individuals and governments, understandably fearful of mosquito-borne viruses such as zika, dengue, and chikungunya, were turning to pesticides for solutions. Statistics suggest we have lost half the world’s wildlife in the last 40 years. Bee losses are increasing, with common bee species populations dropping dramatically in recent years. What we need are responsible agricultural practices (organic and agroecological), coupled with sensible gardening and public space maintenance. Read more

Long-horned bee on thistle

Pesticides and neonicotinoids (neonics)

A certain class of insecticides known as neonicotinoids (neonics for short) are known to be particularly detrimental to bee health. At this point, the science is strong (and only growing stronger) showing the field-realistic effects (both acute and chronic) of these insecticides on a variety of bees including honey bees, bumble bees, and other wild bees. We are losing many valuable pollinators by continuing to apply these pesticides indiscriminately, and we are degrading the lives and viability of bees everywhere by exposing them to lifelong, sub-lethal poisoning. Read more

Northwest Meadowscapes seeds

Spring planning for a pollinator garden

We all look forward to spring, and so do our buzzing pollinator friends. Spring is the time to begin planning your bee garden (or adding to your existing bee garden)! Here I include a few people’s favorite bee plant lists, and give tips for spring bee gardening, no matter how large or small your space (even if it’s a balcony)! The best choices are native flowering perennials, annuals, shrubs, and trees with long blooming times. Select a variety both in terms of colors and flowering times, so that you’re offering food throughout spring, summer, and fall (and winter too, depending on your locale).Read more

Bumble bee soaked by rain

How to help revive a cold or wet bee

This is the most popular page on this website! And it’s been incredible to hear the response from folks to my article on how to help an individual bee that is struggling, whether it is caught out in bad weather, or has fallen into a pool of water, or simply needs a helping human hand to bee on its way again. Learn tips for reviving bees you come across, and see some lovely videos and photos shared by readers who helped their bees. With over 600 comments, there are plenty of heartwarming stories and interesting questions to read too! Read more

Honey bee on crocus

Good bee books for young and old

I adore books about bees, and if you’re visiting this website, I’m guessing you may do so as well! Here I cover a few of my favorite bee books, all excellent reads... even the ones for little ones. Encourage a love of bees by giving one (or more!) of these books to someone you love. Read more

Bumble bee in mid-air

Think of bees as intelligent creatures

This was the first article I ever wrote on this website, and it comes across as a fairly opinionated rant when I read it now. But it still represents my views nonetheless: we should not be waging chemical warfare on these gentle, helpful buzzing creatures upon which life as we know it depends. Read more