Images of bees and Heifer International project participants

Save the Bees: Why We Need Bees and How They Help the Environment

Honeybees are essential to healthy crops and protect the environment.

Images of bees and Heifer International project participants

Sustainable agriculture is a key component of our work in 19 countries around the world. When we work to save the bees, we are also saving the environment. Honeybees are essential to healthy crops, and their rapid decline threatens global food security. That's why we incorporate bees into many of our projects.

What will you do to help save the bees?

Learn more about bees by taking our "Are You Smarter Than A Bee?" quiz.

Why We Need Bees

Honeybees may be small creatures, but their environmental impact is huge. With their taste for nectar and fuzzy legs, these pollinating machines influence farming practices worldwide. It’s estimated that one-third of global food production requires animal pollination and 80-90% of this role is carried out by honeybees.



Here are five reasons why bees are important:

  1. Bees are needed for pollination
  2. Bees increase fruit and vegetable production
  3. Bees are a source of income and food
  4. Honey has many health benefits
  5. Bee populations are declining worldwide

Beekeeping, also called apiculture, is part of Heifer's work in the area of environmental sustainability.

Farmers who keep bees see increased crop yields, whether they are growing coffee, spices or vegetables. Plus, they are able to harvest honey during the non-growing season to earn extra income, producing 60 pounds or more of honey each year.

The practice of beekeeping protects the environment, and Heifer farmers are trained to adopt climate-smart practices like diversifying their farms and producing organic fertilizers.

How Heifer Helps Bees and Beekeepers

Honeybees can help a family escape hunger and poverty, which is why we have incorporated them into projects in Honduras, Mexico and the United States. Here’s how it works in the Leveraging Success project in Honduras.

  1. A family receives honeybees from Heifer International.
  2. As expert pollinators, the honeybees double fruit and vegetable yields.
  3. The family sells the extra crops — and honey — for additional income.
  4. The family uses the new income to expand their farm — and futures.

Click the links below to learn more about Heifer's work with bees and what you can do to help:

A Sweet Partnership: The Relationship Between Bees and Regenerative Agriculture at Heifer Ranch

Bees are a key part of the ecosystem at the Heifer Ranch Center for Regenerative Agriculture – and beyond.

Read More

5 Easy Ways to Save the Bees

It's no secret these days that bees are extremely important. In addition to being everyone's favorite picnic guests, bees function as some of the great pollinators in the world. Here are some easy ways to help save the bees.

Read More

How to Make a Windowsill Bee Garden

Think that you can’t help save the bees because you don’t have access to a lawn? Think again! You can create a small haven for your local bees with just a few plants!

Read More

Honey in Honduras: Processing Plant Sets Beekeepers Abuzz

Honeybees are some of the world's most important pollinators — and their honey is valuable too. For the members of Las Selvas Beekeeping Association, honey represents a path to a living income.

Read More

Other Ways You Can Save the Bees

Bees are key to our survival and we can contribute to theirs. Review the resources below to learn more about their plight and how you can save the bees.

Learn more about Give the Gift of Honeybees.

Give the Gift of Honeybees

A Heifer honeybee gift donation includes a bee package, hive, box and training in beekeeping techniques. When you buy bees for a family in need, your gift increases the global honeybee population to support the environment.

Learn more about Read to Feed Coloring Pages.

Read to Feed Coloring Pages

Featuring 11 designs, these printable coloring pages will help your students learn more about specific Heifer animals and gifts they discover during the Read to Feed program, all while creating their own works of art.

Learn more about Busy Bee: Bee Activity Pack from Heifer for learning at home or school for elementary students.
Cover of the Busy Bee: Bee Activity Pack, bees and hive

Busy Bee: Bee Activity Pack From Heifer for Learning at Home or School for Elementary Students

These busy bees help your students to build skills in math, language arts and problem solving with a maze, color by number, jokes to decode and a hands-on demonstration about pollination!