By Sarah Wolter
Bees are perfectly adapted to pollinate, helping plants grow, breed and produce food. They do so by transferring pollen between flowering plants and so keep the cycle of life turning.
The vast majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination, especially by bees: from almonds and vanilla and apples to squashes. Bees also pollinate around 80% of wildflowers in Europe, so our countryside would be far less interesting and beautiful without them.
But bees are in trouble. There is growing public and political concern at bee decline across the world. This decline is caused by a combination of stresses - from loss of their habitat and food sources to exposure to pesticides and the effects of climate change.
More than ever before, we need to recognise the importance of bees to nature and to our lives. And we need to turn that into action to ensure they don't just survive but thrive.