How to (actually) save the bees

The Medium Newsletter
The Medium Blog
Published in
Sent as a


4 min readJun 17, 2024

🐝 Did you know it takes bees 2 million flower visits to make one pound of honey?
Issue #99: pollinators, the comeback nobody wanted, and productivity shaming
Zulie @ Medium

Happy National Pollinator Week! In 2008, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved this week in June as National Pollinator Week. (A year after the release of Bee Movie… coincidence?) It’s run by the Pollinator Partnership with the aim of increasing awareness and growing the populations of our pollinators. Here’s their Pollinator Week toolkit if you want to get involved.

When I say “pollinator,” you probably think “bee,” right? Bees are definitely the face of the pollinator movement, but they’re in good company right alongside butterflies, moths, birds, flies, and even the humble honey possum.

On a more serious note, it’s hard to overstate the importance of pollinators. Some estimates suggest that one in every three bites of food you eat is thanks to pollination, since many plants need to be pollinated in order to grow fruits and vegetables. Due to factors like climate change, fragmented habitats, and lack of the right host plants, pollinators are dying — and fast.

It’s tempting to throw your hands up and think, “There’s nothing I can do,” but climate alarmism can actually hurt the movement, rather than help it. As Bas Frenson, the CEO of Eco MatchMaker puts it, “Shifting the perspective from ‘We can’t do anything’ to ‘What can we do within our power?’ is a great way to assess the resources at hand and put together a solid action plan.”

I’ve learned, as I work in my own yard, that there’s actually a lot you can do right at home. Kelly J Bostian, editor of the Oklahoma Ecology Project on Medium, recommends that simply skipping mowing can help pollinators get an early source of nectar from unassuming weeds like dandelions, buttercups, and daisies. You can choose to leave the leaves in the fall, which helps provide cover and habitats for the insects that either pollinate (or are food for pollinators) in the spring. And if you want to go a step further, you can research native pollinator plants to cultivate in your garden. (If you live in Minnesota, the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources has some great suggestions to start!)

Hope is hard, but the pollinators need us. What’s in your power to do today?

What else we’re reading

  • For the past few decades, medical professionals have considered measles to be eradicated in the States. Thanks to a surge in anti-vaccination rhetoric, that’s changing. Author Emmi S. Herman reflects on the life-changing damage” Harman’s sister, Marcie, suffered from this now-preventable disease in 1960 — from seizures to long-lasting cognitive impairments — and what it could mean for children like Marcie if measles make a real comeback, as it’s threatening to do.
  • Ex-congressional journalist Jael Holzman reminds us that journalists aren’t just blank slates; their work is informed by their lives, struggles, and identities. Ultimately, she found that press organizations ignoring stories about trans healthcare policy that directly affected her and her community in favor of salacious, uncorroborated puff pieces about sex parties and congressmen in lingerie was too hard to take. “I continue to hold out hope that one day, an intrepid reporter will pick up the mantle of asking members of Congress what happens to the trans people. As for me, I’m staying in climate journalism,” she writes. Her Medium piece led to an interview in The New Republic earlier last week.
  • Convicted drug dealer Charles Amemiya was imprisoned for manufacturing meth — but turned it around in part thanks to a Governor’s pardon that gave him a way out of the crime-incarceration-recidivism trap many incarcerated people fall into. “I…want to show companies, businesses, and other employers that people who get out of prison can become high-performing, trustworthy, successful employees. They just need someone to give them a chance.”

Your daily dose of practical wisdom: To be productive, look for momentum, not shame

Life coach and professor Jane Elliott PhD writes that when we fail at routines that work for high performers, we usually assume we’re the problem. “We don’t need to keep listening to a productivity industry that is producing shame instead of momentum. We can start to identify and dial in the ways of working that serve us and our brains best, even when they fall outside the canon.

Learn something new every day with the Medium Newsletter. Sign up here.

Be part of a better internet. Become a Medium member today for 20% off.

Edited and produced by Scott Lamb, Harris Sockel, & Carly Rose Gillis

Questions, feedback, or story suggestions? Email us:

Have a friend who would love to learn more about pollinators? Forward them this email.