How We’re Protecting Our Pollinators

See what we’re doing to protect honeybees and other pollinators, plus how we’re raising awareness for the critical role they play in our lives.

As the world’s leading natural and organic food retailer for over 40 years, we understand how critical bees and other pollinators are to our food system. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture opens in a new tab, one out of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators. However, these populations are currently facing massive declines.

Through a long-standing commitment to organics and strong collaboration with technical experts, academics, industry organizations and our suppliers, we’re taking steps to save honeybees and help ensure the future of our food.

Why Are Pollinators Important?

Honeybees pollinate more than 100 types of crops in the U.S. — but they can’t do it alone. Other types of pollinators like moths, butterflies, fireflies and hummingbirds work alongside them, helping to maintain the diversity of plant life and playing crucial roles in our ecosystem.

Our Commitment to Organics

According to a 2015 report from The Organic Center opens in a new tab, organic farming practices have been shown to be effective in maintaining the health and population of important crop pollinators, including honeybees. At Whole Foods Market, we are deeply committed to organic products and the expansion of the organic food industry.

We also provide financial and operational support to organizations dedicated to supporting and strengthening the organic industry, including research on organic practices and guidance on transitioning to organic agriculture. Some of the organizations we support include:

Learn more about our commitment to organic products.

produce department in store with and without bees
For our “A Market Without Bees” campaign, we temporarily removed all fruits and vegetables from plants dependent on honeybees and other pollinators in our University Heights Whole Foods Market store.

Our Campaigns to Raise Awareness

We work with our foundations and internationally recognized third parties to create campaigns that raise awareness of pollinators and the critical role they play in our food system. Learn more about our campaigns to save honeybees and other pollinators below.

Xerces Society: A Market Without Bees

We also work with trusted collaborators, like the Xerces Society opens in a new tab, on campaigns that educate our customers by helping them visualize what would happen to grocery stores opens in a new tab, salad bars opens in a new tab, summer picnics opens in a new tab and even your morning cup of coffee opens in a new tab if pollinators vanished.

Whole Kids Foundation: Bee Grant Program

Since it started in 2014, our Whole Kids Foundation’s Bee Grant program opens in a new tab has granted more than 400 educational beehives to schools and nonprofits with support from The Bee Cause Project opens in a new tab. Schools that host educational beehives use them as an effective tool to help kids understand the important role that bees and other pollinators play in our food system.

Through the 2019 Give Bees a Chance opens in a new tab campaign during June’s National Pollinator Month, our Whole Kids Foundation raised more than $113,000 to fund 56 new bee grants. Because we cover all of the Whole Kids Foundation’s operational costs, 100% of every dollar donated directly supports the Bee Grant Program.

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