Enjoying fall foods? Thank a bee.

Popular fall recipes could go extinct without pollinators

Save the bees

By Anjani Dent, intern

It is a brisk 60° outside. The wind crisp, the sun bright. I’ve just finished a long day of college classes and decided the only way to reward such a burdensome day is with a sweet treat from a quaint coffee business: Starbucks. 

I enter to see the line of customers stretching to the door. It’s a Thursday, and Starbucks is offering a deal on handcrafted fall drinks. What is everyone, including me, after? An iced pumpkin cream chai tea latte. 

This high-in-demand drink, and many others offered at Starbucks, have one thing in common: they require the help of a bee. Bees pollinate coffee flowers, pumpkins and vanilla (although some vanilla is pollinated by hand if the right species of bee isn’t nearby). Birds help too by feasting on insects that might harm the coffee plant, as so small flies that pollinate nutmeg.

However, bee populations are in decline. Commercial beekeepers have experienced annual honey bee losses of 40 percent, and many native bees are suffering even more. And without the help of bees and birds, there could be a 25% drop in annual coffee crop yields. 

These pollinators are facing challenges from habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change. We must act now to save bees and other pollinators from further population decline. You can help by urging your governor to create more habitat for bees, so that we can keep enjoying fall and all its flavors for years to come.


Lisa Frank

Executive Director, Washington Legislative Office, Environment America; Vice President and D.C. Director, The Public Interest Network

Lisa directs strategy and staff for Environment America's federal campaigns. She also oversees The Public Interest Network's Washington, D.C., office and operations. She has won millions of dollars in investments in walking, biking and transit, and has helped develop strategic campaigns to protect America's oceans, forests and public lands from drilling, logging and road-building. Lisa is an Oregonian transplant in Washington, D.C., where she loves hiking, running, biking, and cooking for friends and family.

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