World Bee Day also serves another purpose though. And that is that the issues facing bees today are great. Modern practices such as intensive farming, land clearing, which destroy natural habitats, and changing world climates have put both wild and domestic bees at risk. The annual mortality rate of bees today is 30%. And the knock-on effects are real when you consider that three quarters of cultivated crops rely on bee pollination and 90% of wild flowers depend on the insects for their survival.
In fact, without bees to pollinate, most species of fruits, flowers and seed would vanish, and along with them crucial habitat, food and resources for countless other species. And if that wasn’t a bleak enough picture, if bees were to vanish, so too would most of the natural colour, flavour and scents of our world too.
If you think about it like this, then there really is a need for a rethink. Which is why Guerlain, a brand that has long revered bees, is going the extra mile to help raise awareness and re-populate bee numbers.
To do so, the French skincare brand has created the Guerlain For Bees Conservation Programme. Under the programme there are initiatives such as the brand’s launch of Women for Bees. Spearheaded by A-lister Angelina Jolie, this partnership with UNESCO began last year and aims to train women beekeepers and create new beekeeping operations across the globe.
In an effort for children to learn about bees from an early age, Guerlain’s Bee School is an awareness-building programme, which schools young children about the role of bees in our ecosystem. Amongst other initiatives, Guerlain has also pledged a three-year sponsorship with the French Committee of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the French National Museum of Natural History.
So entwined with the brand are bees that Guerlain also created its Bee Respect digital platform, a sustainability platform which provides a transparent insight into a product and its packaging lifecycle.
“We launched Bee Respect in 2019 to help consumers better understand and be informed about the whole lifecycle of Guerlain products,” says Cecile Lochard, Chief Sustainability Officer at Guerlain. “The platform looks at formula ingredients, packaging elements, suppliers, places of manufacture or their carbon footprint and way to recycle them.”
To celebrate this year’s World Bee Day on May 22nd, the brand has partnered with renowned bee artist Tomáš Libertíny who has adorned Guerlain’s new cult favourite, Huile-en-Eau Abeille Royale bottle with flowers. In tandem with this, Guerlain has pledged to donate €20 for every repost of the visual created by Tomáš Libertíny along with hashtags #GuerlainForBees and #WorldBeeDay. In all, 1 million euros has been pledged to help the bees, which will be generated over three days, from World Bee Day on May 20th to May 22nd, when 20% of sales will be donated to Guerlain’s Bee program.
The circle of life is such an intricate thing and truly bees seem to at its beating heart. So whether you purchase or hashtag or just give a thought to those little bees, now seems the perfect moment to give thanks to the insect that literally gives us life.