Feb 1

We’ve asked conservation organisations around the world to nominate a species that they believe to be overlooked, underappreciated and unloved, and tell us why they think that they deserve a fair share of the limelight, this Valentine’s Day.

Each nominee’s story is featured on the Arkive blog with information on the species, what makes them so special, the conservation organisation that nominated them and how they are working to save them from extinction.

Click the ‘unloved species’ tag above to see all of the nominations and their blogs.

Once you have perused the blogs you can vote for your favourite to help get them into the top ten unloved species and get them the recognition that they truly deserve! Share your favourite with others using the #LoveSpecies hashtag on Twitter and Facebook and tell them why they should vote for them too. Voting closes on February 14th at 23:59 PST (07:59 GMT).

Join us and our conservation partners in celebrating and raising awareness for some of the world’s most unloved species this Valentine’s Day!

Species: European honey bee

Nominated by: BeeBristol

Conservation status: widespread and common species

Why do you love it? The honey bee is one of nature’s hardest workers, it takes around one million trips to make one tea spoon of honey, all the while pollinating each plant they visit. The level of organisation, team work and sacrifice it takes to keep a healthy productive hive against all odds is breath-taking. Honey bees across the world have been telling us, like the canary in the coal mine, that we are not in sync with nature and instead valuing profit over the environment. With increasing numbers of honey bees and all other pollinating insects struggling worldwide we are experiencing a desperate and critical fork in the road which has been mentioned in parliament here in the UK and governments on an international scale over the past ten years.

The honey bee has become is the figure head for all pollinators worldwide, at the forefront of a fight that must maintain momentum. The battle for our environment through the way we manage land, use chemicals, expand our urban areas and overall, interact with nature must be won. It’s imperative we continue to promote and use the image of the honey bee to rally the general public and industry behind its important cause, for the sake of all insects, plants and even the human race. So we love the honey bee not just for its brilliance, beauty and role in pollination; but for the proven influence and power it’s shown in the media to enable positive environmental change at a government level in so many countries across the world.

What are the threats to the European honey bee? Habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, non-native species and diseases, pollution, pesticides including neonicotionoids and climate change.

What are you doing to save it? BeeBristol’s main focuses include awareness raising through street art, instillations and engagement events. We focus our conservation work on creating new wildflower meadows, habitat and foraging opportunities for all pollinators including honey bees. With all our work we like to include local people and inspire actions on a personal level to be made at home or in the workplace to benefit pollinators. We also manage a number of beehives, never using chemicals or adopting harsh beekeeping techniques, we always lean to a more holistic natural beekeeping approach. Our work with schools and community groups has a positive impact on our local area and we’ve formed a partnership with River of Flowers to distribute forage on a national and international level.

Find out more about BeeBristol’s work

Discover more bee species on Arkive