If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.
The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Oxfordshire [has] studied data on 62 species collected by volunteers from more than 31,818 surveys across more than 4000 square kilometres of land.
They looked at bee populations between 1994 and 2011. In England, farmers first started using neonicotinoids on oilseed rape in 2002.
They found the average decline in populations across all bee species was 7 per cent since 2002. Some species, such the Bronze Furrow bee and the Spined Mason bee declined by 20 per cent or more.
The two main reasons for the decline in the bee population is habitat loss and the use of pesticides, namely neonicotinoids.
There is a temporary ban on the use of neonicotinoids in the UK while further tests are carried out.
Meanwhile, we can get on with the flowery business of improving habitat.
Farming practices have changed a great deal in recent years. Gone are our wildflower meadows of yesteryear. It is estimated that the UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows since 1930.
Plant diversity is often very low in agricultural land, and it has been shown that bee populations are much more stable when diversity is available.
Domestic gardens often have more bees and other pollinators than surrounding farms.
By setting aside space in our gardens for nectar and pollen rich plants we can considerably improve the chances of stabilising the local populations of bees.