Did you have a bee for dinner last night?

Maybe not directly. But a honeybee, butterfly, bird or other pollinator contributed to one out of every three bites of food that you ate. Pollinators transfer tiny grains of pollen between plants, helping them produce the fruit, vegetables and other foods we love to eat.

But bees and other pollinators are in trouble and, as a result, so are the plants that depend on them. For example, U.S. beekeepers reported losing 40 percent of their colonies between 2014 and 2015. Scientists believe reasons for the decline include loss of habitat, pesticide use, pests and diseases.

To tackle this problem, in 2015 President Obama released the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, which outlines U.S. plans underway to increase pollinator habitat and improve research.

Can you help honeybees?

You can make a difference! Here’s how:

  • Plant flowers: Make sure to have flowers that bloom in your garden throughout the growing season to create a habitat that will attract pollinators. Plant a variety of plants, especially those that are native to your country or region, whenever possible.
  • Limit or stop pesticide use: Pollinators can be harmed or killed if the plants they visit have been treated with pesticides. Use chemicals only when absolutely necessary, and make sure to apply them at times of the day — usually early or late in the day — when pollinators are not present.