Did you know that bees pollinate 80 percent of the earth’s flora and that without them, most of the fruits and vegetables we know and love wouldn’t grow? It is said that the extinction of these yellow insects would lead to 1.4 million human lives lost…per year. You see, without bees, our vitamin A and B9 intakes would dramatically plummet, which would significantly increase global mortality as well as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Bees are, in fact, important to everyone. Unfortunately, unsustainable agricultural practices, global warming, pollution and even hornet attacks all threaten their survival.

For the past 15 years, Guerlain has been working in various ways toward the conservation of bees. One of its initiatives is its Bee School volunteer program, which raises youth awareness of the importance of bees. The brand also works alongside UBESS (for the repopulation of these insects) in addition to holding its annual World Bee Days: From May 20 to May 22, Guerlain donates a portion of its sales* to the Guerlain for Bees conservation program. Every year, a total of $1.5 million goes to the cause. The company also invests in Women for Bees, partnering with UNESCO to empower hundreds of female beekeepers (under Angelina Jolie’s godmothership).

Guerlain has also collaborated with environmental activist, director and photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his son Tom to create an environment where biodiversity is protected. This 28-hectare re-naturalization project deep in the heart of France’s Millière Valley, where permaculture principles are applied, enables pollinators to keep doing their job in the ecological chain. This place, which the Arthus-Bertrands named Le jardin des partages, aims to educate and teach the principles of ecology through biodiversity. It is a spot where people—adults and children alike—learn to treat the earth with respect while preserving the local fauna and flora.

Nicola Gouhier, Guerlain

“We’re interested in permaculture practices—in plants that live together while feeding from one another and that, of course, support pollination. We’re thinking, among other things, about the importance of flowers and fruit trees, but there are plenty of other plant species that are essential to the ecological chain,” says Tom. “Earth gives us a lot of vital things; it’s crucial to give back. Every gesture matters; every action that benefits nature conservation contributes to preserving the fragrant heritage and the beauty of our planet.”

Tom shares how he has been deeply inspired by the work of Quebecer Jean-Martin Fortier, a pioneer in permaculture and organic farming. “Protecting nature is a collective effort, where everyone can make their own contribution. We take whatever teachings we can, and Jean-Martin is a expert on the subject,” he says.

At the Bee School, you can see how so-called “social” bees operate and live as a colony. They form a fascinating, extremely-well-organized society—one where everyone has a role to play: housekeeper, nanny, forager, architect, guard, fanner, warehouse worker… They switch roles as well, while the bumblebee is only here to procreate. They work arduously as a team, collaborating for the common good. We could learn quite a lot from them!

By diving into the world of bees, we can easily see how every gesture—as small as it might be—can have a significant impact. So, how about letting your dandelions grow?