Google Doodle Celebrates Earth Day 50th Anniversary With a Game and Tips on How to Help Save Bees

Earth Day is an annual celebration dating back to April 22, 1970, supporting environmental protection with a different theme each year. This year is Earth Day's 50th anniversary and 2020's theme is Climate Action, and Google Doodle is celebrating today with a game and tips on how to save bees.

In collaboration with The Honeybee Conservancy, today's Google Doodle features a game in which users guide a bee as it pollinates flowers while learning fun facts about bees and their impact on the world.

The intro to the Earth Day Google Doodle says: "Happy 50th Anniversary of Earth Day! Today we celebrate our planet and one of its smallest, most critical organisms, the bee!

"Did you know? Pollination by bees makes two-thirds of the world's crops possible, as well as 85 percent of the world's flowering plants."

In a statement, founder and executive director of The Honeybee Conservancy, Guillermo Fernandez, explained his thoughts behind the Earth Day Google Doodle and shared tips on how to help bees while social distancing.

Fernandez said he founded The Honeybee Conservancy as he, "wanted to help save the bees, who pollinate 1 in 3 bites of food we eat and are vital to [a] healthy ecology. There are 20,000 species of bees around the world who do this essential work.

"In North America, currently 1 in 4 of the 4,000 native bee species are at risk of extinction. On a larger scale, the world's survival depends on theirs."

Additionally, Fernandez wanted to help underserved communities like the one he grew up in through giving honeybee hives and native bee homes to organizations like gardens to schools.

Google Doodle Earth Day
Google Doodle celebrates the bee on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Google

Fernandez says: "I immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba at the age of one. The neighborhood I grew up in was a crowded, urban area where one-third of the multi-ethnic community lived in poverty.

"Finding fresh fruit or vegetables to eat was next to impossible: the nearest supermarket mostly stocked processed foods, and our local restaurants were all fast-food chains. There wasn't a tree or garden in sight; the only park was full of concrete."

Fernandez explains that 13.5 million people in the U.S. live in "food deserts" with a low level of food literacy and a poor understanding of how to eat a balanced diet, due to an underfunded education system and limited green spaces.

Residents of these communities can suffer from obesity, diabetes, and asthma, due to poor nutrition and a degraded environment.

By giving these communities beehives, Fernandez says The Honeybee Conservancy can "alleviate financial and educational barriers (keeping honeybee hives is a costly investment that requires training)," and "can create access to resources that in turn produce food, improve the environment, and bring people together."

Below is some advice from The Honeybee Conservancy on how to help save the bees, with some things you can do in your own backyard this Earth Day.

How to Help Bees on Earth Day

  • Support your local beekeepers by purchasing locally-made honey and beeswax products.
  • Donate time or funds to local environmental groups to support conservation efforts.
  • Make safe havens for native bees by providing exposed, undisturbed soil or nesting boxes that you can buy or make yourself.
  • Create a bee bath by filling a shallow birdbath or bowl with clean water and stones that poke out of the water. Bees will land on the stones to drink on breaks from foraging and pollinating.
  • Plant a pollinator garden, which could be in a window box or a yard, to diversify sources of bee nutrition.