For example, in some countries, like the UK, some bumblebee species have gone extinct already. Many butterfly species are also struggling.
Many of the steps you can take will help pollinators as a whole, as well as the bees.
We need our bees, and putting a stop to bee decline is in everyone's best interests, and everyone really can do at least something. Having compaigned for several years, I have noticed how awareness has increased greatly, and people are generally trying to help bees by including bee-friendly plants in their gardens, or in pots or hanging baskets by the front door. So......
You CAN make a difference - and collectively we make a BIG difference!
.....and here are some tips to help set you on your way to doing just that!
HELP SAVE THE BEES - CREATE HABITAT!
There is much you can do in your own gardens to help save the bees! Ensure you have flowers and plants in bloom for as long as possible in the garden. Some bee species may come out early, and will be looking for much needed pollen and nectar sources provided by spring bulbs such as narcissus and crocuses. Pussy willow and herbs such as rosemary are also useful. Remember, some bees will continue foraging late into the season too, so try to ensure you include late flowering blooms in your garden, such as winter heathers. Take a look at the following link (opens new window) featuring calendarised lists of great bee plants.
You could also make efforts to purchase plants, bulbs and seeds free of neonicotinoid and systemic insecticides - more about this below. These pesticides are used widely in Holland, a major supplier to garden centers, grocery multiples and other plant sellers. Why not establish a relationship with a local nursery or grower you can trust, and ask them whether or not they are using these products. Many conservation charities are asking for a suspension of these pesticides, and for an overhaul of the regulatory system. As of August 2013, I'm not aware of a full ban on any of these produces - merely some temporary restrictions to some of these chemicals in certain circumstances. This applies particularly to the EU and you can read more about it here and the global scenario here.
Another option is to purchase your plants, bulbs and seeds from organic suppliers.
Remember too that a supply of water and mud are useful. Some bees, such as Mason bees, use mud for constructing their nests.