Sorry, couldn’t resist. I went with a couple of friends to see a film called ‘Vanishing of the Bees’ at The Continental pub in Preston. http://vanishingbees.co.uk/ [The link to the petition seems to be out of date]
Very interesting phenomenon, but it mainly seems to be down to some types of insecticides [sorry, I don’t know all the long, scientific words] which are confusing and disrupting the bees’ nervous systems and which they are bringing back and feeding to their young.
France has banned these types of insecticides, along with some other European countries. However, the USA and the UK say there isn’t enough proof – translation, lobbyists at work? This site may explain it a bit better http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2003/11/26/millions_of_bees_dead_bayers_gaucho_blamed.htm
A talk was given by a local beekeeper who really knew his stuff and he told us that one of the best things we can all do to help is to plant bee-friendly things, mainly old-fashioned cottage-garden types of flowers. He said crocuses are very good for bees at the beginning of the season, snowdrops too. I found a page which has some more information http://www.beverlybees.com/planting-bee-garden/#.T4Abs5n2aHc
Not having a garden myself, another way of supporting bees is to try to buy organic fruit and veg. I hadn’t really bothered with organic up til now, thinking it was a trendy and expensive gimmick but I will certainly try to look out for it in future.