B is the first insect (bee) influencer on Instagram and has been rapidly gaining followers since joining the social media platform in April 2019. Created by Fondation de France, a leading philanthropic network in France founded in 1969, B currently has 147,000 followers. The influencer’s bio on Instagram says, “I’m the 1st bee influencer! Follow me guys: the more followers I have, the more we will save bees!” B’s campaign website — beefund.fondationdefrance.org — further describes the reason behind B’s social media presence, “I want to please brands around the world to raise money to save bees, many of which disappear every year. I need you: the more subscribers I have on instagram, the more brands will be interested and the more money I will reap.”
A UK-based environmental organisation, Friends of the Earth, has estimated that since 1900, the United Kingdom has lost 13 species of bee while 35 more species at threat of extinction (1 in 10 across Europe). As per Fondation de France, more than 30 percent of bee colonies disappear annually in France.
B’s account is regularly updated with creative images of a bee in different situations, including lifestyle, beauty and travel-related content, with awareness-building and fundraising messages embedded cleverly in the captions. The latest post is of B in a Halloween costume, with the following message, “Knock knock..Trick or treat? This halloween I dressed up like a ghost! (but I hope it will remain only a costume and I won’t become one) What’s your costume? And by the way… In case I’ll stop by your door, I prefer pollen to candies!”
B is working with brands which are running biodiversity programmes and approved by Fondation de France. As per a report by CNN.com, the money generated by B via brand collaborations is used by the Fondation to help farmers adopt pollinator-friendly techniques, build bee habitats and demonstrate the harmful effects of pesticides on pollinators.