Protecting Pollinators, People & the Planet

 

We face a global crisis. The significant decline of bee and other pollinator populations threatens food security, biodiversity and ecosystems, with drastic consequences for the human race and the planet. The declines are the consequence of human activity: intensive agriculture, destruction and fragmentation of  flowering natural habitats, widespread use of pesticides, pollution caused by waste, the decline of practices based on indigenous and local knowledge, climate change, and the ever-increasing global population.   

Bees are a keystone species and pollination is a keystone process in both natural terrestrial and human managed ecosystems. Bees pollinate most plants and trees, providing us with the food we eat and the clean air we breathe. Pollination also has a positive impact on the environment in general, helping to maintain biodiversity and the vibrant ecosystems upon which agriculture depends. Without pollination, countless interconnected species and the processes functioning within an ecosystem would collapse.

More than 80% of food crops require pollination. We need to learn more about pollinators, plant pollination services and the interactions between agro-ecosystems and pollination management, in order to  understand more about how how to conserve them and manage them to maintain biodiversity, ensure ecosystem health and improve human livelihoods. By monitoring pollinator declines, monitoring pollinator deficits, assessing socio-economic values, pollinator identification and understanding plant/pollinator interactions  we help expand the knowledge base.

In 2016, the international study of Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) estimated that:

 
  • Bees and pollinators are critical to the future of the world’s 7.6 billion people and to the future of the planet.

  • 87% of the world’s flowering plant species depend on pollination.

  • 1.4 billion jobs globally rely on pollinators.

  • 77% of the world food supply depends on pollinators.

  • US$ 235 billion - US$ 577 billion worth of annual global food production relies on pollinators.

 

The World Bee Project mission is to increase food security and livelihoods around the world by combining AI and sensor systems and world leading  bee research to provide critical knowledge and insights that enhance the livelihoods of the hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers around the world.

The World Bee Project vision is to deliver state of the art knowledge directly to the hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers around the world to enhance the contribution of honey bees and other pollinators to food security, farmers’ livelihoods and national economies.

The World Bee Project works with a growing international network of partners and experts ensures world class multidisciplinary expertise and capacity in ecology, sustainable agriculture, social science and development studies as well as practical experience and capacity for extension, education and policy development.

 

Embracing science in areas such as pollination is fundamental as it contributes to better informed policy choices that will protect ecosystem services that are important for biodiversity conservation, food security, livelihoods and human wellbeing. This is why The  World Bee Project is partnered with the  University of Reading, ranked 1st in the UK and 10th in the world for agriculture. Together, we research and implement  programmes in the areas of food chain and health, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity in relation to pollinators and pollination.

Embracing technology is also fundamental. This is why the World Bee Project partnered with Oracle Cloud  to harvest and analyse vital acoustic data from the the World Bee Project Hive Network. The World Bee Project’s  pioneering partnership with Oracle  analyses rates of bee declines in different regions of the world and the varying reasons for this  by gathering and analysing hitherto untapped pollination data via the Oracle Cloud.

The knowledge and insights gained by combining leading bee and pollination  research from the University of Reading with Oracle Analytics will contribute to improving livelihoods for the 1.5 billion people in smallholder farmer households, and inspire  invaluable local and global actions to create more sustainable ecosystems and improve food security and nutrition.

The World Bee Project is a UK Community Interest Company (CIC), designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good. It is the UK equivalent of a US Benefit Corporation also known as  B. Corp.

The World Bee Project is a member of the UK Government’s Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) Pollinator Advisory Steering Group (PASG).

 
 

The World Bee Project supports the emerging holistic paradigm where society and the environment are seen as an indivisible whole, and societies and individuals define wellbeing and prosperity.