Protecting Pollinators, People & the Planet

 

We face a global crisis. The significant decline of honey bee and other pollinator populations threatens food security, biodiversity and ecosystems, with dire consequences for the human race and the planet.

Long-term international or national monitoring of both pollinators and pollination is urgently required to provide information on status and trends for most species and most parts of the world.”
— The assessment report on Pollinators, Pollination, and Food Production, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)

The World Bee Project together with its partners, the University of Reading and Oracle is blending computing technology with world leading bee research to safeguard global pollinator pollinations.  


The World Bee Project is

  • Monitoring honey bee health and current conditions for maintaining pollination through The World Bee Project Hive Network, and through citizen science and education outreach projects.

  • Implementing transformation of agricultural landscapes through Ecological Intensification and translation of pollinator research into agricultural practices in smallholder farms.

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The World Bee Project mission is to blend cutting edge computing technology with world leading bee research to safeguard global pollinator pollinations.

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 pollinators to food security, farmer livelihoods and national economies. 

The World Bee Project ambition is to explore the immense potential to leverage emerging technologies and the cloud to drive the entire business ecosystem towards one which supports pollinator and farmer prosperity, human wellbeing and national economies.

 
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The World Bee Project together with its partners, the University of Reading and Oracle Cloud is blending computing technology with world leading bee research to safeguard global pollinator pollinations. 

The World Bee Project Hive Network is an international network of remotely monitored honey bee hives which links data from sensors in its network to the Oracle Cloud’s flagship Oracle Autonomous Database and then leverages the Oracle Analytics Cloud for machine learning modelling and data visualizations, and the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for computing, data storage and processing. The Oracle Cloud provides a scalable, secure, global, honey bee health monitoring system.

The Oracle Cloud enables The World Bee Project global teams, including leading research institutes such as our UK partner the University of Reading to build a scientific evidence base by analysing the data from the sensors in The World Bee Project Hive Network, understand insights efficiently and reliably, and link  new relevant insights to actual honey bee health across varying global regions.

Once validated the results can be shared with initiatives worldwide, with pollinator and pollination researchers and scientists and also with the wider research and knowledge-policy communities working on the links between nature and people, such as natural, social and engineering scientists, policy-makers at different levels, and decision makers in different sectors of society.

The World Bee Project Hive Network aims to provide a low cost, high performance, central source of global honey bee data, which gives everybody, from policy makers and governments, to researchers at universities through to children at schools, the same opportunity to find solutions by performing new and innovative experiments, regardless of their background or budget.


POLLINATORS ARE ECONOMICALLY, SOCIALLY AND CULTURALLY IMPORTANT

The volume of production of pollinator dependent crops has increased by 300% over the last five decades, making livelihoods increasingly dependent on the provision of pollination.

Pollination is the highest agricultural contributor to yields worldwide, contributing far beyond any other agricultural management practice. Thus, bees and other pollinators make important contributions to agriculture. In 2016, the Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production, the first ever issued by 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 LIVELIHOODS 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 significant decline of honey bee and other pollinator populations are the consequence of poorly manged 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 all ecosystems.  Pollination is critical for food production and human livelihoods, and directly links wild ecosystems with agricultural production systems. The vast majority of flowering plant species only produce seeds if bees and other pollinators move pollen from the anthers to the stigmas of their flowers. Without this service, many interconnected species and processes functioning within an ecosystem would collapse.

Pollinated crops include those that provide fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts and oils. Pollinator health is directly linked to our own well-being - many of these crops are important dietary sources of vitamins and minerals, without which the risks of malnutrition might be expected to increase. Pollinators also  contribute to crops that provide biofuels (e.g. canola and palm oils), fibres (e.g. cotton), medicines, forage for livestock, and construction materials. Some species also provide materials such as beeswax for candles and musical instruments, and arts and crafts. Pollinators, especially bees, have also played a role throughout human history as inspirations for art, music, religion and technology.  

Additionally, bees improve quality of life, globally significant heritage sites and practices, symbols of identify, aesthetically significant landscapes. Sacred passages about bees occur in all major world religions.

Without pollinators, many of us would no longer be able to enjoy coffee, chocolate and apples, among many other foods that are part of our daily lives.”
— Simon Potts Ph.D. co-chair of the 2016 Thematic Assessment of Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production, the first ever issued by IPBES, and Professor of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, United Kingdom.

To support thriving global pollinator pollinations and help improve food security, protect farmer livelihoods and contribute to national economies, The World Bee Project works with a growing international network of partners and experts and 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.


 

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.